Friday, May 13, 2011

Crewel Friday--it's back!

Not much progress here--not stitching for a month will do that. The stitches at the opening of the pocket are made with a version of "buttonhole" (as opposed to blanket) stitch. It's also different from "tailor's buttonhole" stitch diagrams I've seen. I found it hard to keep consistent edges. The knot edge is, well, a knot and I gained in consistency as I went along (I stitched the right hand side first, then the left hand side of the opening.) The outer edge is where you come up, and that made it hard, too, to keep a smooth edge. Especially since this particular stitch can't be stab stitched--you go down and come up with the needle and then wrap the thread around the "parked" needle before completing the stitch. (I can't find the book where I got this but when I do, I'll post a photo.)I've outlined a leaf in preparation for some long and short.

As you can tell from my comments above, I was a bit frustrated by the buttonhole stitch I chose for the pocket opening. I reread the instructions about the sampler--which is primarily for blanket stitch--and decided to do more samples and play a bit.So I began the band sampler above. I marked three stitching rows, 1/8", 1/4" and 3/8" and some circles. I just used a Sharpie to mark permanent lines using a ruler. The lines are a bit thick and blobby. I'm working hard to come up exactly on the line and go down exactly on the line.

While I'm striving for even edges, I'm varying the density of the stitches to experiment and see what I like best. The circles were hard to keep a nice even "purl" on the edges of the blanket stitches. The little red dot is a "granitos" stitch--I just got sick of all the green so I added the yellow and red--an experiment in propotion of hue.

In stitching this sampler I learned:

  • It's very hard to keep straight, vertical stitches when they get further apart. (you can "fake it" when the stitches are closer.)

  • Stab stitching is much better than sewing.

  • When coming up I poke the needle up where I think it should be and then move it one thread closer to the previous stitch--I ended up with more vertical stitches that way.

  • I thought 3/8" was too wide but I actually liked it the best.

  • Even though I'm experimenting, I find I'm doing a lot of ripping.

  • When you rip wool, just replace it, don't try to reuse it.

  • I find it very hard to be consistent when the thread itself isn't--the Appleton wools definitely have thick and thin areas. How do you compensate for that? I haven't figured it out yet.

    For the next set of lines I plan to try some blanket stitches with different "leg" lengths, I want to try a row where you space it so you can fill in from the other side with another row of blanket stitches. I'm not sure about the third row.

    Then, the new RSN Essential Guide for Crewelwork (here's Needle 'n Thread's review) there's a blanket stitch flower that I like and I may try to replicate that.

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