Thursday, September 23, 2010

I was busy last night. The first line is "wide chain". It was fun to do though it doesn't really look like anything special here. The next one is a sort of vining chain stitch and it took me forever to figure it out! I bet I pulled the thread out and started over five times. The third fourth one is an easy one but I began to space them wider as I got near the end because I was running out of thread. I barely made it to the end. There's a row of French knots in there too - forgot about those! I had to do the vining chain stitch again just to get it set in my mind how I did it.

I have less than 2" left on this side. I think the other side will be mostly border stitches.

Last night about 7:30 p.m., I discovered that the water coming out of my kitchen faucet was a mere trickle. I tried the bathroom. Same thing. I checked the outside faucet. Again, only a trickle. Before I made it to bed, there was no water at all. I was really frustrated that this couldn't happen earlier since I was home and could have called someone on the spot to come out. So instead, I left work early afternoon today to meet a plumber whom I'm waiting on now. He remodeled my sister's bathroom where I took a shower this morning. It is GORGEOUS! I have a well since I live out in the country. I suspect it has something to do with the well pump and I hope it's a simple part. It's no fun living without water.

I'm seeing a notice on blogger that they improved the editor and what I'm using now will go away soon. Rats! I tried their new editor several months ago and didn't like it so I hope the new version truly is better since I won't have a choice about using it.

Wish me buckets of water coming through my faucets today!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Back to embroidery! The first one is a whipped chain stitch. I was disappointed that you couldn't see the chain stitch as a chain at all when it was done. The next one is a Pekinese Stitch. Loops are worked through a backstitch. I thought it was very clever and liked the look of it except my thread colors don't contrast enough for you to see the effect very well. The last one is some sort of "crown" buttonhole stitch. I need to stitch in some guidelines instead of trying to follow a thread. My eye's simply don't follow the same line very well without some help. I tried holding it with my thumbnail but it covers a couple of threads!

This side is more than 3/4ths done. I'm starting to move around in the book and doing those that appeal to me most.

Well.....think I'll make a few phone calls, pick up the mail, and run a quick errand.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

TA-DA! One needlelace egg completed!

In truth, I should have stitched a buttonhole cordonnette all around the outside but I don't really like those big bulky edges. I should have done it anyway.

Instead, I took it off the background (not my best idea) so that I could crochet around it instead. It does have a nice scalloped frame now but I should have done the buttonhole in black and THEN cut it from the backing and crocheted the scallop to the buttonholing.

Next time.

I'm quite happy with the stitching though, or at least the tension, especially with the top two colors. I needed to break up the bottom a bit and I think that threw off the consistency there, but it's still pretty. I have no idea what to do with it!

No embroidery today. I just didn't get to it but I think I needed a break from it anyway. Those last stitchings are not my best work.

Well, another fun weekend put away. Looking for a wonderful week ahead!
More line stitching. This is basically a record for myself. I don't expect anyone else to get excited about it. The first one is called the Barb stitch. It's basically two blanket stitches back to back with the center whipped in another thread. Then there is the Basque stitch, interesting to do but I'm not clear on how I would use it. I suspect the type of thread and fabric you use dictates where you would use it. The next one is the Berwick stitch which I may have spaced a bit far apart. It's a variation on the blanket stitch. Lastly is the closed feather stitch which I'm probably going to take out and do over or leave out altogether. The thread I chose wasn't a good one to illustrate this one.

When I finish a tatting project, sometimes I wind the leftover thread onto a floss holder. That's where I've been getting a lot of thread for this project. Sometimes I take it from the ball but I'm trying to empty those floss holders too.

I decided to try a little needlelace last night since I haven't stitched any for a long time. I'm sticking with the simpler stitches for this one. I used an embroidery pattern for the shape. It's a little chick-faced egg. I've covered up the eyes now so he can stop staring at me! I don't have a real plan for this but I wanted to practice my stitching. I started out with single corded Brussels in the blue. I changed to doubled corded Brussels with the yellow. It was late and I was tired and out of thread so I stopped at this point last night. I was going to do the egg in thirds with a different stitch in each third. It always takes more thread than I expect so I'm not sure now....maybe I'll do stripes in this middle part but all double corded brussels. I'm using up my floss holder threads here too. LOL!

I guess I should do a little housework today before I get started on stitching. I tend to forget about everything else once I sit down and get a needle or shuttle in my hand.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

This is what I ended up with last night. The first one is called the Cretan Stitch. I did it twice. Again, I had to lay in running stitches for guidelines. Then I started a line of groups of button hole stitches, each group facing in opposite directions but they were totally off kilter so I just took them out. The Cretan stitch is done in some of my hand dyed thread from last May, btw.

I did two lines of the back stitch but embellished both so there is no single example of the backstitch. The first one is called the threaded back stitch and the last one is called the whipped back stitch.

Here's some lace that I bought in a small baggie at some thrift store in the past. I kind of stumbled across it in my haphazardly stored stash. I was planning on taking them to my next dye session but it also occurs to me that some of the long pieces can also go on this little sampler pillow when it is done.

Friday, September 17, 2010

I did go home and take a nap. I was out like a light for about an hour and had a hard time making myself wake up. The blotches on my arm were gone by the time I got home and had largely cleared up before I even left work. Very odd.

