Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Shawl, Generosity, an Exchange received, Scotland and my Lowery!

Well, in order to scratch off one of my July goals..... I have to post, quickly!  I have this long list of Things I Need To Blog About and each one is receding further into the past so without more ado, as they say..... and in no particular order of importance.....

First of all, thank you, all you lovely commenters, you have no idea how your words cheer me!  I am realising that I need to respond by email to you all and I will, I will, honestly!

Next is this and I must admit I am rather proud of it, now that it is finally finished.  It is very loosely based on a pattern that appeared in Piecemaker magazine in 2000 and was entitled A Prairie Shawl.  Well, I can't tell you how many attempts I made at this pattern and how many times I ripped it back to the beginning as I had lost the plot miscounted the pattern repeats.  Since my life back then did not have many quiet moments with full time work and the Wyoming Cowboy (third treasure) still living with us, I gave up and donated the wool to Goodwill but still kept hold of the magazine.  Fast forward to now and my falling in with the Knit and Knatter girls, I decided to make an exceedingly simplified version...... et voila!

Simplified Piecemaker shawl
James Brett DK yarn
You know, don't you that needleworkers are among the most generous people in the world?  Well, two of them passed on the generosity to me.  Andrea (can't find her blog, drat it!) drew my name in her giveaway and ! am now the lucky owner of the Souvenir Sampler by the Drawn Thread.  Lots of small motifs, specialty stitches and opportunities to make it my sampler.

The Drawn Thread
Souvenir Sampler
I was admiring Nicola's (Stitching by a Cornish seashore) awe-inspiring work - all the Victoria Sampler Alphabet series on one piece of linen and Sally (no blog) offered to send me the "O" chart!  It had been gifted to her and she was not going to stitch it.  I accepted with many thanks and a parcel arrived in the mail box all the way from the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

Victoria Sampler
"O" for Operator
Thank you both so much!

I showed you the Strawberry pillow that I sent to Jane in my last post, didn't I?  Well, finally it was time to open this, from Jaclyn in the secret Summer exchange on Needlecraft Haven.

Secret Summer Exchange
Needlecraft Haven
Isn't it lovely and I think....a Lizzie*Kate?  I wish you could smell the rose it is resting on, just heavenly!

The WT and I had a very short away day, well four, actually, back to the land of my birth, Scotland.  The weather wasn't brilliant but definitely a whole lot better than the rest of the UK. 

The border to The Promised Land!
We drove as far north as Fort William, stopping at Balmaha on the shores of Loch Lomond and a delicious meal at the Oak Tree Inn and a very peaceful night in one of their cottages.
The WT enjoying a glass of
beer orange juice!

The dining room at the
Oak Tree Inn
Cup of tea, anyone?

This was one of about a dozen
grandfather clocks in the inn's bar

We watched this event in the pub in Fort William.......

Good Spellers, don't look!
 Isabelle especially!

..... our Andy and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga battling through the semi final with a cup of tea for me and a glass of something invigorating for him.

After a night in Fort William and yet another wonderful meal here on the shores of Loch Linnhe at we took the very scenic but has to be said, somewhat nausea inducing (for passengers) road along Loch Sunart to Kilchoan on Ardnamuchan to catch the ferry over to Tobermory on the Isle of Mull.

Somewhere on the Loch Sunart road
or close to it!
It was lunch time when we docked in Tobermory and it so happened there was the Pier Cafe right where we drove off the ferry - a bowl of the most delicious leek and potato soup completely banished any lingering effects of the twisty drive!

Now, don't take this as any kind of precedent whatsoever, you understand, but a lovely Sri Lankan doctor at the next table with his family kindly took this photograph and since it isn't too bad, quite reasonable of me (though my eyes do look a bit peculiar, it has to be said), here's the WT and me looking rather relaxed!

Mr and Mrs WT
Well, sadly we must leave our intrepid couple until next time, join me for Part 2 of Scotland Revisited in the next blog post!

Because, I have to show you this....... a parcel arrived last week and I love what was inside!

My very own Lowery!
I placed the order with  Sew and So at 4.40pm on Monday and on Wednesday morning, via email telling me that the parcel would be delivered between 9.06 and 10.06, it arrived at 9.20 am!  I had gone out but know what time it was since I narrowly avoided hitting the van in the lane!

