Thursday, 23 January 2014

evening light

Work is just beginning to slow down a little and I am managing to get back to my "normal" hours. I'm also trying (for the umpteenth time) to walk down to the seaside at least every other day as the ceaseless rain is also beginning to slow and there is space in the day for walking. This view is my reward - well worth the effort.

When we moved here, just over three years ago, I couldn't walk down and back (only two miles) without stopping on the way up at least once to ease the pain in my legs and back, and catch my breath. Now I am glad to say there is no need to stop (sometimes) and the hurting is easing. This is not said to evoke sympathy - I've lived with chronic pain for most of my adult life, one way or another, and have no need (or desire) for sympathy - but it is good to know that even my poorly disciplined efforts to improve my fitness are bearing some fruit!

Monday, 13 January 2014

Making holes

Happy New Year to those of you who pop by from time to time. I'm sorry for my long absences, but work has been dominating my life for the last several months; so much so that I almost feel that I've lost myself. This week I'm trying to get back to some semblance of normality. 

I missed the last City and Guild tutorial of 2013, but managed to get to Saturday's and we were given a lesson in white work and cutwork. I'd done the latter before, with tuition from my beloved Ganna, but have never done white work. This little sample is really cheating, I've used a soft green thread rather than the traditional white, but it's coming along quite nicely I think. I designed the pattern on tracing paper, as I was intending to fold and trace from a section, but ended up doing the whole design so it's a little squonk. Then I used delicate dotted lines with a fine line pen to trace onto the fabric as it is slightly sheer. Now I'll try to complete it with some shapes done as holes and others with satin stitch. 

One of the things Barbara is constantly reminding us is to make sure to separate the strands of embroidery floss and recombine them, so that they lie flat as you stitch (and to constantly untwist the kinks). I'd never been told that before, but am really impressed with the difference it makes to the satin stitch - it catches the light so much better as the strands are smooth and lie in harmony with each other. The fabric is salvaged from Aunt Cecil's store as she isn't really able to concentrate enough to stitch any more, which is very sad for her.

Hope you like it so far.