Roland-designs , Virginie's blog.

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

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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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.

Sunday, 16 December 2018

Antique beaded reticule purse

In late October when my husband and I were visiting family in France we took a little detour into an antique shop filled with all the classic assortment of heavy furniture, large painting and overpriced pieces of local history. I love antiques, but do prefer to pick up things at charity shops or flea markets as once an item goes to the antique dealer the prices tend to dim my interest rather quickly – though I have to say my husband has become pretty good at bargaining or getting deals for multiple item purchases.

But, displayed along a lot of small this-and-that there was a pretty little beaded purse in relative good condition with an asking price under what I have seen on Ebay (a good place to get a general idea of the current worth of vintage/antiques – though not always fool proof as the value of those items are affected by popularity and demand; what might be sought out today could be completely forgotten the next year)

So that little reticule purse came home with us, and makes a lovely addition to my collection of 1800’s ladies accessories and needlework items. 

The purse was knitted with each stitch containing a bead, it was then lined with white cloth and edged with a blue silk ribbon. As expected the silk is completely worn and damaged, then there are missing beads, but overall it’s in pretty good condition for its age. The seller said it was made in Germany and while I am not an expert in purses I can imagine it was worked in the middle of the 1800’s as it features typical motifs of the time - An oriental scene, palms, a man and woman with turban and Ottoman costumes. 

Captivated by the tales of A thousand and one night, the Victorians developed a fascination for all things oriental and this is often seen in needlepoint patterns and art of the time period.

Would you like to try making your own beaded purse ? Here is a tutorial I found online, maybe I should test it out myself ? 

More interesting reading here: A history of the beaded bag

Antique beaded bag

Other side

Details - A few glass beads are missing, probably broke and fell off as the string is mostly intact

The silk lining on the top is damaged

Notice how some beads are larger than others, maybe they were made by different companies ?