Sunday, November 30, 2014

Quietly stitching...

...blanket stitch leaves.


Two shades of green and the same stitch over and over - close together - gently changing the angle to follow the movement of each shape. There is something really nice and soothing about doing the same over and over.


A simple row of split stitches along one side, lifts the stitches ever so slightly off the surface. -  I don't think I will ever grow tired of that neat little edge that blanket stitch naturally creates.


Next, plump and fat flowers... and yes, you did spot bullion knots! Those who knows me, will also know that bullion knots and I are not the best of friends. Sometimes a girl's gotta do, what a girl's gotta do and in this case there is no way getting around a few bullions. Breathe Anna, just breathe...

Happy Stitching,
Anna X

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The evolution of an ornament...

After a fantastic weekend away with friends, staying at a shack right on the river (yes, the paddle steamer did sail through the 'back yard' - it was so beautiful) it is back to the needle this week.


Last week I was putting the kits together for the wool embroidered Christmas stocking. I know Christmas is close, but this one is so quick to stitch that I figured a few kits would be nice to have the shop.


While I was sitting there, neatly packing the woollen cloth, yarns and other bits and pieces, my mind was wondering (as usual). What would happen if I shrunk the pattern? Perhaps I could make little matching ornaments? A quick trail run with stranded cotton on homespun proved that they could possibly become neat little Christmas trees.


I am really not crazy about stranded cotton. In my opinion the only reason it has become so popular would have to be because there are so many colours and it is relatively cheap - besides, Christmas ornaments have such a limited annual lifespan that I quickly decided not to take that idea any further.
As I was packing it all away, it occurred to me that my embroidery scissors fitted very neatly into the 'Christmas tree'...


...and so it became a scissor sheath...


What do you think? As with the big crewel piece I am working on, I am playing with patterns that appear to 'continue' past the edges, as if they were part of something bigger.



So here I am, stitching a re-arranged stocking pattern in fine crewel wool to make a scissor sheath and matching pin cushion. I am really not good a following instructions, so a few changes here and there are inevitable.


It is coming along rather quickly - the pin cushion part is finished and I am sure to finish embroidering the scissor sheath tonight.

In my head I am calling the pattern 'Dahlia', but you know how I feel about naming my things. Any suggestions?

Best stitches,
Anna X


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Crewel progress

We have mountains of 'stuff' to do both in the garden and in the vineyard at the moment, which is one of the reasons stitching has taken a back seat the last few weeks. Most of my spring flowers got sizzled in the first wave of warm weather but my two large cacti, that look rather horrible for most of the year, are looking simply stunning.


They are covered in large pink flowers. When fully open they are the size of a large saucer - sadly each flower only lasts a day or so but when they are looking their best, they remind me of the main flower on the large crewel embroidery piece that is stretched up on my frame.

That there is so much to do outside doesn't mean I have completely neglected my needles and the crewel piece has grown every so slightly.

The other small leaf is finished...


... the filling with twisted textured filling is made from close rows of twisted chain stitch. It is a great stitch and I am rather chuffed with the result.



I am toying with the idea of a border around the entire design, just to finish it off neatly.
Not sure if I will go with one or two rows yet, so I will fill in a bit more of the main design to get a better feel for it.


I finished the main part of the other big stem yesterday with yes, another variation of chain stitch. This one is ladder chain - a little more tricky, especially over the really wide part of the stem. 


When I will get back to it next, I don't know. Perhaps when I do, it will seem obvious what to do with that border - one or two rows?

Happy Stitching,
Anna