Wednesday, 22 October 2014

WIPW - Next week Wednesday

Work In Progress Wednesday helps you work towards completing needlework projects. Read and learn from Pintangle, then join in, if you want to share the fun.

I have added another row of quilting.

Swedish Cushion
The recently learned Fern stitch, TAST #134, quickly found its way onto the cushion. Pink Perle #8.

TAST Reference Chart
The Fern stitch grew here, too, and in a circle!
I need to remove the blue marker lines!

Swedish Wool Embroidery Collar
Last week I showed a photo of wool fleece. I took it while attending a workshop in felting on the island of Koster near the Swedish West Coast in July.
There I made two 'bluebells' to use as ornaments for the cords of the collar.
I was very pleased with them until I saw that they were too large.
New ornaments had to be made. I had some wool in my stash in Tokyo, and remembered the technique. The result was two smaller ornaments, however they are not bluebells.
Instead their plainness make them perfect for TAST embroidery, and as you can see the Fern Stitch came out to play again.
A few stitches here and there and the Swedish Wool Embroidery Collar will be complete. It will be on display next Wednesday!

Where do you think the two bluebells are destined for? The bin? The cupboard? Or the ...? Also on display next Wednesday. Until then have a happy stitchy time!

Sunday, 19 October 2014

TAST #134 Fern Stitch

Do you want to learn a lot about stitches? Join TAST! It stands for Take A Stitch Tuesday and the course leader, Sharon Boggon, introduces us to a new stitch every Tuesday on her website Pintangle. We then try the stitch and write a blog post about it, leave a link to our own blog on Sharon's website (comment box of Pintangle) so that others can share. Everyone has something to contribute and we learn so much from each other. It is also great fun! This week it was time for stitch number 134, the Fern Stitch.

Although I have often seen this stitch and know how useful it is for making stems, branches and twigs, I have actually never learned it. It comprises of three simple straight stitches, and you would think that working them in any way would be OK. Do we really need to learn this?

I had some time on my hands one day and sat pondering about my needlework teacher in primary school. She had fixed rules and beliefs, one of them was 'although the result should be as neat and perfect as you can make it, it is the process that is important; you must learn to do the stitch the right way'. The question I was now contemplating was, is there a right way to do a stitch. The instructions vary from stitch guide to stitch guide. Just for the fun of it I took out my collection of books to see how many ways there were for the Fern Stitch.
A purple             B yellow left          C yellow right         D green left            E green right

I found these five ways. 
A is from a Japanese book. B is worked as a cluster of three lines and would be a good detached Fern Stitch. C is Ms Totsuka's method (see note of Kiko's Flower). D and E are a left-hand and right-hand variation of the same instructions. 
From the front they look quite similar. It is when you see them from the back that you notice the difference. (I have started and ended the stitches with a knot to have as little obstacle as possible for the photo.)

We can see that each method uses different amounts of thread and if sewn on a sheer fabric you would sometimes see the thread on the back showing through.
Here the fabric was held up against a window and you can clearly see the shadows some of the stitches make.
As I was working I soon found which instructions suited me - my way of holding the needle, the angle and direction of the movement and which stitch gave me the most 'flow'.

I came to the conclusion that my needlework mistress in school was wrong about there being a universal 'right' way of stitching. There is, however, a right way for each of us!
Now what do you think?

Time to stitch the samplers.
On the Aida practising cloth:
On the sampler
A question for you, which of the five methods did I find to be the right one for me?

A purple      B yellow left       C yellow right      D green left      E green right

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

WIPW - Almost done

Work In Progress Wednesday, if you don't know it already,  is a GREAT thing. Read about it at Pintangle.

The fourth row of quilting has been added.
 Not too much left, almost done.

Swedish Cushion
I just love TAST #133 Triple Chain and found a great place for it on the cushion.
(Its mirror image line will be used for this week's stitch #134 Fern Stitch. Check this space next week!)

TAST Reference Chart
As I said, I love TAST #133 Triple Chain and after adding a plain straight line of stitches to the left, I worked a circle. With a bit more planning the stitches would look neater, still, here you can see the potential for a beautiful wreath.

Swedish Wool Embroidery Collar
Cord making has taken up a lot of my time this past week.
First I made a simple lucet cord with one of the woolen yarns also used in the embroidery and napped edging. It was easy and quick. The result is a soft, simple, flexible cord, albeit it looks a bit plain.

Then I got started on the kumihimo cord. I tried several times until I found my way. With 16 strands of woolen yarn I ended up with a thick rope! Too thick!
If I used only 8 strands I had to turn the disc so much (45˚) for each move, my head started spinning. Too dizzy!
As the only very thin woolen yarn I had was black, yellow and blue, I needed to add perle #8 for some other colours, and perle is cotton which does not have much flexibility. Too stiff!
Anyway, the result of my work is these two cords.
The kumihimo is MUCH more beautiful, but FAR too sturdy.

So in the end my choice was the lucet cord.
Another reason for picking this cord was that, being plain it does not steal the show from the embroidery on the collar itself.
Almost done!

Next step will involve this:

Now if you think I just tossed the kumihimo cord into the bin or stuffed it into a drawer, please think again. It quickly found a job and a home.
Profession: Official Reading Glasses String
Address: Queenie's Reading Specs
Completely done!

Monday, 13 October 2014

TAST #133 Triple Chain Stitch

What a delightful stitch TAST (Take A Stitch Tuesday) #133 is. Called Triple Chain it is of course made up of three Chain stitches. It makes such a beautiful braid like line and it is easy to stitch, too!
Learn it on Pintangle.