Here’s another one of those interesting interlaced stitches from this book on the Internet Archive, Mordvalaisten Pukuja kuoseja, a book of old Mordvin costumes, embroidery patterns and stitches. This one is very similar to the Woven Circle Stitch from my first post about the book. It’s worked in much the same way, but the 8 points are spaced in a diamond shape. (I don’t know what the proper name for the stitch is, so I’ve called it Woven Diamond Stitch – does anyone know the proper name?) Continue reading
Eric, who was born in Swansea in 1920, died last week, aged 95, in Hereford County Hospital. I shall miss him tremendously: his dry sense of humour and fondness for silly rhymes and bad puns; his kindness to everyone, his honesty, his optimism and patience; his ingenuity at solving problems, making and mending things and interest in everything. He loved music, played piano and organ and was an accomplished photographer. He was an electronic design engineer by profession, having worked for Standard Telephones and Cables for over 25 years, and then specialised in bespoke electronic church organs until he retired. After moving to Bucknell in 1976, he got involved in the life of the village: providing music, sound effects and posters for the panto society, joining the choir and being reserve organist at St Mary’s Church, helping people, fixing things.
He was married to my mother for 60 years, and they worked well as a team: Eric took photos and Barbara painted pictures from the slides. When my mother’s health failed, he cared for her, patiently and lovingly.
His own health had been gradually failing for the last year, despite making a very good recovery from a stroke last January, but his mind stayed clear and he still enjoyed programming his computer, doing Sudoku puzzles and reading. Just recently, he was starting to get frustrated by his lack of energy and difficulty in talking clearly. His heart was failing. He was in hospital for three days, while the doctors made every effort to stabilise him so he could go back home for the end. But his kidneys were failing too, and they could only keep him comfortable. He died peacefully in his sleep and my sister was with him.
(The picture above is one I took on his 90th birthday.)
If you read the comments under my previous post, you’ll see that Elizabeth gave us a link to a selection of patterns from an 1899 book about traditional Mordvin costumes, concentrating on the embroidery designs. (These are Eastern European costumes. I knew nothing about the Mordvin peoples before I saw this book, so I can do no better than point you at the Wikipedia entry for Mordvins.)
The whole book is on the Internet Archive, Mordvalaisten Pukuja kuoseja, and it’s fascinating. It has many, many pages full of embroidery designs, carefully charted on graph paper, and drawings of the embroidery in use on costume. A wonderful resource. The text is in Finnish and German, but the main part of the book is the plates.
Here’s a chart for the blackwork design on the card. It is an old sampler pattern, with a simple border added. Note that each stitch of the sprig is over two threads, but the four-sided stitch is over four threads. This kind of simple, traditional motif can be endlessly adapted and altered to suit other purposes.
I didn’t mean to stay silent for so long, but life has had other plans. Let me start with a quick update on my father’s health. Dad came home from hospital in March. He’s not so mobile now – he can’t walk – but he’s recently got an oxygen machine, which helps with his breathing, and he’s started working on his computer programming again, and showing some interest in life. My sister has been staying with him to help him. I took over for ten days at Easter, to give her a brief break, and I am usually there on Saturdays, so she can go out, but Frances has done the lion’s share of the caring and I don’t know how I’d have coped without her.
Firstly, apologies for a lack of postings/comments lately. I’ve been a bit tied up with the rest of life lately, and I don’t even have home internet or phone right now – waiting for a repairman.
Dad had some further health setbacks last month, but has made great progress in the last 10 days – he’s still convalescent in Ludlow Hospital, but if all goes well, he should be back home before too long.
And the days are getting longer, the sun has been shining a bit and I saw my first crocus of the year a few days ago – and came home and tried to capture it.
Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.
Dad and I had an ‘interesting’ Christmas and New Year. He was very happy and alert for the first few days of my visit. He got to the village church on Christmas morning, which he had been looking forward to, and enjoyed his Christmas lunch of chicken curry (his request) and opening the presents. All was well.
By New Year’s Eve he was not quite as good, and over the next couple of days his condition worsened. By the Saturday morning, it was clear he needed urgent attention. The local First Responders turned up, provided oxygen and other treatment and he was soon off to hospital in an ambulance.
To my relief, he went to the RSH in Shrewsbury, which is much easier for visiting than Hereford. He was in a poor way when he got there, but here he is less than a week later, out of bed and eating a banana. (My sister took the picture. She bought him those elegant pyjamas for Christmas, too.) Next week, Dad should be well enough to go to Ludlow Community Hospital until he is well enough to return home, where my sister will be waiting to look after him.
The hospital doctor said she’s never known anyone of his age recover from full-blown pneumonia quite so quickly.
“Well, I’ve had plenty of practice.” said the Amazing Eric.