Thursday, January 19, 2017

Threads Behaving VERY Badly - or Why This is Taking So Danged Long

I'm back working on the needlelace pastoral panel, which is progressing as slowly as the proverbial molasses in January.

While taking a break from a fiendishly difficult trellis stitch leaf, I decided to move ahead with the remaining acorns.

All the acorn bodies are done in Ceylon stitch, which looks kind of like knitting, as can be seen in this photo of completed acorns stitched in silk.  A stitch diagram can be found  here.

The next remaining acorn called for the nut section to be stitched in silver tambour, and here's where things got dicey.  Metallic threads are notorious for obnoxious behavior. . . and that was certainly the case here.  This photo shows the kind of schenanigans you can expect (see the spontaneous kinked section towards the right).

Complicating things further, between the size of the stitch and the shine of the thread, it was almost impossible to see the stitches while working.  (Amazing now clear it all is in the blown up photos.)

In any case, after cutting out two unsuccessful tries, I decided that I needed help. . . which I provided myself by tacking down each stitch as I worked.  While VERY time consuming, this did make the stitched loops lie flat and stay still instead of kinking up and semi-floating above the fabric.  The photos show the individual loops tacked down as I worked, and the finished product with the tacking stitches removed.

So. . . cheating or not. . . the nut of the acorn is done!

Monday, January 9, 2017

A New Leaf for the New Year?

It's back.  After a holiday hiatus, I've started back to work on the needle lace pastoral panel.  This is the next to last leaf on the big central tree.  I had started the central section before the holidays, and today managed to get back to work and finish up this very crazy leaf.

That leaves one more leaf and a half dozen or so acorns yet to do.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Something Done before Christmas!

Under ordinary circumstances, this wouldn't be anything to write home about, but  . .. what the heck, it IS a finish.  Behold, the Grumpy Cat ornament I stitched for a stitching friend.

Here's hoping 2017 will be less disruptive and more productive.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

Monday, October 17, 2016

No, Emily Post Would Not Approve

Have I complained lately about trying to get anything done amid an unending house renovation?

You really don't want to hear it.  But it does explain the disconnect between today's date and that in the photo.  That's right, the wedding was last August. . . way beyond the year traditional etiquette allows for a wedding gift.

The really good news is the happy couple remains a happy couple, and hopefully this very belated gift will give them the opportunity to relive their special day.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut

Slow progress continues on the 17th century pastoral panel.

I'm still avoiding completing the tree trunk. . . moving on to work on some of the acorns.  Here are the first three completed.

The bottoms of the nuts are in ceylon stitch, while the caps are in a woven technique working the silk thread over and under a trellis of vertical linen base threads.

The right hand acorn shows the cap with the linen base threads in place.

And here is the "weaving" step in progress:

Monday, September 5, 2016

A Rather Troublesome Leaf

Let me digress briefly to bemoan the travails of surface embroidery for those of us who are counted thread stitchers at heart.  Ah, the comfort of knowing exactly where the needle is supposed to go. . . and the stress of having to decide exactly where to place a stitch.

Behold Exhibit 1, the latest leaf in my pastoral panel, the yellow and green one on the lower left:

According to the instructions, this leaf was supposed to be a similar shape to the ones above it, with scalloped edges on either side.  Sadly, the pattern -- in indelible ink of course -- didn't trace exactly that way on the fabric. . . . and the lower part of the upper leaf was way too close to create a scalloped edge along the top.

Since there weren't too many options available (assuming I was NOT going to rip out), I tried to make it look like the top of the leaf might be folded back, obscuring the scalloped edge.

Right now, it's still kind of bugging me, but probably once a little more stitching is done, my annoyance will move on to other things!