Wednesday, June 1, 2011

First cross stitch and other stuff

This rather grubby bit is the first counted cross stitch design I ever stitched. It was also the last for quite a while--22 count Hardanger fabric over 1. I didn't have a clue. I ran across it this weekend while cleaning.

I found the design in a book on Scandinavian Embroidery from the Park Forest Public Library, which I used to haunt because it had the best art and needlework section around. A copy later came into my possession via England and Jenny. I still like that book. The fabric was a remnant from SJ Designs' first shop (it was a pretty light blue, originally, really). I still had some of it when a year or so later I learned how to do Hardanger embroidery and had a good use for it--I made a lot of Hardanger Christmas ornaments from that piece of fabric.

I actually washed this little dove before taking the picture, but it sits out on a shelf as a reminder of youthful folly and thus gets pretty dingy. (this is not my first-ever embroidery--I was doing that quite young and I was married when I tackled this one. 1978 maybe?)I spent a lot of time stitching this weekend, with not a lot to show. I worked on my paper-pieced quilt but did a bit of ripping as I try to sort out how the large hexagons will fit in with the smaller ones. When the papers are removed it changes things but they can't be removed until stabilized (either pieced all around with other pieces or stitched to some backing or other). So nothing to show there... It also did in my hand. Holding the pieces in place to whip them together made my left hand very sore and inflamed and I'm frustrated.

When I try it again, I'll try pinning the pieces in place, but this technique is hand-intensive--holding the fabric to the card while tacking it while folding the corners and holding the pieces in line while whipping them together--even pinning through the paper. And, for me, it's like popcorn--once I start I can't quit. (happily the hand issues weren't bad enough to keep me from doing the Japanese embroidery or crewel; sadly typing, which I do all day at work, irritates it. I'm using a lot of ice.)

I also worked more on my crewel pocket sampler over the weekend. I worked on the bottom mound in long and sort stitch and the large circle, also long and short--so slow. I damp blocked the strip sampler by pinning it to the ironing board. It came out nice. I'm putting together a notebook with printouts of photos of natural dyes that would have been available at the beginning of the 18th Century, examples of old and new Jacobean-style designs, and my bibliography. (again, nothing to look at, sorry) I'm anxious to get this completed and sent off.

To add variety to my hand use--and because it's been calling to me for a while--I've begun yet another project. This time a knitting project.It's a kit from Knitpicks that's been hanging about for a few years waiting for me to get to it. knitted then felted. I figure if I do a row or two a night, it'll get done and my hands won't scream. Plus, it's pretty mindless.


terryb said...

The colors of your yarn look very interesting, but I have to confess it is the felted basket that really caught my eye. It reminds me of some of the moebius baskets designed by Cat Bordhi. I've done a scarf in her technique but I'm not sure I'm up to the multi-compartmented baskets.

Moonsilk Stitches said...

You can see a preview of Cat Bordhi's Second Treasury of Magical Knitting--with some very cool felted bags--here: