Saturday, August 22, 2020

Time Out...

... just a little, quick note to let you know that I am having a wee break to recharge the batteries.

I know many think of Australia as hot and full of red dust.. well, there is some of that around, but where we live the winter is cold. I don't like cold, so we are heading north for some warmer weather and a different view for a bit. 

will be closed from Wednesday, 26 August. 
Please make sure you get your order in before that if you need anything to keep your hands busy. 

I don't think, I will be posting while I am away, but I will be in touch as soon as I am back on deck. 

Take care every one. 
Stay Safe & Keep Stitching
Anna XOX 

Monday, August 17, 2020

Changing projects

Not as much stitching has been happening around here as I would like but I managed to sneak in a couple of hours yesterday and picked up the crewel piece I am also working on.

I always prefer to work on colour selections during the day and with this grey scale it is even more important as the tones of the grey yarns change completely at night.

The sprig of small daisies was relatively straight forward (and very relaxing). The little leaves are fishbone stitch, satin stitch petals and colonial knot centers. It surprised me how 'pink' the palest grey tone looked when used for the center in the lighter daisies.

Then I moved on to the group of heart-shaped flowers/fruit inside the main scroll. I knew, I wanted closely packed knots for the fruit and Cretan stitch for the sepals, but this time the colour combinations were a little more challenging to get right. At first, when holding the grey yarns against the design - they looked way too.. well, grey. So I first stitched the sepals in the same light green as the daisy leaves. It looked completely wrong. Then I tried a grey-green, which looked fine - until I had finished the knots and then that too looked out of place. I 'reverse stitched' it again and went back to the original greys. Goodness, colours and tones can be fickle but I think it works. 

The fruit are all embroidered in the same way, but I used two colour variations to add a bit of interested. 

I find when working with repeated elements, such as groups of flowers or leaves, that if you change both colour and stitch combinations, the design can easily end up looking too busy. Where as if you vary just one or the other it adds interest while the overall design remain balanced. 

The fruit is filled with closely packed French knots. These have 2-wraps, which I don't do often but one wrap was too little, Colonial knots too big and stitching with 2 strands of yarn, too bulky. The sepals are Cretan stitch. This is quite possibly one of my favorite stitches for small - medium size leaves. Mostly because, I just love the little plait it creates along the centre. Considering it is one of my favorite stitches, I was surprised to discover, I haven't yet shared a little step-by-step... I will need to do that, I think. 

This is how it looks now and I can work on the mirror set of daises and fruit (perhaps they are apples?) during the evening if I manage to steal a few minutes. There is one 'mistake' here.... can you spot it?

... I have stitched the elements on the right hand side first - really silly when I am right handed! I am pretty good at not resting my hands on the work while I embroiderer but I will need to cover it while I stitch the others so I don't rub my hand and arm over it all the time. 

You may remember, I had said, I really needed the Jester done by the end of the month, but I had to put him aside this week.

I am wanting to create a hat that looks a little like a cross between a crown and a jester's hat. The couple of attempts I have made were so bad, I didn't even bother with a photo. What I have learned (about myself) is that if it doesn't work after a couple of tries, put it aside for a bit and give it another go later. More often than not, a solution to whatever the problem may be (and I think it partly was the thread I was using) will turn up. At least he is looking pretty happy - hat or not hat.

The new website is taking up more time than I thought it would (no, not really, I knew it would be a bit of a headache) but I am getting there. I promise we will have a big party of sorts when it all done. 

Have a lovely and safe week everyone,


Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Dressing up

I am making some progress on my Jolly Juggling Jester.

This week he got dressed. 
I am stitching his jacket as little needle lace pieces, one piece each for the sleeves, and jacket fronts. I had originally pictured the jacket to in brighter colours, but no matter what combinations I tried, it just didn't work. In the end I have used a slightly shaded silk (Gumnut Yarns 'Stars') in a camel/mushroom colour with vertical stripes in rust. It is colourful, but not bright and, I think, settles the bright red pants and yellow ground a bit.

I forgot to take pictures while stitching the first pieces (sorry), but here is one of the last jacket front in the making. The pin is there, just for size. All the jacket pieces are stitched in corded detached blanket stitch onto to a temporary ground. You can see where the right hand piece was done. I use a very stiff vilene (buckram) then place my pattern onto that and hold it in place with adhesive plastic. This gives me a good ground for attaching the cordonnet (the outline) which holds the shape of the needle lace.

The picture above better shows how the pieces are layered before the last jacket piece was stitched in place. First the sleeves and then the jacket front over the top. I have neatened the visible edges with buttonhole stitch (tailor's buttonhole) which is different to blanket stitch and creates a firmer edge.

And... All dressed. I still need to add a belt or some kind of closure. The little cap is just the start of his hat - which, I think, I worked out how to do, while walking the Tilly this morning. He also needs ears and hair.. and, of course, balls to juggle. Getting there one stitch at a time, but I really need to have it finished by the end of the month, so I'd better go sharpen my needle. 

Just before I go...

... you may have been wondering what happened to Mother Hen, the last raised embroidery piece and needlebook projects I did a little while ago. Don't worry, I haven't given up on these kits. In fact both have been sitting on a shelf, as good as ready to go for a couple of months.. waiting on... just two silks to arrive. I ordered them months ago... long story. They are on their way. As we all know, post and shipping is more unpredictable than ever - but as soon as they arrive both the kit for the picture and the needle book will be available in the Etsy SHOP (and on the new website - as soon as that is ready..).
If you want to make sure you don't miss out.. please feel free to Email Me and will make sure I put one aside for you.

Have a lovely week everyone.
Stay Safe, Stay Home & Keep Stitching,
Anna X