Monday, March 30, 2015

Sampling Away . . .

More Samples to come as I am getting lots of suggestions of stitches to try out!  So far, I have tried Florentine, Hungarian, Diamond Satin, Parisan, Milanese, 2-layer Oblong Cross (one sample worked in 2 layers and one sample worked top to bottom overlapping previous row), Smyrna Cross, Rice, Encroaching Gobelin, Straight Gobelin, and Upright Gobelin. 

In addition to trying out the actual stitches, I am also experimenting with mixing different threads and practicing my shading.  I've tested different mixtures of Appleton's Wool, DMC cotton floss (solids), Valdani Cotton Floss (variegated), Valdani Silk Floss (variegated), EdMar Rayon Embroidery Thread (variegated), Gutermann machine thread, and Mettler machine thread.  It is really interesting to see the textures of the threads mixing.  For some of the samples, I think the color mixing takes away from the stitch pattern and for others I think it enhances it.  Lots more samples hopefully to come!  

Monday, March 23, 2015

Getting ready for Britain

This summer I'll be going back to Durham, UK to do my last module on my Royal School of Needlework Certificate of Technical Hand Embroidery.  I am so excited about it!  I'll be doing canvaswork, which is a type of embroidery that quite honestly I am not terribly familiar.  I have not done a lot of counted embroidery.  So, in order to prepare for my course, I've been reading a couple books that Tracy recommended to me, Canvas Work by Jennifer Gray and  Dictionary of Canvas Work Stitches by Mary Rhodes.  I also started sampling stitches yesterday and so far I really, really like this technique!  So far I have stitched 1 square experimenting with Straight Gobelin and Trammed Gobelin and 5.5 squares of Upright Gobelin in various color and material combinations.  I have tried just Appleton wools and mixing in some DMC and some silk too.  I'm working on a 18 tpi canvas in antique as this is what I will be working on this summer.  It is not a very subtle technique it seems.  It seems like you have to be a bit more aggressive in the shading for it to come through and make a difference, but I have a lot more sampling to do!

Any suggestions on stitches to try?  There are so many of them!  
Here's my "to-do" list so far:  Florentine, Hungarian, Diamond Satin, Parisan, Old Parisan, Chevron, Leaf Diaper, Milanese, 2-Layer Oblong Cross, Smyrna Cross, Windmill, Broad Cross, Rice, Oblong Rice, Plaited Stitch, Herringbone, Rococo, Paris, Tent, and Diamond Eyelet.