Sunday, 30 September 2012

A weekend away and a confession

The HD3QEM and I have just come back from a night away at beautiful Waitangi.  
It was at this place (the green lawned area centre right) in 1840 that the now much disputed treaty between Queen Victoria and the Maori people was signed.   However we didn't visit for that reason.  
The HD3QEM stayed on the exact site of the current hotel in 1939 for an obviously memorable summer holiday with her parents, her grandparents and her uncle and aunt.  Oh, and her ball.   She is an only child and listening to her talking this weekend the ball featured much in her remembrance of this holiday.  As did the scrapping between her father and her aunt; her grandmother blocking the toilet and the subsequent warfare over who would clean it all up; her ball getting thrown into the sea and the tears that followed and then the joy when the tide returned said ball.  We replicated the memory of an icecream from the local store and I was assured that these taste better 73 years later!!
With all the beauty of the Bay of Islands at my doorstep what did I see from my bedroom window?
Only little Cottontail who is obviously a very tame and much loved lawn mower at the hotel.
And the confession?   I did no stitching.  Not a single solitary stitch.   The 'needles without eyes' were active but despite baby Tabitha Abigail having decided to arrive a few days early her knitted jacket is not yet ready.   Those knitting needles will sure be smoking this week! 

Saturday, 22 September 2012


As I need to get cracking on the "needles without eyes" project, I made a determined effort to complete Too Reticule this week.  

There sure was an enormous amount of work for something so small but I am very pleased with this and delighted to have learned a new construction type.  

Already I have dreams of a Wessex Stitchery reticule???? or maybe one in Pulled Thread or Hardanger????  
But first the needles without eyes are calling and I must get this knitting project out of the way -  preferably before the baby is born and she is due next weekend!
Today the HD3QEM and I went to Hamilton to go shopping.   Both of us have favourite dress shops in that city (an hours drive south of here) and we generally make a visit twice a year to ensure we have respectable clothing to wear.   Well today the HD3QEM excelled herself and got 3 different outfits ( enthusiastically encouraged by me, I must say) and I got myself one outfit.  Now all we need is for the temperatures to rise a  little more and we will make the transition from merino to linen!
During the week we have been enjoying an audiobook and I highly recommend this one
 The version we listened to was recorded as a radio play for the BBC and the various actors made it come alive.   Excellent reading/listening and great for a laugh.
I'm off now for my usual Saturday evening TV marathon:  tonight is Masterchef Australia Finale, Antiques Roadshow, Midsomer Murders and the machine will record Hotel Inspector for a later date.
have a great evening everyone.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

This weekend has been busy but I did manage two finishes.
First was to finish Part 3 of the HAL.   No time for ironing though so wrinkles and all....
Second was to finish this Audiobook.   I highly recommend it, as does the HDHBEM.
Too Reticule is almost done - hopefully I will completely finish that this week.  I need to as my next project must be started soon.   This project will involve needles without eyes and hopefully the infant will arrive no sooner than planned to give me time to knit a small jacket.
After that I am going to start a small project in my favourite Wessex Stitchery.   No fabric or colours decided yet but these two objects will be involved ... doesn't that sound mysterious.  
Yesterday was our Embroiderers Guild monthly meeting.   I went a little early to have a browse through the library and much to my surprise came across these books.   For some time I had been searching the internet and dithering over whether or not to buy secondhand copies.   Now I don't need to as I can use the Guild copies to practise this European technique.
I'm particularly interested in the combinations of stitches and will be trying this one
on my "guild project" which at the moment is merely tacking on linen so nothing to show.   Maybe next month there will be a photo.  At present all I can tell you is that the linen is a pale lavender Cashel Linen and a Waterlilies variegated silk called Slate (but which bears no resemblence in colour to any slate I have ever seen!)
Finally I have an announcement to make.   The HDHBEM has graduated and must now be known as the HD3QEM as half blind is no longer accurate and we have progressed to Half Deaf Three Quarter Blind and after the last birthday even more elderly!!   The inevitable advance of Macular Degeneration is the culprit and even squinting through strong spectacles + a strong magnifying glass is now insufficient on many occasions.   However the HD3QEM is still managing to knit.  We have banished dark colours and decided that plain stocking (stockinette??) is the only acceptable stitch.   So far so good.  We both remain cheerful and optimistic and thankful for OTT lites, Magnifying glasses, Audio Books and the remaining eyesight.  

And now Antiques Roadshow awaits me -  after the dishes!


Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Strawberry flowers for ever

Too Reticule has the cutest little strawberry flowers and they are made of five little bullion stitches each.   Three down and only thirteen to go! 
I am telling myself they are well worth the effort but they are not quite as enjoyable as the sampler of stitches that constitutes the back panel.
And there has been an "oh dear".   I decided to remove queen stitch strawberry off the front panel and instead put my initial and the date. 
While I am finishing the bullions I am worrying  about the construction.   This was supposed to be stitched on linen banding so I wonder if I can make it look as sharp and crisp.   I have read the instructions many times and will just have to be careful.
Officially the calendar says it is Spring here, and Little Brother has twin lambs on his mini-farm to prove it but The Weather is fighting back and today the deep southlooked like this
Southland gets a snowy coating

We don't want any of this white stuff.   Send the sun back again please!

Saturday, 1 September 2012

The First Day of Spring

Today was a beautiful fine day here to welcome Spring.
We drove through the park and the avenue was awash with daffodils.
I rather liked these Iceland Poppies too.
So the car is washed and the garden is weeded and dug over ready for planting and all the chores are done!

But today's big news is that the HDHBEM is another year older!  I had done a lot of internet research and found a place that she would enjoy for a celebratory lunch - a Sushi-Go-Round!   Delicious. 
She indulged in her favourite sushi in all its many forms.   Just look at all the plates piled up!
This restaurant also serves Chawan mushi -a delightful savoury custard - which is probably the HDHBEM's all time favourite. 
 It was great fun and we plan to go again.
Tonight our favourite programmes are on the television so we will sit and enjoy.   I hope to complete another strawberry on the Too Reticule.   So far one in Rice Stitch and one in Star Stitch.   Tonights is upright cross stitch and then one in Queen Stitch. 
I'm enjoying this so far but I think the idea for the design is better than the written instructions and charts.   Twice I have had borrow the HDHBEM's major magnifying glass to check out from the photo what I should be doing!
I have a busy Sunday and week ahead planned but hopefully there will be some progress to show later on.  Have a good weekend everyone.