I think Mamma will be writing before long. She has been about down with the grip but is feeling about as usual now and Lulie is taking her turn at it. I have 30 little chickens out for Easter. We had our potatoes planted yesterday.
With best Easter wishes
Loved this one! I couldn't decide, though, how it should viewed. The flowers and eggs looked odd to me if over on their side. Easter was April 11 in 1909. What did Easter look like in 1909? Here's a group photo posted on Flickr.
Spring is here. Actually it arrived a couple of days ago - according to the calendar. And it is easy enough to believe with absolutely EVERYthing budded and bloomed even if the thermometer hovers around 40+ in the daytime and dips lower at night. I do not mind an extension of cooler temperatures. I'm sure we'll have plenty enough heat later on.
Even with this cool spell I hardly need wool gloves but that's what I'm knitting and Boy Oh Boyardee have these ever been FUN so far. I have had an unexpected free day to be home and have just enjoyed the relaxation of getting this project started. I ordered a couple of colors of Quince & Co. yarn. Finch in two colors - Crow and Frost. We have had both around the cul-de-sac these past few days.
With embroidery of the blue Simpler Sampler complete, I went right on to another project. I cannot find a photo of the finished design to show you, but it is a Mary Beale design entitled "Glory of the Lord" and actually requires more than one color! Consequently it is going much slower and is a bit less entertaining that the fun blue one. Still the colors are soft and nice and I expect it will be just fine. Again I'm sticking to basic little Xs and no specialty stitches.
Already I've messed up. Sigh. The intent was to put that geometric border in first as it would serve as a great guideline for stitch placement for the rest of the floral design. I got over half done when I discovered I was using a lighter shade than intended. Well! That took the shine off. Now my plan is to do all of the interior and decide how it looks. It may be just fine. If not, I can always pull that out and restitch (although that sure doesn't sound like fun!).
Speaking of samplers and embroidery, do you read the Blue Garter blog? She has a wonderful post on such a special piece of stitching that she inherited. How I would love to see that in person as well as all the other goodies she mentions. What a treasure!
I also got a chuckle reading Juju Vail's discovery in an old sampler. Inspiration is everywhere.
And now, here are two totally UNrelated things:
#1 - an update on the tulip tree
in spite of the crazy back and forth warm and cold weather we've been having, the tulip tree has bloomed and was not severly affected by the couple of times that the temperatures neared or reached freezing. This tree is near the post office and I always root for it to make it as it is truly lovely when all bloomed out.
So have you watched all the episodes of season 3 of "Downton Abbey" yet?
I sometimes felt like the tug of war was with my emotions. A lot happened in season 3, huh?!
I have to say that the plot lines often take second place in my interest to the all the wonderful costumes and lush set props. Oh, my. It didn't hurt either that the final episode took place in Scotland and, in addition to the magnificent scenery, we got kilts and tartans and some fair isle.
While searching around looking at images of costumes, I ran across a free pattern for cross stitch and made myself a pin pillow. Considering all that took place this season, I stitched mine all in black and added a few jet beads to the tassels on the corner.
Would you like to stitch one of your own? Pattern is found here.
And if, like me, you enjoyed all those beautiful dresses, see more from the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art here.* My favorite may be this one but then I haven't had time to look at all 8,229 of them!
There are a couple of smallish knits in project bags that travel in and out of the house with me. Progress is being made but slowly.
Instead, lately, I have been more in the mood of working with a threaded needle. Before Christmas I stitched a spot sampler Christmas stocking; just basic cross stitches, nothing fancy and all done in one shade of deep red. Very satisfying.
I had in mind to do a sampler [sort of like this one], perhaps a Quaker spot sampler [lovely example here], but I am determined these days to work from patterns that are already in my library. Goodness knows I have plenty!
So while the one I selected is not exactly what I had in mind, it is proving to be just the thing for me. The actual name of the design is "Toile Sampler" by Laura Holtorf Collins and I have it in book published in 2003 by Better Homes and Gardens A Cross-Stitch Christmas Needlework Treasures.
As soon as I finish wallpapering that bit of snow under the sledding boys, I will do the alphabet and it will be done. Not done as in finished or framed, but stitching completed. Sometimes that is as done as my things get. It's the journey, not the destination.
When whippoorwills call and evening is nigh,
I hurry to my Blue Heaven.
A turn to the right, a little white light, (the Ott Light!)
how are you, Im fine and I hope you are the same. Well supose you are having some good time out hear. How does this weather suite you it fine, I supose taking in all the good times the same hear. So by by. [sic]
(signed at top left)
From a Friend of yours E.M.
I do wonder about this writer, especially her age. The card, although a tiny bit worn at a corner, was just too wonderful to pass up - the pansy, the bright colors, that ribbon. Ah, all so nice.
The holidays are over. I enjoyed a lovely time at the yearly holiday party with those talented lace makers. Doris brought the tree and quickly decorated it with all the handmade ornaments. Not a single one was from me. I thought I'd better get that remedied so I pulled out my pattern for my favorite little angel, a Hardanger piece designed by Rita Tubbs. It is included in the book Hardanger Christmas by Janice Love. Here it is with embroidery complete but not yet cut away from the surrounding linen. I wouldn't be surprised if it lingers in this state for some time! Sigh.
