Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Finishing hills - It's a Juggle

Between netting the vineyard and teaching last week, I have been fitting in only a bit of stitching on my raised embroidery figure 'It's a Juggle' since I last showed you where I was at.

I embroidered the (yellow brick) road in rows of coral knots. It kind of looks like pebbles now I think, and I rather like it. I might still add rows of even smaller knots between the ones I have finished, but I am not quite sure, so for now it is a wait and see.
Next, I had to neaten the top of the hill and couched a fine gold metal thread along edge and looking forward to stitch my 'daisy meadow'.

I have been looking forward to stitching this flower meadow look ever since I started this piece, but because the way everything overlaps, I had realised I had to finish the other bits first. By using a variegated thread the shades of the daisies land somewhat randomly.
When I finished it, I was rather disappointed...
I don't want the hills to 'steal the show'. They are merely there to anchor the figure and I was concerned this one was too busy for what will be happening later..

Before making any rash decision, I stitched the other side of the large hill. The pattern on this one is much more subtle. It is worked in a very simple pattern darning stitch - close rows of running stitches in a set pattern.
To add just a teeny bit of colour variation, I have used a shaded stranded silk for this one and I am rather pleased with the way the stripes of the colour offsets the vertical stripes of the stitched pattern.

Stepping back and looking at the overall effect of the hills it was a very quick and easy decision to rip the daisies out... Boy do I dislike pulling out chain stitches! I swear it takes at least twice as long as putting them in!

So, two step forward and one step back, I restitched the last bit of the hill to match the other side of the road and I am so much happier with how it is looking.

With the background finished, I can now move on to embroidering my figure. It will be fun and fiddly to create the individual pieces of needlelace for his clothing and the thought of the tiny wired hands makes my fingers ache before I have even started....

The rest of the week will be busy catching up on 'non-stitching' bits and pieces, much of it in in front of the computer. With a bit of luck I am hoping to be able to steal just a wee bit of time here and there and spend time with my Jester friend, but we'll see.

Best Stitches until next time.
Anna X

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

It's a Juggle - WIP

What do you do when you have a to-do list as long as your arm? I sit down and stitch, telling myself I will 'get onto it in a minute'.

I have been working on the instructions for my last crewel embroidery 'Sweet Repose' and I am getting there, but I simply can't not stitch in between. I do have class projects that I need to start work on, but I figured perhaps I should try and completely finish one thing before starting the next for once. I needed something where I just need to stitch without thinking about taking notes so I dug out the raised figure, I started towards the end of last year. 

To my very pleasant surprise, I had made more of a start than I remembered - but sadly the photos are not very glamorous. 

I had made good headway with the hills and would usually complete the background before starting on any raised work. But I had stopped when I realised that if I was going to embroider his socks as I intended, I better do that before going any further.
and that is how I found it - bare legs and no socks.

I wanted the socks to be stripy, down the leg so had planned to stitch them in raised stem stitch. Because it is all very tiny and very tight, it is easy to accidentally catch the finished stitches on the background, which is why I had decided to work them before completing the mountain (or hill) of tiny chain stitch.

Socks complete. The pin is just there to give you an idea of the size. 
I was meant to do some 'serious online stuff' but since I am now able to work on the hills again, I might just finish the chain stitch one first....

I am not sure if the left hand side is not too busy. I like these backgrounds to just be just a gentle backdrop - not too 'in your face' - We'll see. It might have to come out..
I had also toyed with the idea of leaving the road unstitched. I thought perhaps the negative space would work well, but because of the colour of background silk (which is impossible to photograph and changes colour every time) I think it is a little bit too 'yellow-brick-road-ish. 
I will put is aside for now and look at it in a day or two and decide how I feel about it.

In the meantime, I will get back to the notes for 'Sweet Repose' I only have half a dozen diagrams or so to draw, then I can put it all together and get it off to the printer. The fabric pieces went to print just after Christmas and should be ready next week and the yarns are on their way. If all goes to plan the kit should be in the SHOP within the next two weeks. 
If you are interested in the kit, please send me an email me to pre-order and I will make sure I keep one aside for you.

We are busy getting the vineyard ready to net the vines. These crazy plants just keeps growing - even with the hot weather we have had. We have spent hours (of fun) trimming them back, surely they will stop growing now...

Best Stitches and sunshine to everyone from a small vineyard near Adelaide.,

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Turning the page to 2019

I hope you have arrived safely and happily in 2019

I still like to have a wall calendar to keep track of where I am at, but like most years, I have not managed to get a shiny new 2019 calendar yet, so I haven't actually turned any pages to the new year. 

Nor have I found my word.
I don't do new years resolutions but for a number of years now, I have had A Word. At the start of the year I choose a single word - A word that I focus on and investigate, A word that I make part of my everyday, A word that I refer to for inspiration. And I have discovered just how important and effective just One Little Word can be. I have not found my word for 2019 yet, but it will come to me. 

The start of a new year always feels a bit odd to me. In reality, 1st of January is like any other day (well any other day, feeling a bit 'tired' after a big night) but at the same time, it feels different. I feel there is a stillness and calm, and a quiet anticipation. Like an old steam train, I pulled into the station, huffing and puffing with screaming breaks and hot steam flying everywhere to finish the year. I have had time to rest and let the engine cool off a bit - have a big sigh. Now, I need to put more coal in the furnace and get going again, but like the big, heavy, old train, it takes a little time and carefully measured energy to get enough steam build up and get going again. I will get there - but I don't feel rushed.

I should probably start by making a list. I like lists. I often loose my lists, or change them, or write new ones, but without them I am way too easily distracted and side tracked. I think, I will be busy, so the best way to start is to start a list...

... or perhaps I just pull out my needle and stitch for a bit, while I contemplate what needs to go on my list and in which order.

Best Stitches for a fabulous year ahead.
Anna X