Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Random Thoughts

Did you ever notice how many two cats can be? When they want something – especially food – two cats are omnipresent. Everywhere you look, there’s a cat, up in your face, under your feet. Two cats turn into a herd. How do people with six cats, eight cats, cope? They must feel they are drowning in cats at dinner time!
I’m finally finished with a piece of counted cross stitch, a gift for my agent. I am not fond of doing counted cross stitch, though I absolutely love the result. I have trouble keeping track of the pattern. The piece I was working on calls for lots of backstitching which most stitchers dislike. But I have discovered a secret – two secrets. First, do the backstitching as a double running stitch. It goes faster. Second, do the backstitching first. For people like me, who lose their way doing counted and quit, doing the backstitching first gives us an outline to work with. Then the stitching is like coloring between the lines. I’m sure this works only for simpler patterns – see the photo in this blog entry, but boy does it work!
Be thinking about me tomorrow, Thursday, around 8 in the morning, when my left eye gets operated on. Thank you.
I’ve started reading to two women in a nursing home next door to our building. One is fascinated by things Ancient Egyptian, and I was pleased to be able to bring her a large book full of color plates of the treasures found in King Tut’s tomb. The other woman said she liked dogs, so I brought a book of doggerel (!) about dogs, called "Sonnets from the Pekinese" by Burges Johnson. Since there weren’t enough good poems to last for the entire visit, I also brought along my collection of the poems of Robert Service, who is probably most famous for “The Cremation of Sam McGee.” Such stout, complex rhymes! None of that “free verse” stuff, and none of that almost-a-rhyme that marks so much of today’s poetry (especially music). Humorous, yes, but beautifully crafted poems. She liked hearing them and I liked reading them, so next week we go to Rudyard Kipling. Does anyone have suggestions for what to read after that? Easy listening poems, moving or stirring or humorous – and it has to rhyme!


BeadKnitter said...

"Did you ever notice how many two cats can be? "

Yes. And how is it that two animals, both weighing less than 12lbs can sound like a whole herd of elephants when they're running through the house?

Monica Ferris said...

When they don't want to be heard, no amount of straining will transmit those pussyfooting cats' movement to your ears. When they do, your shouts are barely audible over the racket!

Anonymous said...



Deahna said...

Please don't ever let Betsy advise to do backstitches first, even if it is a simple design. They won't sit neatly on top of the cross and messy stitcher will magage to cross stitch over them. If you can't keep your place counting, invest some time in sewing a grid. You could also buy a pre-gridded fabric like Magic Guide from DMC.

Having said all that I like your design.

Betty Hechtman said...

I'm late in posting a comment, but I will be sending good thoughts your way Thursday a.m.

Monica Ferris said...

I won't let Betsy advise her customers to do the back stitch first, but if she notices someone has done so, she won't criticize.

The eye surgery seems to have gone well, but my eye doctor wants to remove one stitch from the first eye to release more fluid, as the pressure isn't coming down but going up -- guess those eye drops were doing some good after all (I'm off eyedrops now).