Stitchy Fingers

November already! I went into Dublin yesterday to get some shopping done before the Christmas rush really gets going and bought some beautiful fabrics. This, at a time when I was determined to do some scrapbusting. The owls (the two outer ones) are newbies and made from scraps. Good girl.

These little houses are also made up from scraps – they’re ready to be stitched as an applique decoration for some needle cases I’m making… Very good. I’m doing well.

And this super little pincushion: here’s the pattern link.

Will make a few more of these for the Christmas Fair… Isn’t it sweet? And practical. And another good use of fabric bits and pieces. My halo is getting tight at this point…

And another lavender sachet made from scraps topped with two decorative buttons. Halo  positively trying to constrict the top off my head like decapitating a boiled egg. Much too holy…

Then good intentions flew out of the window.  I found this owl fabric… it had to be mine. I came, I coveted, I captured and have already made a crochet hook roll from it. I was up at 6.00 and just had to make one – all for me! There’s still plenty left and as I have ordered a beautiful  set of coloured aluminium hooks to give as a Christmas present will make a case especially for her from it.  The crochet rolls I made previously are going  towards my Craft Fair stash.


Notice the ribbon? It’s double-sided. I stitched the black spotty grosgrain onto the East of India chequered heart ribbon.

Was it painstaking and difficult? No, not really. I’ve been using my feet – quarter inch foot and the blind hemming foot – to help get good close stitching lately. These little darlings make precision stitching close to edges much easier than a standard foot. The stitching along the ribbon edges looks very tidy and professional.

Best foot foward! Look at them – little stars. And see the fabric? Another impulse buy but so Wow. Gorgeous red apples.

And this Beatrix Potter material – beautiful. I was listening to The Unbelievable Truth on Radio 4 and it came out that Beatrix Potter actually chloroformed and killed several animals for dissection and stuffing to provide her with models for her paintings. If you want to know more there’s a piece here about her: Beatrix Potter. Not quite the image I held of her  – Victorian illustrator to sadistic vivisectionist… I am pulling your leg and exaggerating! She was, apparently, a very accomplished naturalist and highly respected by the scientific establishment… just psychopathically able to kill her own pet rabbit for artistic purposes. Joking again. Probably not even slightly psychopathic. Good job she didn’t paint children though.

When I was expecting my youngest I made a cross-stitch alphabet tableau, each letter decorated with a Beatrix Potter character. Lots of shading. It took me the full 40 weeks to complete. Looked great and still does. I sewed a pretty backing fabric onto it and have kept it as something to pass on, a sort of heirloom, if you like. But, I’ve never touched cross-stitch since. And my son is a very big boy now. It became such a chore; so laborious and painstaking that it killed all pleasure in cross-stitch for me. I gave away all the embroidery floss – tons of it – that I had accumulated – to a friend who enjoys it like I once did. In moderation not a bloody mission.

Anyway, the Beatrix Potter material is quite lovely and the illustrations exquisitely sweet.

And these birdies! Oh Wow. They are so funky  – love them. So it was a day of unbridled fabric purchase frenzy. A pash for stash. I haven’t shown you the trimmings… it was like I’d been chasing rainbows and finally caught them.  All the fabrics are 100% cotton so not cheap but they will all be used (when is a different matter though).

But what of crochet? I’m still smitten. I have a crocheted bag on the go. It’s deadly dull to do – row after row of double crochet. Am looking forward to completing it then – yes, oh, yes – decorating it with lots of colourful crochet flowers and leaves. The bag is basically grey with a dark, flat blue edge round the handles so is fairly nondescript and dare I say, dull. But that was the intention – it’s a great backdrop for the explosion of flowers to come!

I have also learned that I cannot watch The Blacklist and crochet… I end up frogging every few rows because I can’t concentrate. I didn’t know what frogging was until recently. Apparently, knitters unravel and that’s called Tinking (knit backwards), Sewists Rip It when they undo and Crocheters Ribit, ribit like a frog. Or so I am told. Crochet was displaced for a little while yesterday as the new fabric had to be scrutinised, fingered and smelled (like smelling the inside of a new book) and for a little bit of Goggle Box watching. I am tremendously happy, though,  and feel like the dog’s bollocks (or should that be Frog’s Bollocks?).  Goggle Box fave at the moment is The Blacklist. James Spader is, as usual, brilliant in role. Love him and William Shatner in Boston Legal, another great show. Also, happy, happy, happy – we’re getting Sky installed this week. The service we’ve got at the moment is pants and just maybe there’ll be something worth watching for a change.

Still chasing the existing service provider for an acknowledgement that we’ve cancelled them. E-mail after e-mail. No response. We’re well over the initial 1 year contract and expect to pay a month’s overlap with Sky but no more. They’ve already had over a week to get back to us so hope they don’t try rolling the notice period over into two months because they won’t get it.

BTW, did you know that the ‘@’ sign we use in our e-mail addresses is sometimes called ‘A Cat’s Meow’ or a ‘Rollmop herring’ or even sometimes a ‘Cornflake’? Very cute. I’ve also adopted another lovely, but this time, inadvertent or unintentional word for a Needle. I was watching a tutorial on You Tube and had the auto-translate facility on. The translation came up with ‘Take your Niddle and Thread’. Niddle! Brilliant word and quite charming.

Now off to make soup. Chicken and winter vegetable with some dumplings or mumpsy duffins as we call them. Simple one-pot-stop. Chuck all the following in the pressure cooker: stock, chicken, veggies (carrots, swede, leeks, onions), pearl barley, chick peas with  mumpsy duffins. Bring to pressure and cook for about 15 minutes. Bring down the pressure, take the lid off and chuck in a nestie of Vermicelli. It’s so fine it cooks through in about 5 minutes with the heat of the soup. Add a platter of  granary bread wedgies to dunk and it’s a very filling, won’t-eat-for-a-week, kind of meal. But so tasty.

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