I had such FUN stitching her and was reminded, once again, how much I enjoy this style of embroidery and I did a few other small pieces while I was in the mood and had the chance. Naturally I then also pulled out lots of my other patterns and dreamed of doing a big piece. Perhaps later in the year I will. Fingers crossed.
Sometime last fall I learned that Barbara Foster over at Handy Hands was working to get the old English Aero shuttle remade, and made well. Their new Aerlit is now available and comes is all kinds of yummy colors, like Cherry Vanilla, Vanilla Raspberry, Mint Chocolate. So you know I had to try that out. Chocolate bobbins! I have only had time for a quick test run, but I am satisfied and look forward to using it more in the future. One can never have too many bobbins ready and waiting to be filled.
That wonderful Lizbeth thread is sometimes available in local Big Box stores, but in limited colors and usually not many solids so while I was ordering I went ahead and got a couple of balls of size 20 in a nice pineapple color in case I go wild and decide to try that Pineapple Reticule.
How will you your Christmas keep? Feasting, fasting, or asleep? Will you laugh or will you pray, Or will you forget the day? Be it kept with joy or prayer, Keep of either some to spare; Whatsoever brings the day, Do not keep but give away. Eleanor Farjeon
"Window shopping in the general sense did not interest Miss Marple, but she had a splendid time rounding up knitting patterns, new varieties of knitting wool, and suchlike delights." At Bertram's Hotel by Agatha Christie
"It amazed Joanna that Kate, who could embroider so beautifully and meticulously, who was so clever about colour and design when these concerned needlework, seemed incapable of the proper presentation of either food or herself."
Picking Up the Pieces by Mary Sheepshanks
"What a benison water is,...whether we drink it, wash in it, swim in it or simply stand and stare at it...it has the power to refresh, to soothe, and to exhilarate." Changes in Fairacre by Miss Read
"The human desire to build labor-intensive objects for no particular utilitarian need is an incredible force. It supercedes questions of quality; it merely is. Often we make for the experience of making, and not for the finished object at all...and yet, there will often be an object at the end of the process. That object is loaded for the maker, as evidence of a goal pursued and met (or not met). More amazing still, the object lives on after the maker dies, and then loved ones must grapple with the meaning of keeping it, giving it away, or selling it." Mary Smull - Philadelphia, PA in Letters to Editor, FiberArts Summer 2010
"I think knitting is one of the most pleasurable of all crafts, no machinery, no strenuous physical exercise, can be picked up any time. You can even learn to do other things at the same time, like reading or watching TV. Marvelous craft for the lazy person like me." Dorothy Reade (1908-1985)
"And snatching two knitting needles from Miss Clare's lap, he set them crosswise on the carpet and executed a lively sword dance, complete with triumphant, blood-curdling cries, much to the delight of the ladies." Storm in the Village by Miss Read
"I find it rather dull work spending an afternoon with old ladies who do nothing but knit and have but little to talk about." Henrietta McGuffey Hepburn "Piecework" Nov/Dec 2009
"Mrs. Straw was on duty, seated on the bench under the sycamore, sedulously knitting something in a revolting shade of green."
Diamond Solitaire by Peter Lovesey
"I never doubted that for my mother the doing was more important than the usefulness of what she made, whether it was needlework or wine or jam making. If the products found a useful end, so much the better, but in the meantime, her boundless nervous energy somehow found a calming outlet in exacting occupations." Nell Znamierowski on her mother, Helen. "Piecework" special Ellis Island Issue Sep/Oct 1996
"So what have I said? That we live in a precarious world; that we are threatened by man's ingenuity; that we need a less consumptive lifestyle in order to preserve the beauty and grace of our world; and that our remaining wild places, our wilderness, have to be a most important element in all our thinking and all our doing." Mardy Murie
"His lordship stepped accordingly into the sitting-room, where he found Mrs. Strachan seated by the window instructing her small daughter Myra in the art of plain knitting." The Five Red Herrings by Dorothy Sayers a Lord Peter Wimsey mystery
"Betty was something of an expert knitter and was only interested in making things that required at least four needles working in tandem. When she came to live at Cawdor she became a one-woman production line of ornately decorated kilt socks. My grandfather would have been the envy of a sock fetishist, with a never-ending supply in every shade of the spectrum." A Charmed Life: Growing Up in Macbeth's Castle by Liza Campbell
"She was knitting a pair of woollen socks in bright red which Dalgliesh could only hope were not intended for him. " Unnatural Causes by P.D. James
"I like a string turning into something, but I like string all by itself. I like a ball of yarn even if nothing gets made of it." Knitting in America by Deborah Newton
"The pattern was intricate, involving sixteen rows to each feather-and-shell design. Executed in pale pink three-ply wool it had taken Miss Fogarty many hours of fiddling work - and some unpicking - to complete the garment..." "The Sad Affair of the Bedjacket" in Battles at Thrush Green by Miss Read