Monday, 13 April 2009

The tale of an Otter

Now that Helen and Ian have been for a visit I can tell you a story that I have been dying to tell you all. I couldn’t do it until now because it would have spoiled a surprise for them.

Ian’s birthday is in March and I decided at the New Year that I would embroider him a couple of serviettes and then give Helen a similar present for her birthday. So I set about creating an Otter serviette. Otters being Ian’s favourite animals.

Immediately prior to his birthday I had three serviettes done but because the frame leaves them creased and slightly dirty they needed putting through the wash and ironing.

This was the Otter prior to the wash. Unfortunately a pair of Jo’s new bright red socks was got into the wash with them and we ended up with splotchy pink serviettes. While they were still wet I put them back into the machine with some colour catchers and hoped that they might, just might, come out OK. Unfortunately a third red sock had hidden in the washing machine so when I came to empty it they were even more pink – but at least the colour was reasonably evenly spread.

So I had to apologise that his present would be late and start again. It's a good job I actually enjoy embroidering!

When he and Helen came this weekend Ian got a late birthday present and Helen and early one.

This is the revised Otter with the one that turned pink.

And the moral of this story is – the good old days when one always had to wash strong colours separately are not so old....


  1. What wonderful gifts! To think that someone would spend that time and effort is a gift that is priceless.

  2. OH JOHN - I am so impressed with your work! And I smile to read that Jo's red socks tippy-toed into your wash (twice!)....too cute.

    Might I ask, that maybe...some might create something as one of these for me, send it to me, from so far the USA? I would find such treasure in something like this, made by your hands (even if it was pinkened in the wash..or green..or blue..I've seen Jo's socks in your photos :o>). I would gladly send some money your way for such a wonderful treasure. You let me know, okay?

  3. Thank you for all your efforts. We shall treasure all of these (even the pink ones!)

  4. Thanks Tricia, and glad you liked them Helen.

    Heather, I've emailed you. ;-)

  5. You do lovely work! I've never learned to embroider. I've done cross-stitch and a bit of needlepoint, but never embroidery. Oh, and I can crochet. A redeeming quality.

  6. Wow, Scriptor-you are a man of many
    talents! Those are just great :)

  7. I am so impressed! Isn't embroidery fulfilling? Great job!
    Am I assuming correctly that serviettes are cloth napkins? Love them!

  8. Yes, Shabby Girl, serviettes are cloth napkins. I learned at college that at one time you were supposed to be able to tell an Englishman's class by his 'serviettes'. The working class didn't have them; the lower middle class has them but called them napkins and used 'napkin rings'; the upper middle class had them but called them serviettes and serviette rings; whilst the uppper class called them serviettes but didn't have rings. The idea of the ring was so each person could have the same serviette for a few days running until they needed washing. The upper class had them washed every day so didn't need rings! Nowadays - irrespective of the intermingling in our so-called classless society - paper serviettes have become the norm.


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