Wednesday, 30 November 2011

In which Madame Muriel unchains herself from the bookshelf and looks forward to Advent

Another exciting week (and a bit) here in sunny Suffolk.  I went to a protest afternoon last week.  Actually it was entitled "An Afternoon of Tea and Cakes to Support our Library" so the chains were uncalled for.  The libraries in this country are all under threats due to the cost cutting exercises going on and my hostess's local branch in particular as it is small and situated in a lovely old building which needs maintenance.  The powers-that-be would much rather sell the land and make all the old ladies and young children travel miles into town to get their books.

Unfortunately for the powers-that-be the local community are rather vocal and have raised their voices (and their tea-cups) to say "No ifs, no buts, no public service cuts".  The National organisation The Women's Institute are right behind the library service with their Love You Library campaign so my hostess and her good friend Pauline arranged this afternoon of support to spread the word - Your Library Needs You.  It's such a fun campaign to join, all you need to do is join your local library and borrow books - simples (as that annoying meerkat says!).  No chains are necessary!

Here is a picture of the rather lovely building:

Isn't it wonderful?  It was such a thrill for me to meet some national treasures in the form of the WI ladies.  They are well-known for cake baking, crafts and naked calendars.  I'm not so sure about the last one but my hostess assures me it is true.  There is a musical too apparently.

We are fast approaching December and today my hostess climbed into the loft to retrieve the advent calendar.  Here I am with it:

Each day has a little book with a different story or poems on the Christmas theme.  If you click and squint you will see there are excerpts from Little Women and Wind in the Willows plus many more classic stories.

There is also this second Advent Calendar, countdown to consumerism!  This is a Lego Star Wars calendar with a Lego figure or item each day until Christmas Eve.  The larger boy does like his Lego.

He has another calendar at his Grandparents, usually on a traditional Nativity theme.  The child is "cherished" apparently.  Not "spoiled" because he is charming and not ruined at all.  But "cherished".  This is according to his doting grandparents.  Hah!  In my day you got an orange and ha-porth of nuts in your stocking.  Which was a stocking off your legs, not a felt and embroidered extravaganza with your name on it.  Hah again.

My hostess has been busy mailing out cards and prizes this week, single handedly keeping the Postal Service going.  She was delighted to hear they have started arriving and seeing her stitched cards popping up on other people's blogs is making her squeal with excitement.  Here is the card she stitched for Rachael for winning the Doll's House 100 Followers' Giveaway:

 The motif is from World of Cross Stitching magazine and is stitched on 40 count Newcastle over 1.  The coin is a 2p piece and shows the stitched area is only an inch wide.  As the Giveaway prize was the Doll's House chart my hostess wanted something small scale to send but baulked at the 48 count silk gauze this year.  Maybe next year...

And here is the card sent to Shannon, this one was stitched on 36 count over 2:

Finally my hostess asks me to remind you all that Advent starts tomorrow and her online Advent Calendar post will be visible dated 24th December so it stays on top of the blog.  There are some places left, just send my hostess an email and she will send you a date.  All you have to do is post a stitched picture of something festive on your date and maybe a Christmas custom special to your country or your family.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Travelling Pattern Travelling Onwards

I put all the names of the people interested in Cucki's Lizzie*Kate Travelling Pattern into a bowl and asked hubby to pull one out.  The lucky person is:

Please contact me with your address and I'll send it on to you.

Here's how I framed the picture:

I used a sheet of scrapbook paper and some sparkly stickers of hearts and butterflies.  I think I might have gone a bit OTT with the smaller stickers, it's a bit spotty now.  The paper was perfect.  I think I might scrapbook more of my smalls next year.  The local shop has some gorgeous papers for sale and it's got to be easier than making ornies!  I'm not good at it and I don't enjoy it.  My first (and probably only) ornie is off to it's new owner this week so I'll post a picture when she receives it.

There were some lovely suggestions for names for the hand-coloured paper - Threadbear's was Gobstopper!  Other people suggested:

Light of Love
Shine of Ray
Neapolitan Ice Candy
Sunshine Skittles
End of the Rainbow
Psychedelic Love
Love's Rainbow

Aren't they all beautiful names?  OK, maybe Gobstopper isn't the most beautiful but it is fun!

