Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Four coloured double weave

The first image is of the vest fabric where I used 2 grey wefts - the second uses a pink and blue for the wefts and a different treadling sequence. With the enormous hiatus between weaving the two sections I am not sure how much warp is left . There may be sufficient to try another combination of colour and treadling - I hope so. I guess one could call these "full sized samples" - the only size I seem to produce these days for my weaving. Since I use 2/20 mercerised cotton for most of my weaving I am comfortable with how the yarn will weave up and the only surprise is how the pattern turns out on the loom as opposed to the computer view. My designing is done on PCW and/or Weaveit Pro.
Meanwhile I keep practising my embroidery stitches!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Weaving again!!!!

No I have not given up blogging - just been busy.
Yes, I am back on the loom. I thought that I might have forgotten how but it doesn't quite work like that. I do manage to drop the shuttle occasionally but that is just clumsiness.

I have retied the 4CDW black and white warp that was originally intended for Pete's vest - his birthday present. I used two greys in the weft and got my "skink" fabric. Photos will follow in the near future - of both fabrics, not the vest unfortunately, as I forgot to take one of it before I gave it away. For the second section of the warp I have changed the treadling and weft colours - it is so interesting. I am still addicted to 4CDW - the colour interactions mean one never gets bored.

However since I find that I can't weave for very long each day I have been back sampling stitches. I want to try as many pulled work stitches as I can before I start the Opera House.
The picture above is my latest sample piece - I used it to help make decisions for the Butterfly Effect as well as my pulled stitches. I don't cover much ground in any one day but I am learning (and increasing that vocabulary). I had quite a bit of trouble with Pulled Honeycomb but think it was conquered eventually.
Sometimes I wonder if a sample piece is not similar to a dye cloth used to wipe up the spills - almost a composition in its own right!
I have also been rereading some of the needlework books off my bookshelf . I am finding I am approaching these differently after having done the Sumptuous Surfaces course. The Needlework School has an interesting contemporary blackwork piece illustrated. This has piqued my interest.

So there is plenty to learn.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A slightly improved image

Making scans of embroidery pieces is not easy! I increased the resolution slightly and took it out of the hoop to see if I could improve the situation.

Now that I have two postcard-sized embroideries it will be interesting to see how they can be framed. This won't be easy as both are quite heavily textured - the first one even so more than this.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Second piece complete

At last I think I am finished! Here is the "Butterfly Effect".
I am not totally happy with the scan but it certainly gives the general idea.
I found this piece quite confrontational, especially while I added the textural bits which represented the emerging tumours.
This course has been very exciting. Six weeks well spent. The course was very well designed. Sharon Boggon did a great job. The lessons I will print out and get bound for future reference. I learnt a tremendous amount about design, in general, and about embroidery, in particular. Now hopefully I can apply some of the design techniques to further embroidery but also to my weaving.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

More work on Sumptuous Surfaces Piece 2

Today saw it all change. Sharon's muted colours suggestion helped. I had already used the palish green for the outer areas of background but then added to the pulled satin area. I feel that this has done what I wanted. I am grateful to everyone for their helpful suggestions. The support in this class is great.

I may add a couple more red lines but I think I will wait and see how the whole thing develops first.

Now I need to work out how to do the butterfly. It is to sit in the top left hand corner. I envisage it as fairly delicate. Perhaps the wildlife of Brisbane area book can help.

Monday, August 13, 2007

One day at a time!

My progress is quite slow. This was yesterday's effort and I did spend a good portion of the day stitching. While I eventually made a decision on this background I am nonetheless struggling with how to make it a less sombre piece. The actual work is not quite as dark as the scan.

I did try some knots and because they were deep purple, deep blue violet and red they added to the overall darkness of the piece. (Unpicking a pile of knots is definitely not much fun!) Maybe this is where the beads at the end lift everything!

Also I am not sure what I can use for some background in the outer areas. As well, the butterfly in the top right hand corner has me completely stumped at the moment. Definitely more questions than answers!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Outline for second piece

Well, I have at long last begun to stitch the real thing! After much deliberation and practice stitching I have stitched this much of the outline. I used multiple rows of stem stitch for my outlining again.
How much more outline I need is as yet unknown. I think I will try some background (if I can make up my mind which stitch I want to use) before I add the rest.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Lesson 5

Lesson 5 has arrived! I am overwhelmed by colour - it had not occurred to me that I would find working in monochrome so much easier than in colour. One less dimension to worry about- no doubt.

I am currently trying out stitches for the background low relief areas. This has been a fun exercise as all the stitches are new to me. If I am to have any hope of finishing this before the end of the course I will have to make up my mind soon.

What a lot of information there has been in the 5 lessons! And how sad I am going to be next Thursday when the last lesson arrives.

While I am stitching my rice and punch stitches occasionally I let my brain wander on the Opera House exercise and have come up with a new sketch(?). I think this one might be fun to do after the course is over. Then again maybe I need to take a course in sketching!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Colour Games

I have spent the last 24 hours playing colour games. I have two great books on colour that I consult whenever I have such an exercise - "Colour Harmony Workbook" and Deb Menz's "Color Works". I particularly enjoy the latter because it is written for fibre workers.

I am not sure about the greens - I think I will use the yellow as the contrast.

Back to the needle and more practice on the hoop.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

The Butterfly Effect

A new direction - I am not dropping my Opera House idea, just putting it on the back burner for the time being. This is an idea that has been incubating in my mind for some time. I have been wondering about the random nature of the onset of cancer - why a person who is seemingly extremely healthy can suddenly fall victim? What makes one person more susceptible than another?
The analogy of the "butterfly effect" seemed particularly apt to me. Here is my preliminary sketch of a design. Now I need to think more about the stitches and colours I will need to use!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Version 2

Version 2 - I would definitely have had difficulty in stitching the detail in the previous version. I zoomed in and cropped a section and have finished up with this one which, I hope, is achievable.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Lesson 4

It is all steam ahead for Lesson 4.

I wanted to have a memorable souvenir of Sydney. This drawing is based on a photo we took in 2002 and chosen because it is view of the Opera House I particularly like.

Now I have to start to think about a colour palette.

In between times I am practising some of the stitches from Sharon's dictionary - cast on stitch and bullion knots so far.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

I decided to try a scan to see if the colour is better. I do think both the colour is better and maybe the seed beads show up slightly better. I will leave both pictures.

Peace in your heart

Well...what a week! No time for blogging - I got carried away stitching French Knots instead. Hopefully the execution of this stitch improved as the piece progressed. I think my monochromatic piece is finished. Unfortunately the colours in the photograph are much darker than the original; possibly because the texture is so thick that the flash couldn't penetrate.

What have I learnt?

1.Maybe I can start with a concept and develop a finished piece - thankyou Sharon. It has been a wonderful three lessons and I can't wait to start again and include colour into the mix this week.

2.That I love hand stitching . Amazingly as I get older and time seems to disappear much too quickly, the more I realise that time is something to be savoured, not gobbled in gulps.

3. Not really something new - I love playing with creams and whites. (However I love colour interactions also - so maybe I just like playing!)