Welcome to tales of my stitching life, home, family and friends.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Knitting Socks

It’s mid winter here in New Zealand, in fact we have just passed the shortest day of the year.  So it seems fitting that I have been knitting warm wooly socks lately.  I knit my socks on two needles, finished with a seam up on side.  Here they are showing those tricky heels all done, ready to start on the foot.


This thick wool knits up very quickly, and it wasn’t too long until they were finally completed and the seams stitched up.


To keep my toes cozy for winter

See those cream accents?  I used up the last remaining wool left over from when I knitted my wool cardigan, finally completed in 2019.  There's a bit of a story about this cream 12ply wool.  I purchased it many years ago when my two grand-daughters were young, with the aim to make them a cable jumper each.  That didn’t happen, so I decided to knit it up for myself.  This pattern is knitted in one piece for the fronts and back, not something I had done before.  All the knitting was finished, the sleeves, collar and front bands too, and then it got put away again – the story of my life!   It finally got completed at long last, and is so lovely and cozy to wear on the cold winter days.


I’ve started another pair of warm wool socks again, this time in blue. As well as a pair of “secret socks” for my grand daughter using fine 4ply wool – she had asked me for a pair so I couldn’t refuse, could I?  The fine wool socks take me so long to knit, and are good to take on long car journeys as mindless knitting, I find.


A new pair of socks on the go

Sadly I’ve found that after my spinal surgery, sitting at the sewing machine (even for short periods of time) causes me back pain, probably because I tend to lean forward over the machine.  So I’m having a break from the machine for a while – so frustrating as there is such a lot I want to get on with.  But better to be safe than sorry, and I can spend more time on my knitting and hand stitching while sitting in my comfy chair.

Monday, June 21, 2021

Winter Time

It’s winter here now in my part of paradise.  The temperatures have dropped, the rain has been falling, and its been rather cold and miserable here lately.  Much worse though in other areas of New Zealand, there has been flooding, and even a tornado causing all sorts of damage!


A rather wet and cold day

Its time for a seasonal change with my wall hangings.  Down came my Autumn stitchery, replaced by my Welcome Winter hanging.  The sewing room (spare bedroom) had a change too.  My Spools wall-hanging was replaced by Winter Quilt Festival.  As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, we don't get snow on the ground where I live, although snow does cover the tops of the mountain ranges behind our home.



Snowy winter wall-


Once the colder weather kicks in, I usually start making soup for lunch.  This is my latest, leek and potato soup, made in the microwave.  So warm and filling!


Leek and potato soup for lunch

Hope you are all keeping warm, or cool, depending on where in the world you live.  Take care, and enjoy your stitching.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Cobblestone blocks in Purple

I had fun rummaging through my big bag of batiks, and found a nice selection of purples in various hues.  Just right to make my purple RSC Cobblestone blocks this week.


Purple batiks

Mind you, in an effort to protect my back after spinal surgery, it took me all week to construct these blocks.  One day I stood while I cut the pieces out, the next I pinned them all together.  Can’t help myself, I’m a great pinner!  Stitching them together happened the next day, followed by trimming and pressing.  Slow but steady does it, at the moment.


My purple Cobblestone blocks

I’m pleased with how they all look together, and will have to lay them out with the other colours I’ve made previously.  Now, what’s next?  I’m sure there are some purple boats I need to make.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Purple for RSC

Purple is the chosen colour this month for all of those who like to stitch along with Angela in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  I machine appliqued three little purple birds – just about all I could manage sitting at the sewing machine as my back was feeling  little sore by the time I had completed them.  It was much easier on my back to finish the birdies off, sitting in my Lazy Boy chair while I hand stitched their little stick thin legs on.  So here they are, with their little red friends.  I’d stitched the red ones last month but hadn't blogged about them.


Purple and red birds

Gemma has decided to try my loan walker out for size, and jumped up on the seat.  Yes, it fits her quite well, she decided.  Mind you, she is not to keen when it trundles towards her while she is stretched out on the carpet.


It’s just about my size, she thinks

We went down to the Health Centre today for our first Covid jab, joining a steady stream of over 65s.  No trouble at all, it was done very efficiently, and we hardly felt a thing.  Like all vaccinations, we had to sit and wait a while to make sure there were no side effects.  Our second dose will be in three weeks time.


Sunday, June 6, 2021

Give Thanks

I don't have any slow stitching to show at the moment so thought I’d share my Give Thanks cushion which I stitched a coupe of years ago.The words sum up what I've been feeling lately after my spinal surgery.


In Every Thing Give Thanks

I’m thankful that my spinal condition was diagnosed by MRI, the only way to find it, I was told.  If it hadn't been found I would have ended up in a wheelchair.

I’m thankful that here in New Zealand hospital care is free, and I’m thankful for all the wonderful medical care I received.

I’m thankful for all the phone calls, cards, messages, flowers, chocolates, visits,  and home baking I received, must admit I was rather overwhelmed by all the support coming my way.

I’m thankful to Robin and my family for being there with their love and support.

And I’m thankful to all the messages from you, blog readers from near and far, mostly strangers, although I have had the pleasure of meeting some of you over the years.  Bless you all.

Recovery will take a while, I’m told, but I’m sure I’ll get stronger and more mobile soon. 

Friday, June 4, 2021

Visitors and the Changi Quilt

Three friends came to visit the other day for afternoon tea, which gave me the chance to wear my recently completed blue jumper.  I was really spoilt as they had brought along a pretty pot plant and some home baking too.


There was a pretty little card with the pot plant.  “We chose that one because we know you like blue”, I was informed, “and it’s about quilting too”.  And so it was, it showed one of the hand embroidered blocks from the famous Changi quilts.  I’ve seen this quilt in London, I told them.  The Changi quilts were created by women interned by the Japanese in Changi Prison. The quilts were the idea of Mrs Ethel Mulvany. Supposedly made for the wounded in Changi hospitals, the quilts were actually meant to relieve boredom, to boost morale, and to pass information to other camps.


During our trip to England in 2008 we had the thrill of viewing this quilt held in the Red Cross Building in London.  Researching  before we left home, I discovered that a private viewing was available by appointment.  How wonderful it was to see this lovely work f art, done in such trying times, with the woman using whatever threads and fabrics they could find.  Each of the blocks were different, signed and often with a message too.

We had a lovely afternoon with our friends, plenty of chatter going on, and the sweet little gift card certainly brought back wonderful memories.