Rubber ducks, hybrids and GBBO

Last Saturday was the Aunt-of-Character’s birthday party, and a very good party it was too! Not only did we manage to catch up with lots of relatives, but it must be the only party I have ever been to where the 80-year-old birthday girl enthusiastically and expertly played her new bongos during a jazz jam session.

The birthday girl

As the festivities didn’t start until 4pm, my husband realised that he could, after all, participate in the Light Car & Edwardian Section Driving Test & Gymkhana at Prescott. For those of you to whom this is complete gibberish, it involves a whole host of car enthusiasts doing precision and timed driving in cars dating from the first three decades of the 20th century. I would have to come, of course, as it was en route to the party, but my husband told me it was actually rather dull to watch, so I could bring some stitching and sit in the warm club house with views of the hills and a nice cup of tea while he was driving around. That sounded good to me, so I put together a project folder with a small and not too challenging design, and off we went.

As he signed on the organiser handed me a form and a pen and said, “and of course your passenger needs to sign on too!” Passenger? What, me? Yes, apparently. It wasn’t particularly clear from the entry form, but several of the tests involved a passenger – and when I say “involved”, I mean it. Over the next 5 hours I picked up eight rubber ducks from a radiator, depositing three of them inside rubber tyres; shouted instructions to my husband so that the passenger-side wheels drove along a plank, while he tried not to squash some brave cuddly toys; and attempted to guide him around a slalom course of tyre stacks while he was driving with a bucket on his head. A bucket with a smiley face painted on it. I am proud to say that in spite of my complete lack of preparation, we managed to finish 4th in our class of 30.

I even managed to do some stitching in between tests! In my impromptu project folder was yet another Round Dozen variation – they are useful, as they make lovely cards, and very suitable as a travelling project because they use only white and one colour. In fact, I’ve found them so useful over the past few years, that I have now created two “pick & mix” Round Dozen charts; one uses the chain stitch diamond, the other uses the double cable stitch diamond, several filling stitches and bars are incorporated and in each of them all four corners (both satin stitch motif and border) are charted differently, so that from those two hybrid charts I can create dozens of different version. You do have to remember which bit of the chart you picked to begin with, but with a bit of concentration that’s not a problem.

Round Dozen hybrid 1 Round Dozen hybrid 2

Without a bit of concentration, however… The project that I started during the driving tests was finished last Tuesday evening. That’s right, Great British Bake-Off night! And as I groaned at an underbaked tea loaf or gasped at a particularly spectacular show-stopper display of sweet buns, I miscounted *hangs head in shame*. I didn’t actually follow my hybrid chart and stitch different corners – nothing quite that bad – but once again I have not succeeded in producing a flawless piece. Oh well. “One thread out” on 25ct means that a bit of the design is 1/25th of an inch out of place. I decided I can live with that. Can you spot what went wrong?

Can you spot the error?

4 comments on “Rubber ducks, hybrids and GBBO

  1. What a great lady your Aunt is – what’s her secret – apart from obviously enjoying life to the full ?

    The driving sounded great fun, glad you missed the cuddly toys.

    Haven’t even tried to “spot the mistake” on your stitching – are these extras to the Round Dozen. I have optimistically put these on my Stashmas wishlist on the forum.

  2. I think “enjoying life to the full” probably _is_ her secret 🙂

    The Round Dozen hybrids are purely for my own use, I’m afraid, but if you have the charts you can easily put together a “combined” chart yourself — all the bits in my two hybrid charts come from the original Round Dozen apart from the picots, I think

  3. I have been meaning to get the round dozen set, in part because of the vast amount of variations one could do with it. perhaps I will get it when I catch up with/finish the SotW.
    anyway, you said spot the mistake and Im sorry but I think I did. bottom right of the border stitches, am I correct? if not than no, I cant find it. if i am right, it still doesnt matter as I would have never found it if you didnt say there was a mistake.

  4. Yes, well-spotted :-)! The lowest sheaf stitch on the right is one hole too far down — this then pushed the whole bottom border one hole down, and then I had to compensate in the bottom half of the left-hand border.

    I think it’s often the case with stitchers (and perhaps with other people creating things, painters, calligraphers, etc) that we feel an almost irrepressible urge to point out to people that there are mistakes in our work; and as you say often no-one would have noticed if we hadn’t said anything! Why do we do it?

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