First I have to say wowzers, thanks for all the Little Birds pattern love! Happily, Craftzine posted about the pattern and it's been fun to see all the new visitors to our blog. I can't wait to see the Little Birds that people make! Don't forget I will be posting a new free knitting pattern for 5 more weeks, so stay tuned! Also, if you have any suggestions for things you'd like me to take a stab at, please leave a comment.
Lot's of folks are beginning to work on Christmas gifts already and we're a part of 2 handmade holiday directories.
So check them out for some handmade holiday inspiration- I need to get moving on my list! (Or at least MAKE a list!)
The obscure craft book today is a great one. Cross-Stitch Patterns in Color by Gerda Bengtsson is a book I found at a thrift shop for $1.50. Unlike some of the books we've been writing about, it's not too obscure, this one is available on Amazon for just a couple bucks (or .24 cents!) It was published through the Danish Handcraft Guild in 1974. It has full-color images of close to 40 cross stitch country scenes, wild roses and house plants. I wasn't sure I would buy it because I am not a big cross stitcher, and I don't want to start too many new projects, but this image sold it- People on bikes! and a kid-carrying bike at that! Maybe I can customize and make my Madsen cargo bike. The book opens with information about cross stitch and helpfully, talks about working with linen and how to gauge the size of the finished piece based on the type of linen you're using. If I do take up cross stitch, I'd like to work on linen, so that was great to read about.
The book recommends using Danish Flower Thread, something I did not know about or knew if it still existed. It does! the Flower Thread Company has a great rundown of this material and even will mail you a free sample of the thread. According to the book, it's a fine, matte cotton floss that is dyed to match the colors of natural dyes. It's about equal to the width of two strands of regular embroidery floss. Interesting. I feel a desire for new craft supplies coming on....
Author Gerda Bengtsson was an accomplished designer, weaver and dyer and I am glad to have stumbled onto this piece of her work. For this book, she follows the seasons, the biking summer scene is followed by one of a farmer harvesting hay and these folks in an Autumn storm.
I love the way she made the pieces so expressive, they are small but really transmit the key ideas about each scene. She also has a series of houseplants in windows.
She designed and wrote lots of other books of botanical cross stitch and in this section you can really tell that she was careful to be accurate in portraying the plants.
OK, one more- the book has a big section of rose portraits, here's a Rugosa rose, they're my favorite kind of rose-
Lovely! What a gem of a book.