Learning Again

img_0671-1It’s a good thing that I’ve heard as long as you’re stretching your knowledge, dementia may be kept at bay. I should be winning the non-dementia sweepstakes now because I’ve taught myself to quilt, knit and now I’m working on embroidery.

I am thankful that Amazon has amazing references for anything “crafty” you want to do. Several years ago I “purchased” a free embroidery stitch book, an oldie but goodie, for my Kindle. It happens to be a digital edition of an old book I found while browsing a used bookstore in Wilmington, Vermont.

We were in Vermont to look at buying a bed and breakfast. Seriously, who didn’t want to buy a bed and breakfast in Vermont at one time or another? The thing no one tells you, until you start looking, is that B & Bs do  not make money. Especially ones on which you have a huge mortgage. We had a bit of money to put down – an amount which seemed like untold riches to us. We were told we didn’t have enough money. Oops!

I did have enough money to buy that embroidery book though. I took it back to Michigan and showed it to my friend, the quilt shop owner. Well, she bought the book. Hmm. Now I wish I’d kept it. I cannot tell you, during my experience as a bookseller, how many books I wish I had never sold. I suffer from Seller’s Remorse over books and also the quilts that I’ve sold. I want them all back.

Today I’m going to actually read that book I came across way back in 1998. I’m going to see if I can do embroidery stitches that are more ambitious than an X embroidered in a wonky fashion. I’m trying to get a needle through two layers of cloth, one of which has a 130 x 130 thread count. also there are oil pastels all over the cloth. I don’t think that makes it harder to needle through, but it makes it messier.

I did some stitching yesterday and I was wearing a beige sweater I’d bought on sale for $15. Thank God it was $15 because it now has oil pastels on it. I’ve put it in the laundry and today I’ll see if I can get the oil pastels out. If not, it’s my new dyeing, oil pastel and general who cares sweater.

I’m taking a break from cooking. We had homemade Macaroni and Cheese last night which was supposed to last a couple of days. No. I think most of it is gone. Tonight we’re going to get creative. My next big cooking binge will be on Christmas Eve. I do Christmas Eve dinner and skip the cooking on Christmas Day. On Christmas Day, I rest.

Progress photos on Outline by Beata Jezek at Hedgehog Fibres (I love that yarn, I truly love it)


And progress on Penguono by Stephen West of Westknits.


It’s hard to see the shape in the last picture because I was more concerned with getting a photo of the colors. I’m now working on the right side and it is gorgeous. This needs to be finished quickly so the next time it’s -30 outside, I can wear it. I’ve been wearing this inside (luckily not when I’m messing with oil pastels).

I wore this inside yesterday, luckily not while I was embroidering on the oil pastel cloth. Telluride Topper

The only difference is mine is light purple. I’ve never worn the thing since I bought it two years ago. For one thing it has a lot of mohair in it and if you are my age, you remember those awful mohair sweaters we wore in the 60s. I have never had another one until now. I noticed it doesn’t itch as much as I thought and when coupled with the fact that it is long, huge and very warm, I can stand the little scratchiness around my neck. A turtleneck would be a good thing to wear under this, except to get a turtleneck I have to go up in the attic. I think I’m going to do that today so my neck won’t itch!

Have an amazing day!