Roland-designs , Virginie's blog.

"Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Écarté card game

Here is an 1800's French card game called ' Écarté ' .

Écarté is a  two player card game that was popular in the 19 th century, you can read more about it, and find the rules at the link below :

The cards, and the deck were bought seperatly, one of the cards has a little blue tax stamp saying :
Republic francaise
Decret du 12 Avril 1890

French Écarté cards from the 1890's

Card game tax stamp

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Antique crochet sampler book

Someone many, many years ago took the time to save small pieces of crochet and knitted lace and pin them in the pages of a simple handmade album. I don’t know anything more about the album apart that I purchased it from the Uk so I presume it originated from there. 

Many of us knit small swatches or try out samples before working a larger project, or like me crochet small rosettes or lace bits just to practice or try out a new thread or yarn. Wouldn’t it be nice to save those pieces inside a nice album? It could become a family heirloom. 

But like I said in the video – whatever you do that is creative, sign, and date it! 

Crochet sampler book with a handmade canvas cover

First page, with crochet samples

Lovely little pieces of crochet lace, filet crochet, and knitting

Knitted lace samples, and pattern

Detail view

Detail photo of the binding 

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Bruno Börner in Berlin - Two new counted embroidery patterns

The latest patterns to be re-charted and added to the Roland-designs collection are both signed with Bruno Börner in Berlin and date to sometime between 1820-1870.

They are both different in style and dare I say, even in quality! ‘Rose garland’ for example is more delicate, and intricate in addition to being painted on better quality paper than the one I called ‘Blue’, though the later on the other hand has a nicer font for the signature.

Both are repetitive designs which can be used for borders, cushion covers, table runners, pelmets or other household decorations. 

Only a piece of the pattern is presented on the antique charts, and I have to admit that without the use of modern software it would have taken a bit of calculating and possible trials-and-errors to achieve a matching square. The designs look repetitive, but typical of hand painted patterns – they don’t always match up. So in re-charting them I have kept as true to the originals as possible, but took some creative liberty in the digital version in order to make all the design fit nicely together.

I would love to see someone get creative with ‘Blue’ and stitch it in a different colour scheme.  

Available on the website, and ETSY Rose Garland, Blue 

'Blue' - Cross stitch pattern

'Rose garland' - Cross stitch pattern
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Special offer

Get both patterns directly from the blog for only 4 $
The PDF files will be sent to your email.

Saturday, 5 January 2019

'Hugo' knitted poncho. Part 2

I spent about 3 months knitting the Hugo poncho by Gosia Grajdek , the pattern was simple enough and knitted up fast. 

Unfortunately the written pattern had a mistake in regards to the amount of stitches needed to make the cable details in the bottom match.

In the pattern it reads:

“….Count the stitches between cables. The number should be divisible by 8 + 4 (eg.25*8+4=204)….”

This gives you the wrong count for the cables, the stitches should be divisible by 8. I worked 27 rows instead of the recommended 25 and stopped when I had 416 stitches – 208 on each side of the markers. 

I added three rows of purl and finished off.

The poncho is warm, and very comfortable. The only observation I can add is that it hangs a bit lumpy in the front/back I think this is due to having stopped with the increases when beginning with the cable edge at the bottom.

Drops Nepal is thick, 100% wool and a pleasure to work with. I used dark grey, but if I would knit again I might use a lighter colour, or rows of colour. 

Hugo knitted poncho part 1:

Hugo poncho by Gosia Grajdek

Close up view of the cable detail

The collar is large and comfortable, but not very close fitting

My daughter Rosaline modelling the poncho, she is the same height as me so I would say the poncho fits well a medium size. If you are taller you might want to make it longer

Find me on Ravelry  here:
Yarn bought from :

Disclaimer: All recommendations or opinions are my own preference, and point of view; I am not sponsored or affiliated with Drops designs, Ravelry or

Sunday, 23 December 2018

Prestgårdens krydderkaker ( Parsonage spice cake )

Prestgårdens krydderkaker

-          100 g butter
-          2 eggs
-          200 g sugar
-          175 g flour
-          1.5 dl sour cream
-          2 teaspoons baking powder
-          2 teaspoons cinnamon
-          1 ½ teaspoons ground cloves
-          1 ½ teaspoons dried ginger powder


-          Preheat oven to 175 degrees
-          Melt the butter and let it cool a bit
-          Beat eggs and sugar until light and fluffy
-          Mix in sour cream + dry ingredients + melted butter
-          Pour into a greased 1.5 liter bread pan and bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean
-          Let cool completely before decorating with powder sugar, light glaze or the decoration of your choice.

This is a bit of a traditional Norwegian spice coffee cake, and while there are several versions this is the one I make each Christmas.

For the original  recipe in Norwegian see :

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So, it’s been about 40 days and time to strain and taste my Christmas liquor. See 40 days Christmas liquor

Straining though a coffee filter was taking a very long time, so I ended up filtering it through a clean dishtowel folded several time. 

The taste is sweet, coffee/orangish. I tried some in my coffee and that was ok, then I took a little with an ice cube that was also alright, but I did find it a bit bitter.

Typical of my life at present - Recipe writen in Norwegian and English

A simple, no fuss cake that doesn't take too long to make.