The Advent Calendar idea has been a great success, people think it's a good idea and a fun thing to do.  The first half of Advent is full but there are spaces after the 13th so if you want to join in then please email me as soon as possible.

I'll be posting the doors up on the 1st December with everyone's link under the relevant door with a new picture appearing each day.

I have been stitching on presents for other people so I have no progress pictures to show you this week, maybe next...

Finally, the Joan Elliott Round Robin will be taking place next year, we have four people so far, if you want to join us then follow this link and sign up soon.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Advent Calendar idea, iStitch and IHSW

I has this fab idea the other day - an Online Advent Calendar with a different blogger posting a picture each day.  I would have a future-dated post on my blog with 24 little door pictures and a link to a different blog each day.

Each participant would be allocated a day (or 2 depending on how many sign up) and on that day they would make a post called "Advent Calendar" and post a nice festive stitchy picture.  Preferably of something they have stitched themselves.  Maybe some information about the picture and a Christmas tradition their family have.  Or if you don't celebrate Christmas in the traditional way then something about how you do mark this time of year.  I would then copy the picture into my blog so we have a central place to see all the lovely Christmas/Winter Solstice stitching.  How does that sound?

To sign up, just send me an email with your blog name and any days you can't do (if you're off skiing or shopping the German Markets for example).  Also, any days you would particularly like (something special to your culture or your family).  Once I have a few people I will send out the date(s) you have been allocated.  By signing up you give me permission to copy that one picture, just one time and repost on my blog.  Me and me onlyOther people can include links to the calendar but please don't copy pictures without the owner's express permission.  My email is in my profile.

Stitching news - I promised to talk about the iStitch Mystery Sampler which I have now finished.

The more eagle-eyed of you (and those that have stitched the design) may have noticed the slight difference in my finished piece.  The final block was for a Sajou initial and Carol gave us a whole alphabet to choose from.  Unfortunately the letter "J" is an awkward one.  It is not symmetrical at all and often looks unbalanced to my eyes.  I waited until other J people had stitched the piece but I still wasn't feeling the letter at all.  I tentatively emailed Carol asking for help, would she mind sending me the bonus chart so maybe I could use that?  Bless her, Carol sent me a rose!  I don't know if it comes from one of her other designs (which are all lovely BTW) or she charted it especially for awkward people but it's lovely.

Carol is my New Best Friend and Favourite Designer now, how many other designers would not only not be offended by whinging about their design but also send a replacement chart idea?  If you missed out on the SAL the chart is now available here for a very reasonable price.

The box was a Christmas present last year, it's from RUCraft and came filled with a selection of DMC threads.  It's been quite popular as one of the magazines gave it away with new subscriptions this year.
The fabric is 36 count evenweave and the thread is a blue from De Havilland threads many moons ago.  It is silky and smooth, one strand is fine for 36 count so I have loads left!

I'm signed up for the TUSAL as well as the WIPocalypse and my own JustNan-athon plus my "12 in '12".  This is being amended as you read.  Too many BAPs!  I also found this great idea on Heather from It's All Geek to Me's blog.  Theme-a-licious, each month will have a different theme.  I've added them all to my page about 2012 projects (see top bar).  They are all achievable for me except the Mad March one.  To join us just go to this post and sign up.

Finally, IHSW was last weekend and I did indeed stitch but can't show you anything because it's all for other people so you'll just have to take my word for it!  My tea-dyeing was a triumph though.  I know other people do use tea to dye fabric but how many make a cuppa first?  It seems a waste not to use the tea itself so as my tea-drinking brother was coming round I saved his teabags then used them to dye the fabric.  How tight-fisted am I? haha.  At least I let him have his drink first not make him drink it after the fabric had been soaked in it!

ps new follower Purple Stitcher - there's a problem with commenting on your blog, email me and I'll try help!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

The Continuing Adventures of Madame Muriel

What a busy week I've had, I've been to work!  Honestly, I haven't been to work since the days of Knitty Nora's Knitting Emporium.  (Joke for British readers!).  Anyway, this workplace is where my hostess pops off to twice a week to earn some money.  She's done so much voluntary work over the last 9 years she can't believe she actually gets paid for being there.  And it's in coins of the realm, not in books.  Although I'm sure she'd be happy to work for the latter.

