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May 2012

April 2012

A bit of indulgence

I don't have a category for music but for most of my younger life music was my main pursuit.  I though that at one time this would be my major career but life didn't lead down that path.  But I still love music and appreciate the art of fine musicians.  Here is Yo Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman playing Dvorak Slavonic Dances.  A wonderful interlude.  Then if you really want to pig out here is a link to a complete performance of Mozart's Magic Flute complete with English subtitles.



TAST 2012 April 24th

Week 17 Wheat - ear stitch


I thought that I would try another format for this stitch.  I neatened the edges of my sample pieces with a similar stitch on my sewing machine and then frayed back to this.


I had some fun with the bunnies by adding an extra loop to the bottom of the stitch and then I reversed the stitch for the flowers.  I think the three rows of stitching would make a good border and it could probably be improved by making the middle row go in the opposite direction.  When I put the stitch side by side it reminded me of a row of people so I added a few french knots to achieve this effect.  Because this is such a regular stitch I punched holes down the side of my card and laced the stitches.  This would be a good stitch for a beginner especially taught by lacing it on card first.


Link to Pintangle    Link to Flikr

Back home

I had a bit of a hair raising trip back home to Brisbane today .  There were major accidents on the range and then on the highway coming home.  But I have had a wonderful three days away with friends and the stitching  was just fantastic.

My class was a "white work" class with Jenny Adin-ChristieJenny was trained at the Royal School of Needlework and was part of the team that worked on the wedding dress for Kate Middleton to wear at her wedding to Prince William.  I can not speak highly enough of her wonderful skills in needlework, teaching and interpersonal interactions.  You go to a workshop thinking you will learn one or two things.  This workshop had me writting down at least six or seven a day.  Jenny is only a young woman of 34 years but with skills that most of us only dream about.  The world will gain so much from her skills and her creativity.

These are some images of her work (which she has designed and stitches)  that are on her business cards.  The first was for a commission the remaining ones are all available as kits.





I have ordered some of these kits so it looks like I am going to learn Goldwork.


Hem 6

Because of the size of the sample I decided that to withdraw 8 threads on all sides wouldn't leave a lot of space for stitching. So I have only done this at the top and the bottom and withdrawn 2 threads along the sides.  This will be one of the last hems where I will weave in the withdrawn threads. Once you withdraw this number of threads it is easier to buttonhole over the edges. ( The hem preparation and stitching is demonstrated in  Hem 5 .)


But this left me with the dilema of what to do with the hole left at the sides.  I decided to make another 3 thread bundle in each hole by using the embroidery thread.  This isn't hard to do as you can see in the following images.

I start by anchoring my thread in the hem  or you could start in the first stitch of the longer side. Starting in the hem will give you 4 threads, in the side  3 threads.



I make sure I do a half hitch to anchor the thread and give the appearance that these threads were part of the fabric.


A half hitch is stitched by passing the needle under the fake threads and over the cotton and pulling the thread tight.  In this case I hadn't  finished  the hem stitching on this side so I just continued on.  In the example above after inserting the threads I took my thread out through the side hem and finished off.


I then decided to gather the bundles into groups of 2.  I think that groups of 3 would have looked just as good.  I did this by joining each group with a chain stitch.  The only thing to watch is that you keep a good tension on the floating thread and that you watch which side of the thread you place your needle.


This is another very easy hem finish.


Dinner on the river

Some nights it is easier to eat out than prepare a meal.  We have a huge selection of eating places all within walking distance of home but this night we walked to the local Bowl's Club to have a meal overlooking the river.  The moon was full and shone down on the water. (That shiney dot isn't a star it's a plane.)


I rather like the look of the lights all out of focus.  A lovely end to a nice day.


TAST 2012 April 17

Week 16 French Knots


Oh it is only French Knots, don't you believe it.  There are over 20 variations on what we call a French Knot and as I couldn't fit them all on this sampler I decided to try four kinds of knots and three knotted stitches.

Firstly I tried in a perle thread but you can't see the differences so then I did them in wool, and it is still hard to see the differences.  In the reference books French Knots can have anything from one to 5 twists around the needle.  After that it becomes Bullion stitch.  I then tried Chinese knots, I love these.  They are also called the forbidden stitch because according to legend they could cause the stitcher to go blind, which I can well believe.  I was fine with the isolated stitches it was when I tried to put them into a straight line that I started seeing double but I persevered and this is a stitch I will use again.  Colonial Knots are two twists, one behind and one in front of the needle, I use this constantly.  Danish Knots are worked over a little bar and this is a stitch I will explore further.

The three combination stitches were Knot Stitch, which is kind of like a cross stitch with a knot worked into it.  Pistol Stitch, which is just a French Knot worked at the end of a straight stitch. Then there was French Knot Borders Stitch.  This has been used a lot in French Embroidery and has great potentialUsing different thicknesses of thread can change the look of the stitch but it stays a knot.

I enjoyed researching this stitch and found lots of interesting information about it's history and uses across the globe. Two articles I found interesting were;

Forbidden Stitch in Chinese Emboderies    and

Needlework Through History: An Encyclopedia - Catherine Amoroso Leslie - Google Books


I loved the work in this doublet found at Reconstructing History.


Link to Pintangle       Link to Flikr

Through the back of the wardrobe.

I should be sewing, but I'm reading.    These books open that door at the back of the wardrobe into another world.  Pure fantasy but I love it.  Robin Hobb is such a good writer that you believe that everyone of the impossible things she writes about is true. 

If you decide to read these books this is book 1


I am up to the last chapters of the "Tawney Man Trilogy" and I don't want it to end.


Back to the book.