I have started a new project – not sure where this is going, but so far I like it.
I plan to use different stitches and have a zig-zag pattern behind the triangles.
I finished my Blackwork practice piece – the back is not as good as it should be, but having said that it could have been worse.
I do like doing this – thinking about the stitching path, but it does require a bit of concentration and so, therefore, no good when I want something easy and relaxing to do while watching television.
My current plan is that my next piece will be in blackwork. I just need to come up with a design. I ordered Becky Hogg’s blackwork book, but it has gone astray in the post (another one is being sent). I do have a few books I could look at …
I went to the Perth Writers Festival on the weekend and one thing really stuck with me – it is OK to get started on something and then decided it is not really working and to start something else.
I was at a session called New York Dames and Natasha Lester (author of A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald) said she was 85 000 words into her third novel and decided to write a different novel.
I have this thing about finishing what I started, but what really happens is that I finish nothing – I procrastinate on the thing I should be finishing and won’t start anything new.
However, Natasha has inspired me to pack in the Little House (for now at least) and to work on blackwork.
I have always been fascinated by the idea of blackwork – particularly the more pictorial versions …
but even the samplers appeal to me…
I have done a bit with my machine…
But never anything by hand. So when it was suggested at my embroidery class I was eager to give it a go.
The tricky bit for me is thinking about the path the stitches should follow before starting (I believe the aim is to have the back similar to the front because you don’t want shadows appearing on the front).
I looked at these little houses and thought they would make a great school holiday project. I would whip one up as an example and then set the girls to it – you can see how much of my example I finished (school starts again tomorrow!).
I’m using a plastic canvas I found at Spotlight. There was no count on it, but I am using 6 strands of DMC embroidery floss. I strip the floss and then put it back together – Mary Corbet writes about it here.
I anchor my thread with a waste knot (more Mary Corbet) and secure the thread with my first few stitches. Once I have been going a while I just use the existing stitches to anchor my new thread.
This is counted cross stitch, so requires a bit of concentration at first, but once you get going you can use your existing stitches as reference points. When I get to that point I listen to pod casts – BBC World Book Club. Dan Snow’s History Hit are two of my current favourites.
If you want to make your own Little Houses you can download the pattern here – you will have to provide an email address, but you can always unsubscribe later.
I finished my favourite scarf – it is currently blocking on my outdoor table. I am not too happy with the kitchener join – I think I should have had the pieces abutting each other rather than wrong sides together when I did it.
On the left of the image is the start of one of my Little Houses – I have to say working on the plastic canvas is surprisingly fun.
On the right of the image is my Nowhere Cowl – I don’t know if you can read it in the image, but there is quite a nice message about how the chart seems daunting, but is really quite easy. So far that does seem to be the case – it is quite easy to remember each row as I am doing it.
I have also been watching my In the Hoop Gifts craftsy class – just the lesson on making zipper pouches. I do like the instructor – Sue O’Very -I am going to have to go and buy labels! I like how she has constructed her zipper bag and there a lots of little hints and tips I can use for other projects. Now to just get onto making one.
I know another new project – does anything ever get finished around here?
I have purchased supplies (I have no idea if my plastic canvas is the right size, but it was all I could find), wound the DMC thread onto the cards and now I am ready to go.
The embroidery is finished! By the end it was terribly out of alignment – more a rhombus than a square. I have blocked it, but I suspect I will have to block twice.
I have been terribly grumpy all day today – for no real reason, but I feel angry. Two hard games of netball didn’t help although often a good run around can lift my spirits.
Anyway, to feel less wild, I decided to ignore my to do list and knit …
This is the second half and I don’t think I have too much more to do, which is great because I have subscribed to the Inspired by Islay club that Kate Davies is running. I always love her patterns (even if I don’t knit them) and her essays are fabulous.
I am still working on the back ground – it is a good thing to do while watching television or when I am too tired to tackle anything challenging.
I am hoping to get it finished this year – so I can start a new embroidery project next year.
I have been watching The Crown
How amazing is this show? You see the Queen young and a bit awkward (Philip already seems like a bit of a tosser).
I am still working on the background – diagonal cashmere stitch – it is much quicker than the tent stitch and I have got myself into quite a nice rhythm, so even the tricky edge bits aren’t so bad.
I have been listening to Tess of the D’Urbervilles while stitching (read by Anna Bentinck) – damn you Alec D’Urberville and Angel Clare!