Here I am, on the shelf at my age:
This is the Craft and DIY section which my hostess does her best to keep in order.  Knitting/crochet at the top, Sewing seperate to Cross Stitch and Embroidery, plus a small section of "alternative craft".  You can see them on the bottom shelf to the left if you click and squint.  "World of Geekcraft" etc.

I "met" this lady, or her merchandise at least.  She is HUGE right now (her persona, not her body!) and very popular.  You can buy just about anything in her little floral prints.  Here's a link to her website Cath Kidston.  I think some of her goodies may be coming in my travelling bag when I travel onwards.

I also "met" this lady, Kirstie Allsopp.  She is what they would descibe as a "posh gel", that's a hard "g" as in "golf" not as in "jel".  She has a TV programme where she tries her hand at craft, she's even met Emily Peacock and had a cross stitch lesson! 

This is the closest I've got to the capital city so far, it's from a book called "Stitch London", aren't those corgis cute?

Here is a poster advertising the area where I am:

This is Ed Hardy.  Cross Stitch from tattoos.  Whatever next?  Certainly Not Your Grandma's Stitching, which should please Anna no end!  If anyone is interested in finding out more about this book, my hostess owns it and is happy to send a review.

This is a footballer.  A footballer.  Not a soccer player and not an American Footballer.  But a real footballer who plays real football.  Well, it's a cardboard cutout of a real footballer.  Apparently he's written a book (or helped write a book or something) and came to the shop to sign copies.  They raffled the cutout off to raise money for his favourite charity.  What a nice footballer.

We also had a planning meeting for the "Save the Library" campaign, I'm a "silver-protester", such fun!  We're having a Tea and Cakes Afternoon of Support next week.  It won't be a sit-in.  We'd never get up again!!

Stitching photos?  Well, I can't show you the cards until they've been posted off and received.  The big thing is for someone else.  The little thing is for the Needlecraft Haven and can't be revealed until December.  Bit of a dead loss really.  We did do some tea-dyeing this afternoon, that's always fun. 

So, that's all from me today, so until next time I'll say "Cheerio".  Yes, Barbara, they really do say Cheerio when they're saying Goodbye to their friends.  It's a kind of Au Revoir sort of Goodbye when they expect to see their friend again soon.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

150 followers free chart

150 followers!  Wow!  Well, it's actually 152 as I type.  I thought I'd hit this number after the next IHSW but not so soon.  I wonder how many of the original 50 followers are still reading?  I know plenty still comment so that's all good.

I thought I'd give everyone a little something this time round.  I am proud to present my very first ever freebie chart!  It is very homespun, eg handdrawn on graph paper and scanned.  I hope the little squares show up okay when if you print it out.  The design is based on a poster I drew for our school's Christmas Craft Fayre last year.  Each year the PTA have to organise two major fundraising events and I'm in charge of letters and posters.  I have to draw a poster which children from age 3 to 11 can colour in.  Not a simple task!  There must be enough written information but not too much.  When I drew last year's I thought "that would make a nice chart" so here it is:

I've put my blog on the bottom because I download lots of free charts and get cross with myself when I don't note down where they came from.  And because I'm a shameless self-publicist!  How else did I get 150 followers in such a short amount of time?!!

I'd be absolutely over the moon if someone actually stitched this design and sent me a picture.  I might even send you something!  The idea is that you can choose any colours you like, you can put patterns on the parcels, you could even bs the ribbons so they aren't so blocky.  I think it would look good with blackwork on the parcels.   The round parcel would look good in a metallic too.  Let your imagination have free rein.  That DMC memory wire stuff would make good ribbons too...

As always I try to return following but not everyone's following profile points to their blog.  So leave a comment and I'll find you that way.

Last night I stitched a small amount on the neglected Tree of Stitches.  It got put away in favour of the Dark Alphabet then I got obsessed by My Lovely Sewing Tools.  Anyway I will be stitching it every week from now on and hope to finish by Christmas.  Here's a reminder of what it looks like (the Norwich stitches aren't finished, they need their top weaves done.