Wonderful service but a tiny complaint in that I ordered the Accessory Bracket but not the light Bracket and without that the accessory one won't work.  It does say so on the website but the lovely lady taking my order didn't point it out.  A very tiny complaint in what was exceedingly fast and pleasant service!  Big thanks to my Friendly Stitchers chums, Melissa and Jo, both of whom forced encouraged me to buy a stand too!

I can't tell you what a difference it makes not having to hold a frame.  I might even have some pictures of Around the World to show you next time if the Mordivinian stitch doesn't finish me off!

That is probably enough for now, if you are all still awake?  Oh good, you are, just in time to leave a comment!  Please?

Enjoy what ever life brings you, don't forget to smile AND cheer on your country in the Olympics!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Decision, Exchanges, Little Owl and an RR!

Hmm, so what happened, you ask?  You DID wonder where I was, didn't you?  I wish I could show lots of beautiful stitching, things finished, UFOs that are no more but really, no, I can't!

I did make a couple of decisions, well three actually, the other day.  A long evening stretched before me with no dinner to get as the WT was living the high life and had gone out to dinner with colleagues.  So, reluctantly, I hauled out the two Papillon SALs and got.......nowhere!  Kept making stupid mistakes, hating the chosen threads, altogether no fun at all.  So back in the Cupboard of Lost Causes they go. 

The other decision was to NEVER take part in a Crazy January challenge again.  While I can't see myself as a one project at a time stitcher, having that number is just....... well, crazy!  And looking on the group and seeing how the number of emails have dropped dramatically from January, I am not alone.  Except of course, maybe everyone is stitching and will put me to shame!  I keep looking at the two tubs of projects and my indecisiveness goes into overdrive and I drive away, lol!

I exaggerate slightly saying I have nothing to show you, I do have this, though sadly I have run out of Kudzu which was substituted for the stems.  The lettering is stitched in Weeks Indian Summer which is my new favourite thread.  We could wish for a summer in the UK, Indian or otherwise......

Live Each Season
Maggie Bonanomi
I was delighted and not a little relieved to come to the end of my part of Frances' (no blog) RR.  This is my first time taking part in this particular adventure. Like everyone, I had heard horror stories of whole projects disappearing into the black hole of stitching, never to be heard of again and had pretty much decided never to take part in one.  Well never say never, because we started an off shoot group in Friendly Stitchers and I was "supposed" to be just  a moderator but someone had to drop out so was persuaded to make up the group of six.  We are pretty scattered in Oregon, Washington state, Minnesota, Cheshire and Yorkshire in the UK and Finland!

Frances' Round Robin
Frances chose a simple Christmas pillow, not too big, so why was I relieved?  Well, I stitch with the upper diagonal going from top right to bottom left and most people stitch the other way.  I would start off correctly then get into a sort of Zen like state and DRAT IT, gone back to the old way!  I decided red was possibly NOT the best choice when frogging was frequent so settled on the cursive lettering in white!  It's finished and has winged its way to Oregon.

Logic not being my strong suit, Niina kindly pointed out that if you do a quarter turn and stitch *sideways* as it were, all will be well, and do you know, I think she is right, hope so, Niina, as it is your RR I am stitching on now!

Since the end of June has come and gone I can show you what I sent to Jane for the NH Summer exchange.  This is the second time I have stitched this piece and given it away and one day I will stitch it again and keep it!  I might , just possibly, have got the top bird on the left a bit turned around but who is to say?  It is a sweet pattern but sadly Caroline hasn't posted on her blog for some time.

Sweet Strawberry
Cosmic Handmade
As you know we live in a barn and as everybody knows, barns have owls in them, yes?  Um, well, yes, definitely THIS morning........!

Little Owl in the Barn!
I knew the WT would be furious if I released it without taking some photographs but Little Owl had somewhat of a an aggrieved expression as I did so.  The windows in our sitting room, four of them, only have very small top opening in two of them, so some anxious moments were spent watching LO crash against the windows with NO opening before he suddenly seemed to realise that just maybe he could escape and did so, fortunately leaving no trace of his presence on two pieces of needlework on frames!  We are still trying to work out how he got in since it has not been the weather for open windows much!

My World Traveller!
I will leave you with a picture of the WT "hermitting" in his own inimitable style......!  I have a lot more to share but time is passing so will be back soon.  Huh, I hear you say, when pigs fly and the moon turns blue!
Be good, don't forget to smile at a stranger and most importantly leave a comment, you know I love them!