A couple of months ago I signed up for the Hooked on Exchanging Fall Pyn Keepe Exchange. I was so excited to be able to participate after around about a year of not being part of any exchanges. I had chosen not to be involved in previous exchanges because every time I did get involved, I would take forever to get my exchange completed. I had been missing these exchanges, so when this one came up, I carefully considered my available time, and having done the mathematics, felt confident that I could get this pin keep finished in time.
But I had miscalculated…
on several fronts. Here in Australia, we don’t seem to be too big on decorating for the Autumn. Maybe because it seems wrong to decorate in autumnal colours in March/April as we are heading towards Easter, then in September/ October, we are thinking about the lovely bright colours of spring, while the Northern Hemisphere is preparing for Halloween. And for me – despite my birthday being in our Autumn, I am not really into autumnal designs. So I quickly discovered that I did not have any charts that I could immediately lay my hands on that were suitable. Off to the web I went. I needed something quickly, so I had to go looking for freebies. Fortunately I had thought of The Workbasket, where I found the design in the photo. Printing it off, I went looking for the right threads. Found them, only to realise that one 5 yard skein of Sampler Threads was not going to be enough. So back to the drawing board. I chose Sable from Sampler Threads, as I had 3 skeins – all bought at different times! Think dyelot variations – big time! So the cap is mostly one skein, with a little of a second skein, and the bottom portion of the acorn is a third, lighter, skein. But it still worked out well.
As I was working on the cross stitching every chance I got, I took it with me to Mrs Martin’s for her recent Quilt til You Wilt, and worked on it tirelessly for about 4 or 5 hours (can we say SLOOOOOOWWWWWW stitcher here?) While there I was looking at her fabrics and saw this one – PERFECT! And it was JUST the right shade of brown too! Now I just needed the right ribbon and pins.
Of course, nothing works according to plan, and I was not able to get to Spotlight for another couple of weeks, as I had a crazy 2 weeks at the end of term, between Deb Ball practice and the actual nights and Parent Teacher Interview night.
When I put the pyn keepe together, I joined the back and the front using a stitch I had been taught many years ago that I always refer to as ‘glove stitch‘. I feel that the join is then quite strong. I covered this with 2 pieces of ribbon – 7mm blue ribbon and 3mm brown ribbon, before making the bow at the top. I used Pearl Headed pins from Birch at approximately even intervals all the way round.
Having enjoyed making the pyn keepe, I then wrapped it in plain brown paper, tied with some more of the blue ribbon and sent it off to the States by registered post. I do hope the recipient enjoys it…