I have also found this great Laura Perin Mini Mystery Monday.  Laura is known as The Two-Handed Stitcher and produces beautiful work mainly on canvas.  She is putting out a small part of this design each Monday.  My Mum gave me some strange material earlier this year, she wasn't sure what it is or where it came from.  It's a hard open fabric with a count of 21 to the inch.  Anyway it seems to be good for Laura's project.  The coverage is interesting as Laura recommends DMC Perle 5 which I don't have so I experimenting with what I do have!  Some random unlabelled variegated purple which is perfect and some DMC with various strands, either 4 or 2 depending on what I feel like.  The green is Madeira which I got free from somewhere or other.  I'm not a Madeira person but I'm using all 6 strands without separating them first and it's covering very nicely.

Part 1

Part 2
 Part 2 was scanned, I'm not so happy with the gold coverage.  I may have to redo those Rhodes stitches.  The trouble is I cut the ends too short and they're starting to unwind themselves!  There isn't so much to anchor them on the back as there is with cross stitching.  Different techniques call for different methods!

Madame Muriel will be returning to the blog again with some more myths to bust.  Thanks to everyone who has mentioned one so far, keep them coming.  They make me laugh and she enjoys being an investigative granny (it makes her feel like Miss Marple).

Finally I am working hard on Christmas cards which you can't see until the recipients have received them.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Finally I get to use the computer... Madame Muriel reports...

Honestly, everything in this house is timetabled!  The television, the computer, the bathroom, leaving the house etc etc.  So I finally get my hands on the computer to let you all know how I'm coping so far from home.  As you can see, I'm surrounded by Englishness!   You don't even want to know what the ingredients for that pickle are.  Or the "salad cream" either.  It doesn't even go on salad half the time, she has it with chips!  Which is the proper name for french fries I've been informed.  What I call chips are either crisps or for playing poker.

I've had my myth-busting hat on and the first one is that "English people are not friendly".

I am happy to report English people are very friendly - once they know you.  "Knowing you" consists of meeting you for the first time via an introduction from a person they already know.  You can't just start chatting to people in the street without a formal introduction.  Unless you are an old person in which case you are permitted to make personal comments about babies and pregnant women only.  Dog walkers may also exchange nods and "good morning" if they have their dog with them.

Life here is very sociable, I've met so many people and drunk so much tea and nibbled so many biscuits I've lost count.  My hostess is very busy running the town it seems.  The current Government (who are only mentioned via clenched teeth) are very keen on the "community" running things, not central Government.  The community seems to consist of my hostess and several retired ladies who my hostess describes as "herself in 20 years time".  Her ambition is to join the WI.

The first week there was a most enjoyable stitching lesson with a young woman and her baby.  The young woman is keen to learn to cross stitch and has already completed a Helen Philipps heart under my hostess's tutelage.  They are designing a birth sampler for the said small baby using a number of fairy charts from an issue of Cross Stitcher magazine.  My hostess is arranging the charts in a pleasing manner and the young woman will stitch them.  Eventually.  When they stop running the school.  The young woman is chair of the PTA.  I feel very old sometimes.  She is young enough to be my host's daughter never mind my granddaughter!

This weekend has been "finishing weekend".  My hostess has the bad habit of reaching the final few stitches and putting the project away instead of getting on and finishing it.  So we had a flurry of activity today.  First up is the iStitch Mystery SAL all completed and framed in this lovely DMC wooden box which my hostess uses to keep her bead collection in.

The details have been blocked out in the top picture to protect the design's copyright.  The 2nd picture has been adjusted by Carol but the top one wasn't.  In case you were wondering.  My hostess will explain the story behind the stitching and the box next time she blogs.

These cute cards are from Cross Stitcher magazine, my hostess made a New Year's Resolution to stitch every Cover Kit in the month of receipt.  However she hadn't bargained on CS changing it's design brief so much in the course of the year.  Far too many of the cover kits have just not appealled to her so she has used other designs to make the most of the materials.   Sadly the quality of these has decreased too and my hostess had to ask for replacement cards for this project.  The originals were torn and dirty.  Shocking.  Anyway she stitched these owls from a different issue and decorated the cards using felt-tip pens.  She feels the green one needs something more and will source some sticky flowers next week.

This delightful design is by San Man Originals from the Spooky SAL board.  Hallowe'en is very under celebrated here.  We didn't even get a single trick or treater call at the house!  Something to do with being at the end of a dark country lane ...  This design has been framed with some rather nice ribbon to disguise the fact that the frame is too big.  The ribbon comes from the most easterly knitting shop in England.  Frankly everything here has the suffix "most easterly" - it seems to be their only claim to fame.  They even have the most easterly prison just up the road!

