Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I wanted to repeat the previous exercise from RAKAM. This time since I wanted a curved outline I decided to produce another in the gumleaf series.

Since I had Christine Bishop's book on Schwalm on loan I followed her instructions and used chain stitch with an outer row of coral stitching for the outline.

Tthe dove's eye is still wanting. However I have withdrawn threads on my pulled thread sampler and intend to really sample it before another attempt. Perhaps that is what I should have done in the first place. Also this is perhaps not the best stitch choice for the shape. However I wanted to repeat the stitches and so learnt quite a bit from the whole exercise.

After I had got so far I decided that I wanted to see how I could vary the value either side of the central vein. This last photo is what I did - I have not done the stitching along the vein yet. It would definitely have been better to have stitched that vein before I started but of course I didn't think ahead. This is waht I have done using a doubled thread for the vein. Now I need to do a long curl stitch or something similar - still trying to decide.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Nearly done! And a touch of embroidery!

The warp is almost finished! I am very pleased with the cloth and the process. The packing paper in the warp is all gone and just half a round of the warp beam is left - about a metre of weaving. Already there is enough for 6+ chairs. So maybe I haven't quite forgotten how.
I did manage to pick up a needle. My first issue of RAKAM arrived. This is an Italian embroidery magazine with some absolutely exquisite blackwork and pulled thread work in this February issue. The only drawback is that I now need to study the Italian language to get full value from the magazine. However I have had incredible assistance from some very talented Italian embroiderers on stitchin fingers Pulled Threads group. So with their help and the great diagrams I find I am not totally working in the dark.
I was very taken with piece of white work that is unlike any pulled thread I had done previously. It requires every fifth thread in both directions to be removed after an outline of the area is done in overcast stitch - a very scary operation and I was only working on a small sample. However once the threads are all successfully cut counting is much, much easier.
The satin stitch section which I think would have been sufficient on its own
Plus my not very expert dove's eyes - unfortunately I changed tack midway and thought I could substitute Greek cross. The original used dove's eyes but the difference is minimal and if I had done a better job I don't think the change would have been particularly discernible.

I like the effect but will try another sample before deciding whether or not to attempt a larger complete piece similar to that in RAKAM.
Thankyou Susan and Megan for telling me about Live Writer - I have not used it yet but downloaded the program .

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A new (old) direction!

There are times when blogger drives me insane!!!!!! I can't add photos where I want them so this entry may require patience to follow. I do apologise. However having waited some time for the images to load I don't want to repeat the exercise - so this is like one of those old books where the plates are in one section and the description elsewhere!.

The first photos are some samples made in 2005 of echo weave in cotton and wool - I had always intended to return and produce longer lengths of fabric. My next warp will definitely be an echo weave using 3 echoes and probably this draft.

However for the moment I want to weave the wool chair fabric for our dining chairs which we inherited from my parents. The last photo is of that warp now ready to go.

Now the entry as I intended to write it ....

Very little embroidery has been accomplished in the last couple of weeks. I do have 3 more biscornu to photograph and add to the blog - I have stuck to my resolution for this first four months - hopefully I will manage to keep up .
The last couple of weeks I have been tidying and making a decision or two in relation to weaving. Do I sell my loom and my stash? Or would I give it one more try? I pulled out all the cones of 2/20 cotton that I foolishly acquired a few weeks before I got sick. It was extremely scary to see it all in one place but the colour selection was absolutely gorgeous perfect for the 4 coloured double, shadow and echo weaves that I wanted to weave! For almost 4 years I have spent very little time at the loom which sported a 2/20 cotton warp of pale aqua. Originally I loved it but after it had given me "the guilts" every time I went into the room for years- that love turned to hate. If I wanted to weave something elseit needed to be woven off. The very simple bronson lace was originally intended for a blouse for me. Now I still don't like the fabric - however my daughter, Suzy, (who designs and sews lovely gear for little girls) thinks she can make herself something from it - otherwise it was to be serviettes. That warp liked me as much as I loved it - the most devilish selvedge threads just kept getting looser and looser ... to say nothing about the ones that snapped regularly! I don't have a decent photo of the yardage - it wasn't very photogenic and I gave up trying.
Now it is on to the chair fabric. Tomorrow I can't wait to check the threading and weave off the 5+metres. Then echo weave - here I come!!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

January's Biscornu

While I did not start to stitch this piece until February, it is my first "Pocket Project" (I love that terminology from Inspirations - although it should probably be admitted that all my work consists of "Pocket Projects"). I would like to make twelve of these this year - possibly my 2010 challenge. There is something about this shape that I find fascinating. Maybe I will try one with 15 sides before December.
For a return to stitching I decided to use the undoctored pattern for a *taellesyning biscornu from Inspirations #59. An unusual decision for me. I tend to try to stitch my own design, or, at the very least, a more or less adapted version of someone else's. I really enjoy the design process as well as the actual stitching and honestly feel this is a method of learning that suits me.
This is a tiny biscornu, stitched on linen, compared to my previous Aida efforts. My limited manipulative skills made it very difficult to join and stuff. I think the linen was 28 count and I used Finca perle cotton #8 .
*The spelling tallesyning finds a couple of articles on Google.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Time to test drawing skills which are minimal but hopefully should suffice for the intended embroidery exercise. More (or even, some) practice might help a little - a St Patrick's Day resolution, perhaps!

Pears from the supermarket are absolutely delicious at the moment and wonderfully inexpensive. Choosing the most interesting one in the box took a while. My colouring pencil work certainly does not pay tribute to the interesting colours on the skin. A photograph should do the trick.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Break is over!

Some break! Three months from blogging and two from embroidery! Life and inertia just got in the way. However I eased back slowly by stitching a needlecase to go with my first biscornu .

When that little bit of stitching was finished I decide there was enough space left on the Aida for a small scissor fob. Now I just need to join them up.