Thursday, April 26, 2007

TAST palestrina and running stitch

I've got a bit bored with the plain white background so have running stitched over pieces of
yellow muslin, lime grees net and something else, not sure what it is! The funny dark bars are shadows across the table where I was taking the pic. I use running stitch a lot in a kantha-ish kind of way. I liked lacing /whipping / threading it. The circular motif comes up in a point - that happens if you have the stitch tension just that bit tight.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Nice surprise.

Back in February I wrote about entering the Celebration of Silk competition at Macclesfield Silk Museum. The exhibition is on at the moment, and when I went to see it yesterday I found I had won the second prize!!!

I was given 2 nice books by the curator, about the history of silk in the town and about the museum collection, and I have to go to the Heritage Centre in the town and pick out 4 fat quarters of silk! A very nice surprise. And thank you to Sharon B. for the inspiration of her 100 details series!

Progress of Spring

Red and green in more equal measure - the azaelea by our front door is blossoming properly now.
The bay tree that came here with us 12 years ago, about 9" high in a pot, is flowering.
It has quite an exotic look.
And this plant, with a little star-like blue flower, that tries to grow up all over our front doorstep and up the door, has started its advance.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Blue / orange, yellow / purple

On our visit to family last weekend, middle granddaughter (9) asked if she could borrow the camera. Good thing it is digital or all my film would have been used up! I think she snapped every flower in the garden!
But without my asking her to, she found several examples of these complementary pairs, if not in one flower then with flowers that had been planted next to each other.
Can't get any more pix to go now - blogger having a coffee break?

TAST oysters

Blogger scared me this morning by coming up 'this page cannot be displayed' every time I asked it to load a picture. Then suddenly it started complying, so I have put ALL my oyster stitch pix up while the mood is good!
Here's a 'seam treatment' idea, and flowers, and single 'filler' stitches, and- great discovery - the long-stalked variety!
I like the way you can pack this stitch together - the cream-green-brown-gold bit.
Bits of the next stitch - palestrina - creeping in at the bottom. That's the thing with my continuous strip, I don't really want gaps. And the long stalks a bit closer.

I like doing small amounts of stitching on small bits of felt, a sort of rival / companion to the main strip.
Why is an oyster stitch so called? Does it look like an oyster? Maybe a bit like part at least of the live thing inside the shell I got interested in the long stalk possibility and began finding things to do with the stalk - couch down with various stitches, wrap loosely, wrap with buttonhole (buttonhole bar) . . .

I did eat an oyster, just the once, when accompanying a school trip to Brittany. We had a tour of an oyster farm which finished with a plateful to pass around. Imagine 30 teenage girls squawking about trying these strange-looking things!

Update on the purple sprouting . . .

. . . brocolli. If you look back at Tuesday August 22nd - lacemaking the natural way - it may seem like a bit of a miracle that we had this for tea this week!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Book-making and birds' nests

Thanks to Margaret for a helpful suggestion in a comment on the post 'Little samples . .' Try here for some exciting pix of 'flag books'. The structure described can be seen clearly in Emily Carlson's Savanna Roots but barely in the others. Another Margaret asked me about this type of book at one of the informal book-making classes I've been running lately and I hadn't really looked at that type before. It will have to go on the list of things to try!

And because I think a blog entry should always have at least one pic here's one that is nothing to do with anything, just rather sad - an abandoned moorhen's nest on the canal near us. A neat idea, but the wheel must have come loose and drifted away from where it was firdt set up.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

message from somewhere new . . .

. . . i.e. our eldest daughter's place, where we have been spending the weekend. This is back to our roots, to the town in Dorset we were born in and spent all our lives, except for university years, until moving to near Manchester 12 years ago. In 2 months we will be moving back here again. We were signing contracts last Friday on the sale of our house and the one we are purchasing here. No idea where this scene is, but it is sunset on our life in Marple!

And off to new horizons in Poole! Which doesn't look like this either.

Really I just wanted to try doing a new post on someone elses's computer. Ours has been so troublesome lately. This one has worked like a dream! Except that the only photos I can find to use are sample ones. Never mind, they illustrate the point quite well.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Little samples . . .

. . . on scraps of felt, in a small book i made. Nice in theory, but the book is really fat and doesn't close of course! Looking for solutions. Maybe if the pieces are placed on the pages so that they interlock? Top one left is herringbone with weaving over it, and on the right wrapped with buttonhole stitch. The rest cross stitch.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Back on complementary colours . . .

Purply colours seem to come out in pix a bit bluer than they really are, honest.
But OK, these are just straight blue and yellow.
But here's the red and green starting to emerge again!

Good Friday and what came after

(Better late than never) The cross up on Cobden Edge makes a dramatic image against the sky. Even though it was a sunny day the dark clouds picture the Bible narrative that tells how darkness came over the land at the moment Jesus let his life go. Its a custom in Marple for large numbers of people from the local churches to walk up the hill to the cross on Good Friday afternoon.

And then, in the context of it being Easter, flowers and blossom are pictures of the new life coming in the resurrection that followed.

Bank holiday boat trip . . .

. . . up to Marple junction, 5 mins from our house. It's open again now for boats, though there is still work being done to the retaining wall (right) below the houses.Through the bridge and look behind you . . . . . . then look left towards top lock, the first of 16, heading down towards Manchester on the Peak Forest canal.
Now actually, this is going in the other direction from our house, but never mind, just enjoy the tranquil scene!And over this bridge traffic roars, or crawls, along the A6, depending on the time of day.

And we're just approaching our wharf somewhere here, after a relaxing trip.

Patchwork from Thailand

I found this small bag - probably intended for a makeup bag - a lovely example of this folded patchwork done in Thailand. Those folded triangles are so small, less than half a centimetre. The vertical strips are folded too.

Monday, April 09, 2007


Some of our amaryllis have flowered again this year. They are so beautiful.

Making braids

As if I hadn't got enough to do just stitching I have to get sidetracked into trying out making plaited braids, kumihimo style, with a bit of card. This one is octagonal, doesn't have to be dead accurate, with a slit in the middle of each side and 7 threads. You knot the threads together, push the knot through the hole, slip each thread into a hole. Hold the card with the gap at the top and start by passing the 3rd thread down across and into the gap. Rotate the card till the new gap is at the top and take the 3rd thread down and pass it across. Continue till all your thread is used up, just keep going round. it doesn't matter whether you are right or left handed, the process is the same, just go in the direction that suits you, the same one all the time for passing the threads and rotating the card. Use knitting yarns, string, anything, and it goes quicker if the thread is thick, or doubled for extra thickness.