And that's not all meant as a pun. (Which bit is, you'd best decide for yourself!)
I've had this old needlecase for a few years. I actually made it myself when I was in primary school class 3 at the tender age of around 7, so 1978/9. I even remember being disappointed when I went wrong on the dark green/peach line, but it was rather a complex stitch for a tiny tot to do, no? Well, my mum used it for years and then washed it out and gave it to me when I made her a new one back in about 2005/6.
You can see how untidy it'd got inside as well. Bits of thread hanging around, flannel insert all rusted, needles all over the place in not much order, except that most of the top right section was blunts - tapestry needles.
Whilst we were in Taiwan I worked a nice new one in a hardanger design. I'd done an identical one in pink (which, OK, means it wasn't really identical.....) and gave it to my mother-in-law, and that after promising myself I was going to work that needlecase and NOT give it away. I felt sorry for her as she'd had a rough time of it just previously, so I thought I'd give her the choice of colour and have the other one myself. 5 years later and it's been made up and waiting for needles for about the past 18 months. So, last night I finally got around to populating it.
On the top left hand side we have tapestry needles in sizes 20, 22, 24, 26 and tiny 28s. Under that come crewel/embroidery needles in sizes 10, 9, 7 (which is my preferred size - not too fiddly to work with), 5 and a couple of 3s.
Moving on to the right hand side and, from the top, three beading needles, 4 straw/milliners ones in sizes 3, 5, 7 and 9, then two other large needles that I don't really know what to call, followed by chenilles in sizes 18, 20, 22 and 24, then a few general sharps for sewing.
So, now I just have to get used to the sight of my new needlecase. At least it's still green!
I've been thinking about the berries design and the problems associated with it. First of all, the silk (backed with interfacing) feels very stiff and rather like paper. Not nice to work on. And, as I had it out of the frame for a while, there are nasty buckles in it, which just won't do. You can see a bit of how it's got spoiled here.
Also, to be honest, I'm not that pleased with the design. It's all over the place with no real sense of balance and I just can't find any enthusiasm to work it. I started on the monogram a few weeks ago but, as the letters are half the dimensions of the ones I took the design from (Susan O'Connor's book), they really are too small to do properly and, when I tried, they just looked so scrappy that I would have done better when I was seven! If not, then at least there would have been that as an excuse. So, with all that in mind and the fact that silk on silk was really not at all practical for an everyday manicure set, (I mean, we're talking about a normal, modern woman here, not Lady Mary Crawley!!), I decided to take the piece out of the frame and take the whole thing back to the drawing board. Perhaps a larger monogram with the berries around it?? I'll see what I can come up with.
In the meantime, I went through my kit box and fished these two out.
I haven't started either yet, and I also want to have a go at a berry or two, so I can't say for sure what's coming next, but something will. Soon....
© Elizabeth Braun 2011