I fear my allotted time at the computer is at a close now, I have to go supervise the bathing of the small boy.  I must say it has been lovely to be around small children again, my last three hostesses did not supply surrogate grandchildren.  Although the little dog did his best with the spinster, frankly she was childlike in behaviour only!

Friday, 11 November 2011

Travelling Patterns Travelling Onwards

I finished stitching Cucki's Travelling pattern earlier this week but the scanner bleached it out so I had to wait for the camera to be in the same room as the pattern!  Here is my finish:

What do you think of the fabric?  Madame Muriel asked for sunglasses!  The original is stitched in Sampler threads so I pulled the DMC threads as charted and thought they were rather austere.  This is a Cucki pattern and needed a kooky look.  So I got my piece of 16 count white aida and coloured it in with my fabric pens!  I've done this a couple of times before and have always been pleased with the result.  It's a nice cheap and easy way of getting coloured fabric especially when you only want a small piece.  The colours in the photo still aren't 100% true but I'll try again when it's framed.

I changed the colour of the bottom heart to the heather (778) used in the middle heart on the chart as it would have clashed with the stripes in the fabric.  Then I used 115 variegated to stitch the middle heart.  I do like the colours in 115 but it doesn't change enough for many designs.  I like a variegated to change several times in a length and this only changes once every length.  I am using it alot for some cards so watch for pictures later in December.

As this is a Travelling Pattern it's time for it to travel onwards.  To be included in the Stitcherhood you must follow these rules:

1. You must have a blog.
2. Comment on this post only, saying you would like to be part of the Stitcherhood.
3. You must have an active blog to participate,, if you have a blog but never post on wont be chosen to be the next stitcher.
4.The stitcher who will receive the Traveling pattern must stitch it (within an acceptable time frame),finish it and display the finished piece for all to see.
5.Then the stitcher must offer up the traveling pattern for another stitcher to use and it will be off on its travels again.
I'm adding an extra bit to 2. - leave a comment suggesting a name for the fabric I created, as well as saying you want to be in the Stitcherhood!

If you can't commit to the Stitcherhood right now then still leave a comment with a suggested name, just for fun but tell me you don't want to be in the draw.

The second Travelling Pattern is the one I stitched earlier this year; Shakespear's Peddlar Count Your Blessings.  It is now with Kath in her Stitching Heaven and as yet there are no comments asking to be in the draw.  So get over there quick and sign up.

Here is my progress on The Gift of Stitching online magazine's My Lovely Sewing Tools:
Madame Muriel is enjoying this one - she's says it's just her cup of tea and likes the 40 count.  Of course, 40 count looks huge to her so she would like it.

The Gift of Stitching is having a big change right now, they are going over to bi-monthly next year but bigger issues so still the same price (US$24).  I think this is still pretty good value based on the issues I've received so far.  They are offering current subscribers a choice between 50% off their next subscription or a number of back issues.  So that's the dilemma - the sensible thing is to go for the 50% off but that means parting with some money now (which I shouldn't) but having some back issues is very tempting too and wouldn't cost anything.  I'm going to browse their database and see what catches my eye!

Finally I see I'm nearly upto 150 followers WOW!  I think a little treat is needed for that landmark.  Maybe not a giveaway but something nice for us all.  I also have a half-formed plan for a fun activity for everyone in December.  I need to find out how to "postdate" blog posts first....

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Secured Needle Stitching

This NaBoPoMo thingie is driving me mad!  So many of the blogs I follow are taking part this year that my reader is filling up even faster than usual.  The trouble is, it's all so interesting I can't miss one of the posts!  Why don't you all blog about your laundry or something dull so I can bypass the posts?

Anyway, Daffycat has made some great posts this week, one about tea-dyeing and another about the loop method of stitching.  I commented on both posts.  The first to mention using fruit teas to dye fabric, a great alternative to the usual standard teas and lovely natural colours too.

The second comment was about MY method of starting stitching.  I tried explaining it in words once before and people either said "??????" or "Oh, like sewing".  So here are some pictures:

Step 1 - thread your needle onto the middle of a piece of floss twice the length you usually stitch with:

Put the two tail ends together:

Secure the tails under the first stitch you make as you usually would stitching with two strands of floss:

You can see in this picture the needle is secured to the fabric and can't come unthreaded .

