Saturday, 15 February 2014

UFO #11 Finished! - Introducing the 8th Century floor tile embroidery

At long last this project is complete! I have to admit that I was rather sick and tired of doing it - the repeat pattern was simple enough but over time it got incredibly boring. I'm pretty sure that without the daily updates and all the encouragement I got from all of you it would still be a UFO.

This is made using a pattern from "Mosaic Masterpieces in Needlework and Handicraft based on motifs from The Holy Land" by Ann Roth (from a translated copy in Dutch printed in 1975) that I picked up in a wonderful dusty/musty/old book smell filled old book shop a long time ago. I'm not really sure when I started this BUT I know I did when I was married and mostly likely early on in the marriage as that was when I was doing embroidery, so probably around 1996 or 1997. The pattern was inspired by the tile floors that were excavated in Beit-sje'an in the convent of Mary: church of Sja Wee Zion
 This is what it looked like in the beginning of January 2013 - it's a short side and a small piece of the long side by late September when I last updated the project It looked like this:
I had only filled in a couple of loops after that before it was set aside again for me to work on other things. Everything else was completed after I picked it up again on the 1st of February.

I'm not yet certain what I'm going to turn it into - I'm torn between just framing it, turning it into a pillow cover and making it into a file cover.

The all important stats:
Stitches: 238 x 190
Size: 11 7/8" x 9 3/8"
Fabric: 20ct Aida
Colours: 10
Number of stitches: 22,364

Friday, 14 February 2014

UFO #11: Darkest green complete!

The trip to the dentist with youngest proved interesting - his filling was fixed and then the dentist noticed that one of the 3 baby teeth that is "locked" in place so it can't fall out was loose so he decided to "help" it come out by extracting it as that's the only way these 3 teeth can get removed. While he was having a closer look he also noticed that the second of the 2 was causing an infection so that one was also removed - the good thing about baby teeth is that it barely hurts and kids bounce back fast. Youngest wanted to go back to school before the 20 minutes with the gauze in the mouth time was up - he couldn't wait to show off his weird shaped tooth!

Of course I'd run out of painkillers last night so I also had to go to the shops again and that did me in completely. For most people yesterday and today would be all in a day's work and they would probably do more, for me it's pushed me over the edge of what I can do in a day and it's going to take me tomorrow and probably a chunk of Saturday too to recover.

However I did manage to complete all of the green stitches and a few of the light gold too. Hopefully while I rest up I can get more stitching done tomorrow.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

UFO #11: The centre diamonds are closer to completion

As predicted I didn't get all that much done today - between appointments, going to town for more thread + a little box to put my ECS threads in, a trip to the post office and grocery shopping I was pretty knackered afterwards. Fortunately it's oldest's turn to cook today so I didn't have to worry about that as well. Tomorrow am will start with a call to the dentist because youngest's filling has fallen out :(

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

UFO #11: blue lines complete!

Today I completed the blue lines. Then I marked a + in the centres of the lattice work so I'd know where to do the central square thingy’s. There are 36 to do and so far I've done the dark green for 11 and a bit of them. I will continue with the dark green tomorrow and once that colour is completely finished I'll do the blues, lighter greens and light gold (in no particular order - just whatever strikes my fancy at the time).

I've got an early start tomorrow and a couple of appointments, so I probably won't manage as much as I'd like.

UFO #11: Blue advances even more

Another day and another update shows you that I have managed to do all but the longest 3 lines of blue. I spent the evening catching up on Sleepy Hollow and may have been so riveted once or twice that stitching was forgotten. Despite that I feel that quite a bit of progress was achieved and I have just 12 sections of 5 arrows to do (+ a few end bits but we won't speak about them) before I can do the centre bits and work towards completion.

I am so glad that I asked my oldest son to also buy more of the blue when he was getting me the green I needed as I have run out of blue and now I don't need to race to the shops in the morning to get more blue.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Roast parsnip and carrot mash

There are always those times when you have leftover roast veg - and it's such a waste to throw away but often you might not know what to do with them. I came up with the following to use up the yummy leftover roast carrots and parsnips.

