Thursday, 31 July 2014

World Embroidery Day - the result

I stitch almost every day, but yesterday was an absolute MUST as it was World Embroidery Day.

A long time has passed since I last made a stumpwork portrait; deciding what to do was therefor easy.

Unlike Cross stitch, Hardanger or Blackwork there is more than just embroidery involved in the making of these stumpwork portraits. First you need to stuff, appliqué and shape the face before you can start embroidering.

For the eyes, I used Detached Chain stitch, French knot, Straight stitch.
For the eye brows,  Stem stitch.
For the mouth, Straight stitch.
To add a more advanced stitch I made the necklace with TAST #98 Beaded Shell Chain stitch.
The hair is made from couched down unravelled knitting yarn.
Finally I mounted the portait onto a card.

I would like to thank Skåne Sy-d and Kerstin Nettelblad for taking the initiative of establishing a World Embroidery Day.
Tack alla i Broderiakademin som hjälp till att etablera denna dag, och tack till Ingalill Jiborg som informerat mig. Nu försöker jag sprida vetskap och inspiration till mina broderande vänner världen över.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

WIPW - UK stitching in progress

Wednesday means it is time to report on Work In Progress Wednesday projects. Read more here.

Swedish Cushion
This is my progress:
There are two 'leaves', on this one the outline is worked in TAST #82 Spanish Feather. It is filled with #83 Siennes Stitches.
The other leaf has an outline of #112 Chained Feather Stitches with #79 Chained Cross filling.

Swedish Wool Embroidery Collar
This shape was only half finished last week. Here is the completed version. 
I did not mean to make a grinning face, but that is what I got. That's free stitching for you.

TAST Reference Chart
The TAST Reference Chart was blessed with the two latest TAST stitches, #122 Chained Bar and #123 Woven Chained Bar.
 I will leave the upper stitches 'floating' to remind me that I need to follow Sharon's advice and catch a bit of the thread to make the stitches lie flat. On the other hand, my incorrect ones do look a lot like chains so have their charm I guess...

Some final stitches were taken while travelling through the British countryside by rail. Usually people come up to me to see what I am doing, but this time my carriage was full of very tired folk, who fell asleep instantly. I would rather stitch!

Today is World Embroidery Day so I will start making a stumpwork portrait. Show and Tell comes a bit later.

How are you all getting on with your progress?

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

TAST # 122 Chained Bar

TAST - Take A Stitch Tuesday, has reached stitch 122. Everyone I talk to, who is not doing TAST,  is amazed that there are so many various stitches. Many more to come I hope! Go to Pintangle and let Sharon tell you all about this great online place for embroidery stitches.

TAST #122 is called Chained Bar. Basically it is a row of Zig-zag Chain Stitches worked on top of a base of straight stitches or a ribbon.

It would be nice to call it Zig-zag Chain Couching, but there is a snag. These stitches have a tendency to 'float' and won't hold a ribbon down neatly. It is very obvious in the first row of brown Zig-zag Chain Stitches.
In the third row from the top I faked it, and made Detached Chain Stitches in a zig-zag pattern.

I also made two samples with two colours. The one at the bottom is Magical Chain.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

30th July - International Embroidery Day

30th of July is coming up soon. I just wanted to remind you that it is International Embroidery Day, founded by the Swedish 'Broderiakademin, BRAK'. Read all about it here.

I am going to work with this material:
You might guess what it will turn into.

What about you, are you also going to work on an embroidery project on July 30th? I hope so. 

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

WIPW - Stitch sabotage

Work In Progress Wednesday -  if you have read my blog before you know what a great support group this is for completing your slow or unfinished needlework projects. If not, go to Pintangle to learn, share and enjoy.

My WIPW projects have been subject to sabotage - a broken down washing machine and rescheduled social calendar have prevented me from making any real progress.

Anyway, here is what I have done:

Swedish Cushion
Only one TAST stitch was used. #21 Knotted Cretan, but I did use it twice!, in purple and pink Perle 8.

Swedish Wool Embroidery Collar
I've come half way on this design.
Hopefully I will have much more work to show next week, then again it IS holiday time, hot and hectic!

