Monday, April 13, 2009

Stitch Explorer Challenge for March and Cruel Crewel!

Well, I am not finished by the end of the month but very close to the 15th April when Sharon announces the next challenge . In January I decided I was unable to participate every month as I needed more time to complete other projects – however this was one challenge I could not resist!

I find the ‘design as I go’ method that I use for this style of embroidery much more satisfying than design for a crossstitch biscornu I have been stitching each weekday. (Work on this piece has been restricted to Saturdays ) I can’t design crossstitch the same way, especially for a biscornu, and I have found work on it quite constricting in comparison.

I discovered while stitching Ziggy’s surrounds that I can control my buttonhole stitches much better without a hoop – previously I had realised stem stitch was always more even when I held the fabric in my hand but was surprised to discover the smae applied for buttonhole circles as well. Then I decided to try the wrapped wheels and guess what! The same result!

The fabric is 32 count linen - a dream of a fabric. The threads used are all cotton either, Finca perle #8 and # 12 or DMC stranded floss with just a touch of one Light Effects thread. I think I am in a cotton rut but I do enjoy the feel of the thread and have quite a good selection of colours.

The stitches are pulled satin, fairly random, wrapped wheels, buttonhole, bullion, and French knots as well as the original stem stitch, pulled Chinese stitch and pulled eyelets - a slightly enlarged stitch vocabulary for me. Now I need to decide how to stitch the nose and eyes.

My crewel-style fishes are creeping along – I save these for lazy Sunday afternoons. I admit to being amazed that I have managed to stick to this timetable but my weekend embroidery is the carrot at the end of the stick. "Crewel style" is a very loose definition for what I have been doing. The thread is cotton floss, DMC, once again and the fabric is a silk/wool dressmaking remnant, very slubby - difficult for a not so skilled embroiderer and a penance after the previous day's work on linen. I think my next attempt might be with a firmer fabric and, perhaps, I could invest in woollen thread.