Doing hobbies for enjoyment and passing time!

Cross-stich embroidery
Cross-stich embroidery | Source

Cross stitch

Things are not what they used to be for me. I remember I used to enjoy doing different kinds of pastimes, a love I inherited from my mother and she was actually the one who brought me projects to do when she came to visit us from Canada in summer. I have done many cross-stitch projects of different kinds, even some embroidered on a piece of paper!

On cars and planes

Sometimes I even took projects along with me when we drove up to our weekend house (Pack), or went on trips overseas. Doing embroidery on a plane always used to entertain me and it made time go faster too. That had to stop some years ago though, as my scissors were confiscated by security personnel, as they considered them to be "weapons of mass destruction"! Since then my mother has given me a special metal instrument, the size of a coin, which can be used to cut embroidery floss.

Making friends

I remember meeting a woman on a plane once and she asked me to turn the fan in her direction. I was surprised, as she had asked me in Spanish and when I asked her how she knew I could speak the language, she told me that she had "seen" me counting my embroidery stitches! That was how we started a conversation that did not stop until we got to our destination and now I regret now having asked for her email, as I have no way of contacting her again! I only found out that she is an Austrian English teacher, her first name is Helen and her birthday is on September 7!

Working with wool
Working with wool | Source

Knitting carpet

Another time I bought a carpet to knit and it even came with different colored wool, cut in the required size. I knitted that carpet for a long time and even bought some thick ribbon to put on the back, but it took me years to get to that stage! I even have a picture taken for my daughter's 4th birthday (she is now 20) and I was working on that carpet then! It was only about a year or two ago that I finally finished it and it is now lying at the bottom of the wooden stairs in our Pack wooden house. It might not be perfect, but I'm still proud of it and my persistence in finishing it!

Frames for finishing

Many of the projects my mother brought me came with their own wooden or metal frames, so they are now all sitting on our Pack house window frames, or hanging from the walls in just about every room, including the hallway,kitchen, bathroom and even toilet!

Burda magazine

At the beginning I used to buy Burda to get embroidery patterns and there are two pictures hanging on our Pack dining room, which I remember took me a long time to do, but which I did inspired by our house and its surroundings, as mushrooms grow in our driveway and the forest at the back of our house. The picture also had oil and vinegar bottles and different types of herbs, all very healthy and country-like.

Fabric in sewing machine
Fabric in sewing machine | Source

Sewing

I bought my sewing machine when we were living in Australia and sent it by ship to Austria when we moved here. Now I use it only occasionally for doing hems basically, but that is about all. The person who really put it to good use was my mother though, as one day many years ago she decided to change the cover of our living room furniture and the job took her two weeks to complete! She not only had to select the material, but also cut, staple and sew it. She was not only very daring, but also talented to complete such an ambitious project!

As I like sewing I have also attempted to sew blouses and skirts for myself, but have been unsuccessful. They do sell some lovely materials here, but the patterns are a problem, as there are no McCalls, Butterick or any of the other patterns in the English I was used to. I tried translating German ones, but found it a very confusing and frustrating experience.

As I was having a look at our photo albums to select pictures for my autobiography, I came across pictures of myself, whom I could barely recognize, as I was wearing clothes I remembered having sewed myself! Those were the days, I thought!

Knitting
Knitting | Source

Knitting and crochet

Using instructions that my mother also brought me from Canada, I knitted a few crochet mats and that was another project I could work on while driving in the car! As I had some spare cotton wool, I also made a few cushions covers, which were perfect for the large divan we now use after the robbers took our living room furniture a few years ago! As you have probably guessed, the crochet mats are also sitting on top of the nightables and desk in our weekend house.

I used to look at knitting magazines, especially when the children were small, but the instructions were always a problem, so I stopped, which is a pity, as winters are always long and cold in Austria and we all need sweaters to keep warm. Whether one talks about knitting, crochet, sewing, carpets or embroidery, the common element is always money, which does not grow on trees, as one must earn it, but I have never been able to work while living here, which I hope will soon change, as we are planning to move back to Australia next year!

My hope is to get my life back again then! A life where I will be able to read the newspaper every morning and understand every word; do pastimes I enjoy and, what is more important, have friends who enjoy talking as much as I do, regardless of whether they speak English or Spanish, as there are plenty of both in Australia!

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