Tuesday, 22 June 2010

This is a stitching blog, honest!

Hmm, it's a while since I shared any stitching photos. This month I've been focussing on the lace garter - 12 inches long and growing. I am enjoying making it as it's not very complicated. A few people commented on the lace in this post... Angela - it's really not as complicated as it looks, there are 2 basic stitches - cloth stitch and half stitch, which both use just 4 bobbins (2 pairs). It's the sequence of which pairs to use and if it's a half or cloth stitch that's a little tricky, but in torchon lace (the type I'm making the garter in) there are a few combinations that we use again and again - cloth stitch trails, half stitch trails, spiders, rosegound and honeycomb. To answer Theresa's question - yes it is honeycomb down the centre, but there are some 6-legged spiders also, which look like slightly larger honeycomb in this pattern. I've not posted another photo of the lace, as it looks essentially the same, just longer!

I did start A New Beginning (Abbey Lane Designs):

I'm stitching this on some platinum Belfast linen, in the required Weeks. I'm really enjoying it so far, even is I did have to frog the yellow triange on the right, which I'd put in the wrong place first time round.

This week I picked up Fantasy Triptych. I think I was inspired by seeing some TWs in progress on Dani's and Michelle's blogs. I'm really pleased with my progress (last photo - taken in March - is here).

When I compared it with the last photo I was amazed how much of the road I've stitched in a week!

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Two for Tea

Last weekend I went to a good old-fashioned tea party. Not just any tea party, but one jointly hosted by my school friend Michaela - I've known her since we were 11! Michaela lives in a lovely little village in Lincolnshire, about 1 hour drive from my parents (it takes her 45 mins, but we have to allow an extra 15 or so, because we tend to get lost - we actually got there in less than an hour this time, which was a minor miracle!). It's worth noting that I live about 1 1/2 hours drive from my parents... but I do consider a 2 1/2 hour drive well within the bounds of acceptable if there is cake on offer...

Anyway, Michaela and some friends organised a tea party and food fair with a vintage feel at Timberland church hall:

We'd not told Michaela we were coming - so Eddy, Leanne (another school friend - we were in the same class at age 5, but I don't really remember her until a couple of years later...) and I arrived at the hall, queued to get in (always a good sign) and waited patiently for Michaela to stop serving a little old lady and spot us. Amazingly when said little old lady dropped her walking stick on my foot, and I picked it up for her, Michaela didn't spot us AT ALL, even though she was chatting to the little old lady the whole time... that's what I call excellent customer service. Eventually the little old lady bought some of Michaela's wares, and moved on. Michaela was a little surprised to see us!!! She was pretty busy though, selling homemade bread, cakes and fudge, so we said a quick hello then went to the back of the hall for afternoon tea:

We were given a table next to Michaela's husband, Stuart, and their two boys, so we had a lovely chat with them. Until the afternoon tea arrived, which stole our attention for a little while:

Eddy and Leanne

We were served sandwiches (finger sized, smoked salmon, egg, cucumber and ham - one of each per person). I lucked out as Eddy's veggie and Leanne doesn't like salmon!! There were also 2 small cakes, a slice of fruit cake and the most enormous scone with jam and cream EACH. It was scrummy (and looked a picture):

After a lovely chat, with wonderful cake, we had a good look at the stalls, and bought 4 plants for the garden, some home grown asparagus and potatoes, and (of course) a bag of Stuart's fudge... Michaela says it has a growing reputation in Lincolnshire - I pointed out it has a growing reputation in Yorkshire too!!!

We had another chat with Michaela, who by this time had sold most of her bread:


She invited us to stay for a BBQ, which was lovely... her garden is a proper cottage garden (although now is devoid of chickens - see her blog to read about the 'girls').

