Friday, June 26, 2020

The Little Mermaid

I don't have loads to share today but really wanted to show you that it is finally finished!

Considering the change of direction this took part way through the stitching (completely of my own doing), I think, I probably like it better than the original version (which the more I looked at it reminded me of the tokens we used to get in Tivoli gardens to play on the various game machines when I was little). You can see the original at the bottom of this blog post HERE

To disguise the lettering marked in permanent ink above and below the mermaid, I ended up creating water, by stitching three 'layers' of waves around the little mermaid. 

Right Way Up
Usually when I work on larger pieces, I don't hesitate to rotate my frame whatever way it takes to make the stitching as comfortable as possible.I think that if I am comfortable and relaxed while I work, my stitches will be so too. 
Well, there seem to be an exception to everything and I found one such exception when stitching the outer ring of waves in Twisted Chain Stitch.
I like Twisted Chain Stitch because of the slightly bumpy texture and had chosen to use it for the outer waves and straight lines around the design. All was going well on the lower part of the design, but when I rotated the embroidery to stitch above the mermaid, it was not as straight forward. I simply could not get the stitches to twist and flow smoothly. To match the direction and twist of the lower rows, I had to stitch left to right, up-side and twist the thread in a way that felt completely awkward - so I gave up; rolled the fabric as much as I could onto the lower roller bar and had to stretch across the frame to work all the rows at the top. Uncomfortable, yes - but a lot less awkward.
I have put a tutorial Twisted Chain Stitch HERE

Now all that is left for me to do is make it up. I don't think I want to frame it and am thinking it will be made into a pillow for someone who I am pretty sure will appreciate it. Can't say who, because I am not sure if that person stops by the blog from time to time.

I am looking forward, as always, to start a new project....

Have a lovely weekend.
Stay Safe & Keep Stitching,
Anna X

Stitch Chat - Twisted Chain Stitch

I have been using Twisted Chain Stitch more and more lately - both for lines, but also as a filling stitch. 
It is a slight variation of the ordinary chain stitch. By twisting the thread for each stitch it forms a slightly  more narrow and raised line. 
What I love most about this Twisted Chain Stitch is the raised texture of the stitch, making it a nice contrast alongside smooth stitches, such as stem and satin stitch.

In my latest project The Little Mermaid, I used Twisted chain stitch for rows of rows of waves. The stitch itself is not difficult once you get into a rhythm to keep the direction of the twists consistent, but I did learn that this is one of the few stitches, where rotating your work, makes it near impossible to keep the twist and stitch direction the same. 
Being right handed, I tend to stitch from right to left, or from the top towards me. The important thing is to keep the twist of the stitches to the same side every time. 

Twisted Chain Stitch

1. Bring the thread to the front at the end of the line. Take needle to the back to one side of the emerging thread (here above).Add caption

2. Loop the thread around making sure it is crossing over itself. Bring the needle to the front on the marked line, inside the thread loop.

3. Pull the stitch to. This is a single twisted chin. It looks like a little fish, don't you think?

4. Take the needle to the back to one side of the twisted chain.
 This should be the same side as the first stitch (here above).

 5. Loop the thread around making sure it is crossing over itself as before.
      Bring the needle to the front on the marked line, inside the thread loop. 

6. Pull the second stitch to as before.
The stitches form a textured line. 
 The aim is to keep the twist and the the tension of    the stitches as consistent as possible. 

The interesting thing about Twisted Chain stitch is just how much the appearance of the stitches can change simply by altering the length of the stitch itself but also the width. 
The two photos below, show the very different look you get if the needle is taking to the back further out from the chain for example. Then it suddenly becomes spiky looking - ideal for prickly blackberry stems for instance.


I wonder how it would look if I stitched a second row in the opposite direction, so the 'spikes' fit into those of the first row???

Twisted Chain Stitch Filling
At first glance, Twisted Chain Stitch, is probably not one that you would pick as a filling stitch for a shape. I know, I didn't until a saw it done and is it beautiful for that purpose. 

The leaf to the right if a section of my Scarlet Glory crewel work design and the textured filling is Twisted Chain Stitch worked in wool. What I love about it, is the ridges it form across a shape.
To get a filling like on the leaf, all the rows must be stitched in the same direction.
  The first row is stitched like above

1. To start the next row, the first stitch should sit immediately next to the previous. 

2. Continue along the previous row, pushing the stitches close against the first row.
  You can stitch subsequent rows both above and below the first. The important thing is to work each row in the same direction and to align the stitches, to get the ridges across the shape the stitches.  

I hope you will have a bit of a play with this stitch. It is one that can easily be used instead of regular chain stitch to add a bit of texture to a piece. 
Have fun with it.

Stay Safe & Keep Stitching,
Anna X

PS - I am really not keen on the new way blogger works - aligning text and pictures is really difficult and I do apologize for rather messy look of this post.