Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Making Waves

I have made some progress on the mermaid.
You may remember, I was at a point where I needed to somehow cover the lettering marked in permanent ink above and below the mermaid. The letters were marked on the linen in permanent ink, so I was not even going to attempt to remove it. 
One thought was to think up something relevant to embroider as a partial border above an below, but I quickly decided that, that wasn't the way I wanted to go. I wanted to find a solution that would not crate a heavy, solid border. 

I started by continuing the existing rows of waves across the lettering. 

I then added more waves, midway between each of the first, this time using a slightly finer thread. Two strands of silk and twisted chain stitch to get a more textured line. At first I only stitched these waves in a band, the same width as the letters, so the whole design would have a circular outline. But a after few rows of waves, I decided to continue these waves as straight line from the edge of the circle the outer edge.

It was beginning to slightly mask the marked letters but not enough and I had to think up something else to add. My first thought was seeding with gold thread but after only stitching a little bit, it was clear it just made the work look 'dirty and messy'. You can see the seeding between the waves at the top of the picture below.

Then I found a skein of silk in my stash - exactly the same colour as the background fabric. 
With a single strand, I stitched rows of random running stitches (or random pattern darning - the same as filling the mermaid) back and forth across the area where the letters are. In the picture above, the pattern darning is between the waves towards the bottom of the picture above.

It doesn't completely cover the ink marks but I think it is enough to disguise the letters. The silk stitches blend into the background fabric, creating a bit of texture and a border but because the fabric is not completely covered, I don't think it look too heavy and solid. 

This is where it it as...


What do you think?

I really, really, really want to finish this now and move on to something different that is piled up on my worktable, waiting to get started. I had hoped to finish it before Monday, but we'll see.

I hope you are all having a good week. For those of you still in lock-down, I hope you are managing this strange situation the best you can.
Stay well, and keep stitching.
Anna X

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Stitching a rock

I just couldn't give up on my Little Mermaid after all.
After my initial disappointment of not sending it off to be part of the 'Lost Connections' project, I decided to finish it after all.
This is what happened:
First, I realised that I would need my slate frame for my new crewel design, since my second frame is not quite wide enough.

Secondly. When I brought out the Mermaid frame and was about to take the embroidery off the frame to scrap it, I knew that I really wanted to try out my idea for how to embroider the rock. If I took it off the frame, I was not going to put it back on and for what I had in mind for the rock a hoop would not work as it would damage the areas already completed. In the end, the idea for the rock won over the urge to scrap it.

It had puzzled me how I was going to stitch a rock in gold, without it looking well like a giant gold nugget. The Mermaid needed something to sit on, but I didn't want the rock to look heavy and lumpy which in reality is what rocks are.

I had chosen a fine Imitation Jap gold thread. It is very shiny, and this particular thread is softer and more fragile than what I often use so it damages very easily.
I started by couching it along the outline and then curling it into a coil at the base.

I continued coiling it until the circle was filled. 
As this was not planned from the beginning, I had to carefully draw a rough line to work to in pencil. You can the faintly see the line for the second coil to come in the picture above.

I repeated this for a second coil. This made the outline wider and 'finished' the lower edge of the rock.
By this stage I was starting to feel a little happier about the whole thing and slightly confident that it might just turn out the way I had envisaged.

 Since I didn't want to fill the rock in completely, I added just one more coil on the left... 

.. then repeated the process on the right hand side.

The rock may be finished or maybe not... I am not sure yet. It is getting there, but perhaps it will need 'something' else. I will ponder that for a bit.
Now back to the reasons why I have decided to finish...

... Thirdly, for some reason, it feels really wrong not to finish it. I regularly abandon things (or put them on prolonged hold) but for some reason I cannot explain, I just want to finish this one before I move on. Go figure....?

What I do know, is that I no longer want the wording 'Lost Connections' written as the main feature. It no longer makes sense.
My problem is that I have marked it in permanent ink! So now what? I think, I have a plan - but if it will work is another question....
I am hoping to have some time to stitch over the next few days and test it out, so I will show you soon.
If it does work, it will lead to my...

.... Last and most important reason to not abandon my Mermaid: I have thought of another use for it (no, it won't be a kit), but that too is a story for later.

Enjoy the rest of your week, stay safe and look after yourself and those around you.
Best Stitches,
Anna X