Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Comfort Stitching

Riddle:  I am black when you buy me, red when you use me, white when you are through with me.  What am I?

While trying to log on this morning, Killer Hobbies said my password was inoperative - even though it is a saved password!  I had to reset my password - I used the same one - and here I am.  Huh?

I got a last minute request from my editor that I make a “minor” change at the end of The Drowning Spool – “Just a line should do it,” she wrote.  The book ends on a sad note, and she wants a character to say something to my sleuth to raise her spirits just a little.  For a writer, it’s not “just” a line.  I thought about it all evening, even during the Vestry meeting I went to.  And I came up with something  – and, typically, it’s more than a single line.  I think it’s good.  Funny how the need for just one little change isn’t always an easy thing to do.

The First Sunday of Advent is the first Sunday after Thanksgiving – coming up soon.  I have been preparing to put out St. George’s Christmas Creche display, which has grown over the years to include Bethlehem.  I have nearly two dozen angels that can hang over the shepherds (“a multitude of the heavenly host”) but have struggled to find a suspension method for them.  They hang on very fine fishline – except for the difficulty of tying knots in almost invisible thread, that’s not the hard part.  The hard part is finding something for them to hang from.  I think I have finally solved that problem. Right after Christmas last year, I bought an artificial Christmas wreath and removed the plastic evergreens to expose a coated-metal base of three concentric rings.  I have tied the angels to this base with threads of varying length, and bought some small-guage chain to suspend the base from the ceiling.  To keep the angels from tying themselves in knots (a problem in previous years) while hanging the thing, I put each one in her own Baggie with the thread tied to her and the base, and fastened the arrangement to the base with the ties that come with the Baggies.  The only problem I have is that I can’t see how the display looks until I undo the Baggies, which I am unwilling to do until I’ve hung them at St. George’s.  I bought some white roving (sheep’s wool combed but not spun) to cover the base to make it look like a cloud, but that won’t go on until it’s hung up.  I think I’ve finally solved this long-standing (hanging?) problem.

I went over to my friend Tanya’s house last week.  She is going to have a knee replaced later this week, and is meanwhile floating on a strong pain killer.  Oddly, it hasn’t dimmed her talent for counted canvas stitching.  The piece she is working on, a bouquet of red and pink roses done in many, many shades of pink, green and red, is coming along beautifully.  I brought my needlepoint Christmas stocking project and we sat at her dining room table talking and stitching.  There is something wonderful about doing “women’s work” in company.  Comforting, somehow.  It strengthens the bond when it’s among friends.  I imagine men draw the same comfort when working on a car together, or building a shed.

Answer:  Charcoal


Linda O. Johnston said...

In reading your post, Monica, I identified most with your attempt to log into Killer Hobbies. I'm usually fine with it but kind of get into the site via a back door. I'm always unhappy when I get a surprise message that I have to try it from yet another direction!

Betty Hechtman said...

Monica, I absolutely understand what you said about talking and stitching. I went to my knit and crochet group this morning. There were only a few of us, but it was great. We all worked on our projects and talked.

The roving is going to make a great cloud.