This is perfect if you stitch while travelling or have animals/children who like to jump up and grab your stitching.  Even if they throw the stitching across the room the needle stays attached and can't be lost.

You can also stitch right to the very end of the floss without it coming unthreaded every 2 stitches (or is that just me?!)  Obviously this only works with plain floss and when stitching with 2 strands.  I use the normal method with variegated threads and when using an odd number of strands.

Another advantage is when you don't use the whole length up.  With this method you snip the thread off and still have a usable length left.  eg if you snip at 4 inches left then you still have 4 usable inches next time you want that colour.  With the loop start method then you have 2 x 4 inch pieces or 2 lots of 2 inch usable stitching floss.  Make sense?  I hope so!

It's also good when you're stitching on fine linen, as there are only 2 strands going through each hole it doesn't "stretch" the holes so much.  With 2 separate strands there are actually 4 strands going through each hole each time.  And that annoying habit floss has when the 2 strands end up different lengths?  Doesn't happen, because needle just adjusts itself to the centre of the floss every stitch!

My only wish is that I'd invented this method and patented it!

Can anyone guess what is the piece of stitching I'm demonstrating on?  Unfortunately you can't see the front today because my scanner is bleaching the picture out.  So I have to find the camera and do it properly.

Finally, remember this Hallowe'en PIF I got from Erica?  It is now being PIFed onto Rachel, in plenty of time for next Hallowe'en!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Travelling Granny and Travelling Pattern

My Travelling Pattern arrived safely from South Africa, Cucki has been following the various TPs that are doing the rounds without winning one herself.  So she decided to start her own!  It's a lovely Lizzie*Kate design with a very appropriate motto - Love is Best when you Give it Away.  How suitable for a Travelling Pattern.  I have hand-coloured some fabric in a wild and kooky style to always remind me where the pattern came from.  I must just share the envelope:

Have you ever seen so many stamps on one small envelope?  It made me smile even before I opened it up.  Progress pics will follow.

Now, the Travelling Granny.  Here's her story:

This where we first met her :Stitch Bitch 2011/04

Then Connie had a great idea: Stitch Bitch 2011/04

So off she went to visit Connie here: Spinster Stitcher (Connie doesn't do labels but her blog is hilarious and well worth reading to find the right posts!)

Then onto New Zealand with Margaret here: Margaret's Blog - Madame Muriel Flat Flossie posts (Margaret does do labels so you can easily find all the relevant posts although her whole blog is also well worth a read).

And finally to me in the Old Country.  The idea is that I show Madame Muriel around, take her places, photograph her in those places then eventually send her on to somewhere new.  We have a few things planned and she will be spending Christmas with us too.  I have been warned she likes to take over the blog and make her own entries so watch out for those.

Here is the collection of lovely things she arrived with:

A lovely sheepie tote bag (I was rather rude about the sheep smell in my last post, I hope Margaret is the forgiving type!  It really truly doesn't smell of sheep at all.  And anyway the Butler did it, not me!!), some delicious New Zealand chocolate, a chart for a Blackbird Designs thread keep and the most exquisite needlebook with needles and pins included!  Plus a brochure for some weird place called Mishawaka, apparently it actually exists, I thought Connie had made the place name up to be humourous!

 Needlebook, outside and inside - isn't it just beautiful, I haven't counted to see what it's stitched on but it's very delicate and wonderfully made. 
Much better than I could have done, so don't expect anything this good, next Hostess!
And John James needles, size 26 which is fab as I have 24s and 28s but no 26s.  I think they will be perfect for 28 count evenweave as the 28s are a wee bit wee.

And also, this lovely chart: 

I don't have a scissor keep or a thread keep and this comes with a little antiqued split ring - perfect!

So, a big Thank You to Margaret and a Welcome to Madame Muriel.  Watch this space for more news on her adventures and travels here in the Old Country.

ps I have been stitching this week but some is for sending to people and some don't have much progress since last time.  I've done a little on several things but nothing worth posting yet.  I also went to the theatre and lost an entire evening's stitching.  We went to see Terry Pratchett's The Wyrd Sisters.  I thought my brother had the book so I phoned him and said "Do you have Wyrd Sisters?"  "Yes", he replied "Two of them"  hahahaha sibling jokes are soooooooo funny.