Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Early Again!

Well, on Tuesday I stitched my TAST for the week. I really love chain stitch - not sure why  i feel differntly about detached chain. Anyway chain stitch is the stitch of the week and here are some examples of my hain exploration.

This is something I did for my PLOS stitch exploration. I was very happy with it in 2007 and still am.

This time around I have decided to find some variations from Edith John's Creative Stitches

Yellow Finca #8; Variegated Anchor #8

From the top (enlarge fo a better view)
Tied Chain - three rows of chain - the top two tied with yellow, the bottom, with variegated.

Threaded Chain - a row of variegated #8 , threaded with #5 DMC yellow and tied with #12 DMC Black

Crossed Chain - two rows of chain (variegated) the first section is crossed in only one direction while the second is also crossed back

The next three rows are interesting - I was trying , fairly unsuccessfully, to follow the instructions in the book for Linked Chain  - I left the erroneous ones deliberately.  The bottom row in yellow is I think correct.  Interestingly Linked Chain is really linked detached chain.

This is followed by a row of variegated Barred Chain.

Alternating Barred Chain , in yellow.

The last row is what Edith calls Triple Chain - again  I tried something different towards the left - not very obvious in te photo but the little detached chains are at a slight angle to the vertical. Next time I would probably slant them further.

There are not many of these stitches I would use in my embroidery. A pity I am not a crazy quilter! The only purpose I can think of is in, possibly, a biscornu on Aida. I like ordinary, everyday plain chain as an outline stitch and, sometimes, as a filler. However I had lots of fun trying these variations (also it is an excuse to use the psychedelic thread).

Friday, February 17, 2012

Detached Chain

Although I am posting two days earlier than usual, sadly I can't get very excited about week 7 in TAST  - it is detached chain, daisy, lazy daisy or whatever.  There are not too many new ways I can use it without adding other stitches.  Finally I decided to add it to my Fly Stitch spiral - an excuse to use a different Anchor variegated cotton.  This pale one is much easier to manipulate than last week's strident colours.

After chasing through my stitch books up came Edith Johns' Zigzag Petal stitch - a two way stem stitch with the addition of a detached chain in the middle of each stitch. 

Not a particularly well executed example - I definitely need to practise to get the stitches more even. However this gives the general idea of the stitch.  I usually work stem stitch without a hoop or frame and feel my control is good - however some tautness of the fabric might be a good idea for the chain stitch - something for me to remember in the future.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Snail on Temazapam!

More belated TAST - Herringbone, or to be more precise, double back, has occupied my last two days stitching.  When all is revealed it is obvious I am a slow stitcher - but this slow?

All my stitching time yesterday - maybe three hours, at least, were spent on these two puny efforts.

The previous day was slightly more productive - there were square and circle double back.  These are definitely keepers for the future but I just can't see me taking time to stitch  and restitch  the square on the diagonal which occupied more than the lion's share of yesterday's time.

*** I forgot to mention that there is a square doily in Danish Pulled Thread Embroidery that has 81*! of these squares in the centre - what is my trouble?****

These are worked diagonally and are fairly intuitive - the instructions in Fangel are very explicit and easy to follow, in any case.

I really love this double back pulled work and will keep playing despite yesterday's problems. There are some ideas percolating on the back burner for future use.

Magnifiers for all occasions!

I now own a magnifier that you wear on your head rather like a miner's lamp - a birthday present to help increase the space between the holes in the linen.  My dermatologist uses  similar eyewear to remove extraneous bits from my legs so the idea is good.

This is the latest addition to my collection - there is a lens with a lamp downstairs as well as a separate lens that I use with a daylight lamp upstairs.  This new device will be perfect to carry  for meetings as it is fairly light and portable.

So a case is wanted and the right piece of weaving is maturing in the cupboard - some Turned Taquete that I had produced in 2005 (was it really that long ago?). Also some pale green lawn that I had made in a marbling class way back in the 90's - almost vintage! - good lining.  Well this quick job took me quite a few hours but I am really happy with the result

Sunday Post

It would appear  that it takes me until Sunday to write a blog post -I  had even worked my psychedelic chevron by Tuesday evening and the other piece of chevron was finished by Thursday morning but life got in the way - a habit it seems to have.

Anyway, here it is - the Anchor #8 that I couldn't resist buying seemed perfect for the exercise.


I love this stitch as well as Half Chevron. I made a number of samples when I did Sharon's PLOS class in 2007 and also used it for a biscornu .  This exercise was a refresher - while I love chevron my use for it has been limited so now how I could include it in my work. Maybe add a diagonal version

Could anyone resist this 'stained glass' ball of thread? Its only drawback for me is that the sections of colour are very small and difficult to deal with.  Maybe chevron is the answer - but single or double ?

This had all been nice and uncomplicated - even my eyes were happy with the Aida spacing - what would be the effect on linen as a background .  My only use for Aida seems to be biscornu.

Don't you love the contrast between the two? I did think of using a dark thread but that was not the effect I was chasing.

This perle is #12 while the Anchor variegated was #8 and the fabric is 32 count linen.

I am not sure whether I might find a use for this or not.  However this week's TAST was fun.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Week 5 TAST  2012 - and I was fighting a nasty chest infection (much better now, thank goodness) when Sharon Boggon announced that herringbone was the stitch on Tuesday. I breathed a sigh of relief - during Sharon's PLOS class in 2007 I tried a number of variations on herringbone stitch, followed by this biscornu and needlecase . (Also the flowers are double fly stitch with a french knot)

The border is tied herringbone.

What could I do this time?  Barbara Snook has suggested herringbone to replace hemstitching on the inside of a drawn thread hem - would this be sufficiently secure?  Not stitching I spent some time thinking about it and decided it probably could - yes it makes a good finish - in fact I might use it for Runner 2, especially if I use linen.

 Not a brilliant photo. However definitely another for my Hems and Edges folder. A variegated perle # 8 was the thread used.  I normally use #12 for hemstitching (which I did on the hem side)

This is another linen doodle cloth .  I also tried shadow work  - probably not something I would try often.  However the final exercise so far was triangle stitch in the middle.  Moyra McNeill  has a section on double back stitch pulled thread stitches and this is one of my favourites. It gives a quite delicate effect.  I wish I had had more time to dip further in the intricacies of herringbone but I will stop there .

A Final Insertion Exercise.

Well definitely the last insertion stitching on the agenda .  This has been a fun exercise but I have run out of options that fit in with TAST for the moment. 

This one is Plaited Insertion - each stitch is not cretan but enough of them  are  for me to include it in my TAST.  Mary Thomas says to leave at least 3/4 inch between the hems and use a firm thick thread.  I did leave the 3/4 " but am not sure what would happen if I unpicked the tacking - a really floppy join, I imagine.  The insertions are all still on the A4 paper to make it easier to store together in a folder. (My folder Hems and Edges has grown nicely in the last couple of weeks.) 

The thread is a painted cotton weaving yarn and somewhere between a#8 and #5 perle cotton in size. Aida was the fabric.