Sunday, 20 July 2014

TAST # 121 Twisted Lattice Band

TAST stands for Take A Stitch Tuesday - read about this stitch study project at Pintangle.

TAST #121 Twisted Lattice Band is based on #120 Double Herringbone Stitch. By lacing the stitches you get a nice braided look.

However, if you work the Herringbone stitches too close, like I have done on the top row, it is hard to lace the stitches. 
I also noticed that a variegated thread (the orange) makes a very uneven appearance.
In the four vertical columns you can see that I started each line with half a stitch in the middle. That made the counting of holes SO much easier.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

WIPW - On the Go

I am on the go, but have packed my WIPW (Work In Progress Wednesday) projects to have something to do while travelling. WIPW is a support programme to help you make progress on your needlework projects. Read more at Pintangle.

Swedish Cushion
Here I have made the outline of a heart in TAST #114 Long Tailed Chain (light green), and filled it with #108 Rice Stitch (brown and blue) and #109 Square Boss Stitch (brown and red).

Swedish Wool Embroidery Collar
Another flower is blossoming.

TAST Reference Chart
All 121 TAST stitches we have learned so far have been added, although the last ones have no name tag.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

TAST #120 Double Herringbone Stitch

One of the first TAST stitches we learned was the Herringbone Stitch (#5). Here is the double version, #120 which has a nice braided look.
Go to Pintangle to learn.
I like the look, but have problems with counting and placing the stitches in the correct holes...

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

WIPW - wool is too hot to handle!

Last week when the weather was so cold, I said it was nice to have some wool embroidery to keep my fingers warm. Since then the weather has changed and it is now too hot to handle wool. Why are we never satisfied?!

Below is my Work In Progress Wednesday report. You can read others' reports over at Pintangle. (Sharon has added a secret pocket to her hussif - it's stylish!)

Swedish Cushion
I added two new lines in pink perle #8.

TAST #25 Bonnet Stitch in darker pink on the right
#59 Breton Stitch in lighter pink on the left.
I see now that those Breton stitches aren't too neat!

TAST Reference Chart
Here I have worked myself up to #102 Beaded Triangular Buttonhole Stitch.
I have not yet prepared the numbers and names of the remaining stitches but will work them nevertheless. 18 stitches to go!

Swedish Wool Embroidery Collar
More stitches have been added to the first flower
and another flower has started blossoming:

Saturday, 5 July 2014

TAST #119 Woven Trellis Stitch

Here is a nice stitch: TAST #119 Woven Trellis Stitch.
I have always liked woven stitches; they have structure and a beautiful surface. However, they do take a lot of time to weave. Then again, with a good audio book, some pleasant music or deep thoughts, it is rather meditative work.

Do you want to do some Zen Weaving? Go to Pintangle to learn the Woven Trellis Stitch.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

WIPW - A warm summer project

This is the Work In Progress Wednesday report of week 27 of 2014. To read about WIPW, join in, share your work with others and see what other participants have made, click here to go to Pintangle.

The Swedish Cushion
I have not made a great progress, but added two TAST swirls:
#50 Inverted Feather Stitch (on the right)
#52 Triangular Feather Stitch

TAST Reference Chart
I have now completed the first panel of this handy reference chart of TAST stitches. It contains 81 stitches and I am sorry to say I had to look up the instructions for 24 of them!
What I really enjoyed though, was the discovery that stitches I had struggled with when I first learned them, like #60 Diamond Stitch, no longer caused me trouble or frustration. I believe stitches need to 'sink in' before we can enjoy them fully. I am having great hopes for the future for my recent source of hardship, #117 Bullion Vandyke Stitch. Sink in, #117!

Swedish Wool Embroidery - the Collar
Last summer, while in Sweden, I made two wrist warmers in wool embroidery, using Swedish design.

You might remember I showed this 'teaser' picture some time ago, and now it is time to turn it into a loose collar to go with the wrist warmers.
The first flower is in the working:
I am stitching on black cashmere, a delight to put the needle into, a nightmare to photograph well, so be prepared for 'strange' pictures in the coming weeks.

Whatever you are working on, enjoy it!