Do you give and receive Christmas presents? When I grew up in the Netherlands, presents came courtesy of St Nicholas on the evening of 5th December, so Christmas was a gift-free zone. That changed, predictably, when I married into an English family! True, there has for some years now been a “non-present pact” with my husband’s siblings (apart from small gifts of fancy nibbles or special chocolates, or in my case this year, home-made coffee liqueur), but we do still exchange presents intergenerationally (which is a difficult way of saying “with parents and children”…). Inspired by only the slightest of hints, my two lovely stepsons gave me the RSN Goldwork book, so that I can refresh my memory about the techniques that were taught at the day class I did. They also intended to give me some Embroidery Den vouchers but as the card with the goldwork book explained, they hadn’t realised they were proper paper vouchers which had to come all the way from Australia . So much the better – I’ll have another present to brighten some cold, grey January day!
In spite of Christmas and all that comes with it I managed to do some work on Orpheus, particularly the last of the pulled stitches. They wouldn’t fit into the hoop I used for the other eyelets, so I had to stitch them with the fabric on the roller frame. Not ideal because the tension isn’t as tight as I’d like it to be for pulled work. (Digression: I’ve heard very good things of the Needle Needs Millenium frame which apparently keeps the fabric taut as a drum throughout, but it is expensive, takes months to order, and really needs its own stand which adds to the cost. What I would really like is to be able to try one for a few days before deciding!) Well, they’re done now – four spot eyelets, and yes they did distort the fabric rather, but fortunately after wetting and ironing it looks a lot better. The one below, by the way, comes from the coloured version of Lviv; just imagine them in orange-on-Pumpkin-Patch-marbled-orange and you’ll know what they look like in Orpheus.