It was a wonderful afternoon out, and a great opportunity to catch up with some old friends. And best of all, I get to see them again next weekend - Anne (who lives in another Lincolnshire village near Michaela) is hosting a barn dance on Friday night... I've not been to a barn dance since I was about 10. I think it might be Eddy's first! Leanne and Michaela are going and Julie is also joining us... so that's 5 of the 6 of us... On Saturday/Sunday we are celebrating at Krista's Hen do - and if all goes without a hiccup, it will be the first time all 6 of us have got together since Anne got married...about 6 years ago? Which will be wonderful!!

Oh, and I might add that despite the afternoon tea/BBQ combo last Saturday I exercised A LOT, ate carefully every other day and LOST 1.5 lbs that week :)

Tuesday, 15 June 2010


One of the jokes we made frequently on holiday was how many photographs we'd taken of 'stripy rocks'. And rocks in general. I think it's the geologist in Eddy!! Our next destination on the Great American Road Trip was no exception... Monument Valley.

Thanks to a wonderful tip-off from a work colleague, we stayed at Goulding's Lodge. Goulding's was one of the first trading posts in the area, and was used as a set in 'She Wore a Yellow Ribbon'. But for us it was the stunning view from our room that made it special.

Goulding's Lodge
We stayed in the motel on the bottom right of this photo - our room was the ground floor one that is on the left of the building. It had stunning views of Monument Valley:

The sun was beginning to set when we arrived...

So we waited a while and watched the sun set before getting dinner!

The next day we paid for a 3-hour tour of Monument Valley. It was well worth the money. Our tour guide had a wicked sense of humour - we realised he was making up names for some of the rock formations when he said "see that rock over there - it looks like Snoopy lying down". Snoopy was joined by "W V, stands for Wonderful View":

"Wonderful View"

...and "submarine rising out of the ocean". Sadly I failed to snap Snoopy or the sub, but the rock formations I did get a shot of were stunning:

A rare photo of Ed and I looking fairly normal (we don't look good in photos, as a rule)

We LOVED the petroglyphs (typical archaeologists!!)

After our tour we had a lovely slice of cake to keep us going, and headed off to Cortez, our next overnight destination. We passed Mexican Hat, and Ed got this shot as we drove past:

Mexican Hat

The lovely stripy rocks in the background are typical of the rock formations we passed between the Grand Canyon and Cortez - but I won't share any more photos of rocks with you - at least not today!!!

Thursday, 3 June 2010

June goals

With that long holiday in America and then work getting in the way, I've not set any goals since March... so, have I acheived my March goals? Let's have a quick recap:

In March I'd like to:
1) finish the ornie I started - yes (I think I meant the swwetheart tree one)
2) stitch another ornie - no, don't think so
3) work on FT - a little bit
4) pick up another WIP - yes, I've worked on Mini Greek Island and Wild Thyme Fairy, at least
5) MAKE SOME LACE (I mean it this time!!) - yes - I've done a lace course where I started a new Bedfordshire piece, I've worked on the Beds a little more since, and I started the garter.

In June I'd like to:

1) Start A New Beginning (Abbey Lane Designs) - I'm cheting here, I started it last night - perhaps stitch 2 motifs?
2) Complete 15 inches of lace (I have a deadline after all)
3) Stitch an ornament
4) Work on a WIP
5) Start one of the Blackbird Design that I bought on holiday

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Happy Dance!!

I finished this at the weekend:

Mini Greek Island, (c) Michael Powell Designs

I wasn't sure if I'd be happy stitching the kit, especially as it is on aida, but as there were no partial stitches it was great - quite a quick stitch and very cheerful and fun. I may have to buy some more MPs...

One of my very good school friends is getting married in August, in the Seychelles. I've known Krista since we were 5, so of course I wanted to make her an extra special wedding gift. She's not really a cross stitch girl, so she went for the lace garter (I tend to ask people what they'd prefer). Eeeek. So I need to make about 29 inches of lace by early August. This is what I've done so far (there is a little more under the pins, and at the top - but not much more!):

I'm working this in pipers silks, which are lovely to work with. Sadly I'm running out of bobbins with 3 lace projects on the go... this one took 44 pairs.