Friday, December 31, 2010

Running into 2011

Happy New Year!

I have just spent two hours sorting through cross-stitch, embroidery, knitting and other craft paraphernalia - and have culled a little, filed a lot and am feeling confident that I am all set to start a lovely Easter project! Yippee! Or, to be more exact, finish an Easter project that I barely started about ten years ago. Better late than never ... Can you tell that I am in New Year Resolution mode?

Anyway - it's a pattern that I bought in the Eva Rosentand shop in Copenhagen about 15 years ago, when I was there with Eva and Antonia (I love you guys). The pattern is for a "loper" [in Dutch] – you know, the long table-cloth strip you hardly ever use to decorate the table for special occasions. The English word is "runner", which sounds more energetic than the Dutch loper, which means walker! 
The design isn’t the Eva Rosenstand one shown here, but it gives you a bit of an idea ... Mine is more simple and less old-fashioned. It has a little yellow chick, a bright red Easter egg, a tulip and three tall yellow daffodils. I think the design is by Clara Wæver; it is numbered CW 2-3778.  I was reading about her on the Eva Rosentand website, and she was a pretty inspirational woman. She had a “great talent” for embroidery, worked in an embroidery shop and taught women the various techniques.  Later, with her sister Augusta, Clara then opened her own shop when she was 40 - in 1890. This gives me GREAT hope, as I turn 40 this year! The sisters sold embroidery materials and produced patterns. They also taught young women how to embroider in the old Danish 'white embroideries' style, as well as training brides in decorative techniques for their "marriage portion".  Hmmm, makes you wonder how times have changed, and what makes up a marriage portion? Must be like a dowry?

Anyway - Clara apparently always looked for new designs and was known for buying original drawings by several Danish artists for inspiration. Almost 20 years later, in 1917, the sisters handed over their shop to N.C.Dyrlund, who continued their tradition. In 1930, when she was 75, Clara Wæver died. There is a lot more to the shop's history, with the Danish company Carl J. Permin A/S - Permin of Copenhagen - taking over the Eva Rosenstand / Clara Wæver shop in 2003, which ensured that the company remains in Danish hands.

Anyway – it seems that my modest little pattern must be at least 85 years old! I can't get the printer to scan my little pattern, sorry, and I can't find it online, so you will have to wait to see the final pic of my finished work! Let's hope I get to finish it this time!

Also some other exciting news:  some Mums and I are setting up a monthly Stitching session, so I can make sure to spend at least several hours on it every month!

In the meantime, I will post a pic of the actual pattern (which is the size of a postage stamp) as soon as I can scan it - where is a computer tech when I need one?!

Happy New Year again, let's make sure we are all feeding our souls!


Sunday, December 12, 2010

A proud first liner

Sorry it has been so long!

I keep on meaning to blog, and I keep on being taken over by work, calls, doing the washing or the washing up, cleaning, the boys' activities, etc. The list goes on. Anyway, when I had the chance to read some of the paper last weekend, I was delighted to come across someone's (sorry, can't remember who - Maggie Alderson, I think!) list of favourite books.

You know how I love a good first line of a book. Well, you would know if you have been reading this blog! Anyway, Maggie (or whoever it was, sorry, I did not tear that bit off because at the time I thought I would remember!) listed Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen as one of the books that she most enjoyed. And here's why:

"I'd heard of this book, which I picked up one dull Sunday afternoon in the playroom of my family home when I was about 11, but didn't really know what it was about. That legendary first sentence fizzed in my brain like a soluble aspirin in water and as the meaning of it became clear, I realised that this was a grown-up book that I could read and understand and enjoy. Finishing it - and adoring it - gave me the confidence to embark on a great adventure of devouring classics."

I have read this book too - many years ago, and needless to say am about to rush off to the book case (which I meant to do last week when I tore this section out of the newspaper) to find that opening liner! Hang on a sec, while I go and find it!

Would you believe it? I have Mansfield Park and Sense and Sensibility, but not Pride and Prejudice!! Incredible. I will buy a copy tomorrow if I get the chance ... in the meantime, thanks to the WWW I have tracked down the opening few paras for us to enjoy!
Dreaming on, as ever,


Chapter One – Pride and Prejudice

IT is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.

However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered as the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters.

“My dear Mr. Bennet,” said his lady to him one day, “have you heard that Netherfield Park is let at last?”

Mr. Bennet replied that he had not.

“But it is,” returned she; “for Mrs. Long has just been here, and she told me all about it.”

Mr. Bennet made no answer.

“Do not you want to know who has taken it?” cried his wife impatiently.

You want to tell me, and I have no objection to hearing it.”

This was invitation enough.

“Why, my dear, you must know, Mrs. Long says that Netherfield is taken by a young man of large fortune from the north of England; that he came down on Monday in a chaise and four to see the place, and was so much delighted with it that he agreed with Mr. Morris immediately; that he is to take possession before Michaelmas, and some of his servants are to be in the house by the end of next week.”

“What is his name?”


“Is he married or single?”

“Oh! Single, my dear, to be sure! A single man of large fortune; four or five thousand a
year. What a fine thing for our girls!”

“How so? How can it affect them?”

“My dear Mr. Bennet,” replied his wife, “how can you be so tiresome! You must know that I am thinking of his marrying one of them.”
I only hope that times have changed, and people marry for love!