  • Enough potatoes to feed everyone - scrubbed clean and cut to the same size (that's right - not peeled!)
  • All of your left over roast veggies
  • About a tablespoon of fat from the roasting tin
  • Milk or egg to mix
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
 How to make it:
  1. Put your potatoes in a pan, cover with water and put on a high heat till it boils.
  2. Simmer till cooked (about 20 mins)
  3. Meanwhile cut the cold roast veg into chunks of about 1 - 2 inches / 2,5 - 5 cm
  4. After the potatoes have been simmering for about 10 mins melt the roasting tin fat in a frying pan.
  5. Add the roast veg and gently fry them to warm them all the way through.
  6. When the potatoes are cooked you can easily stab them with a fork and they will feel soft.
  7. Drain the potatoes and put them back in the pan they came from.
  8. Pour the entire contents of the frying pan into the pan with the potatoes.
  9. Mash it all together.
  10. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Add milk or alternatively if the potatoes are still very, very hot an egg and whisk quickly to mix to a nice mash consistency.

UFO #11: The end of the green lines

For those of you wondering what happened to the numbering all I can say is that today while looking for Mike's Mushrooms last post I discovered that I'd got the numbering mixed up and was saying it was UFO #12 instead of UFO #11 - I'll be changing the numbering on the other posts too so as to reduce confusion (hopefully)

Any way... today's progress has seen me to the end of the green lines - and tomorrow will see the start of the second half of the blue - only time will tell how far I'll get.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

TW: Peacock Tapestry

As with the ECS I wanted to have a look and see what the fabric would look like with the colours needed for the PT to make sure that all the colours would be properly visible and look nice and I'm glad to say they do so I appear to have made a good choice when I bought that fabric 2 weeks ago before even deciding to do this. I won't be starting this one yet, I need to properly collect the threads I need first as quite a few of the colours you can see are already being used in other projects and I don't yet have the speciality threads I need either, however by the time I have completed the tile floor, ECS and Mike's Mushrooms I most definitively will. I have already decided that the 504 I have, which was discontinued by DMC, will be saved for this project so I have set it aside, along with some other skeins I had in my stash box, so a start has been made with collecting these threads. I have 8 colours of 73 and need 95 skeins in total + the Kreinick threads. I suddenly realise why the kits were always so expensive lol.

UFO #11: A little more green...

I didn't get so much done today what with sleeping late, going shopping and playing around with threads for both the ECS and PT - the post with the ECS colours can be seen here. The PT colours will be re-photographed tomorrow as either the images I had made were of all of the colours and out of focus/blurred or they didn't show all the colours. It's a shame I can't re-use time as then this project would already be finished! For now I bid you all goodnight and will let you see what my progress is tomorrow.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

TW: English Cottage Sampler

My dear friend Carla  has bravely started doing Teresa Wentzler's English Cottage Sampler and after a long search, a plea for help and some more searching she managed to get her hands on what appears to be the last piece of  Dublin Linen "Driftwood" that is the correct size. When I mentioned that I may be doing this embroidery myself too she ran off and started searching for some for me, so I too could do the embroidery on the fabric that Teresa intended. Unfortunately none could be found however…

A couple of weekends ago I got this mystery Zweigart fabric - it's 25ct and burn tests showed that it's not got any synthetic material in it - which I was planning on using for the embroidery. To show what the threads look like on the fabric I dug in my stash, got them all out and laid them on the fabric on my desk (over the stuff I have on it, hence the lumps and bumps in the image lol).
This is a close-up of the fabric using the macro setting on my camera - please ignore the blurry edges - it always does that. As you can see it's a nice neutral colour that's not white and it has some interesting speckles of brown in it here and there.

While I was digging out the threads I wondered how people coped with the colour changes that happened after many of Teresa's patterns had been created. The 504 for example which has been "replaced" with the 3813. I happen to have both in my stash so I compared the two and the 3813 is a slightly different shade to the 504 - different enough that I wonder why DMC chose to remove the 504 as they have so many other colours that are even closer in colour than these two are.