Eventually I stitched some more. The first row of feather stitch I did was very bad, crooked and poorly spaced. It took me awhile to get the hang of it. So then I stitched a second row but I put in a few lines of running stitches to create boundaries and that helped tremendously. I figured out that if I started the stitch on the opposite side along the same thread that I ended the previous side, that it would be better spaced. I was so pleased with the second one that I pulled out the first one and did it over. Stitching guidelines adds more time but it's worth it. I skipped a few stitches - the outline stitch, the running stitch. I may be doing the stem stitch and outline stitch the same. I know they are different but I can't remember now how I did the stem stitch. I think I always have gotten those mixed up! I ended tonight's stitching with the blanket stitch.

I have a little more than half of this side done. I like this because it only takes short periods of focus. I just wasn't into some of the other projects I mentioned in the last post. They will take a considerable amount of time.

Oh...just had a thought...I could stitch some of my smaller dyed tatted motifs to this sampler piece too. We'll see....I think for now I'd prefer to just keep this one embroidery.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Well, I'm kind of wanting to work on some other lace but at the same time, I like adding a bit to this every day. I'm now in line stitches or borders. I wasn't going to do anything with the piece, considering it practice, but it occured to me that I could make a small rectangular pillow with it or a small bolster pillow. This is just the left half of the fabric. I will have the same length to work with on the other side. Now I'll have to add something between the first and second sample of drawn thread work.

Something weird is happening to my left arm and hand this afternoon. I'm breaking out in red splotches. Someone called them hives but I thought hives were all the same shape. The only thing I can think of that I've done differently is consume chocolate covered almond M&M's. I've never had a problem with almonds before. I found a spot on my left thigh too. It seems more like I touched something but I don't know what it would be. I just put some hand lotion on the forearm area and it's helping with the itching.

Lace - I need to finish up my bobbinlace bookmark that is on the pillow. I wanted to tat a bag similar to the Irish Crochet bag I already finished. I want to work on some more Romanian Point Lace. More needlelace. Embroider something different.

But I have to look at some stuff related to my tree/house repair and the garage repair and compare estimates and THINK.

I'd also like to go home and take a nap!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Here's today's work. I'm using my own book now, The Complete Stitch Encyclopedia. The top stitch is called the Italian Hemstitch. I had a little trouble figuring that one out. First of all, when I went to draw the threads out, I forgot I needed to leave a segment in the middle. So I left that segment under what I'd originally drawn out and then tried to leave the same space for the drawn out threads under. I think I might have been off 1 or 2 threads. It's really hard to count them! Then it took me ages to figure out the middle part. If it had shown me how to begin, I think it might have been easier. The look kind of reminded me of smocking when I was done.

So that is all the open work involving drawn threads. I'm sure there are more elaborate pieces in other references I have but I decided to go with the embroidery part for awhile. It looks so easy but it does take some concentration and a bit of skill. I thought I followed the same thread line with the couched cord but once I finished the one under it, I could see I moved down a thread (going from right to left) and I can clearly see it's slanted now, even though it's not a huge mistake. Most of the couching I've done in the past has been to lay cord for Romanian Point Lace or for Needlelace. It didn't have to be precise since the function is just to hold the cord in place until all the filling stitches are done. Trying to be more exact is a challenge, especially when you are watching old Magnum P.I. DVDs. Tom Selleck sure is a honey!

Okay - the last stitch I tried tonight is the Herringbone Stitch. I was almost 2/3rds through when I realized I'd moved up a thread in the line so I had to pull all that out to the beginning of the mistake and do it again. I still see a few discrepancies along the bottom but the top is nice and straight!

At lace guild today, a friend told me I could finish those raw edges on each side of the stitching like I have, in buttonhole stitch, or an overcast/satin stitch, OR the neatest finish is the pull every other thread, the cut the remaining threads in the middle of the piece and pull those from the middle to the edge, then using a needle, weave them in the empty space. That's assuming I pulled the first threads further than the original edge. Did that make sense? I guess even just stitching them away, whether threads are pulled or not, would look neater. I may try that later ......much later!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A tree blew over last Friday night and sideswiped a corner of my house before settling on the ground and garage. Yesterday and today I've been listening to chainsaws and dealt with the insurance adjustor and company doing a temporary repair. I'm feeling some serious cabin fever right now but the saws keep bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzg away.

I have not been idle however.

I managed to stitch this interlaced ladder stitch and I used a beautiful antique plum perle cotton size 12. It didn't show up so well this time so I also.....

scanned it with a black background. The size 12 perle is much finer than DMC size 20 and I felt confident enough to use the finer thread but it really didn't show up as much as I expected. I thought the buttonholing on the edges would look much finer and finished too but they look pretty bad!

Still, I like the overall effect. The directions say this stitch is for the experienced and the level is "difficult". I didn't really think so, compared to other stitiches I've tried but I guess it could be. There are only the 4 stitches shown in this book for drawn work. Next is the project which is a curtain where you use this last stitch with a double interlacing. Now, THAT could get tricky.

The book is packed with stitches of all nature but I need to get it back to the library. Actually, when I referenced my much coveted and much unused The Complete Stitch Encylopedia by Jan Eaton (used copies from .05¢ ?????) I found more complete diagrams (which is why I loved that book and scrimped to buy it full price years ago) so I'm not too concerned about returning the other book.

Did you know the hemstitch was actually meant to catch in the folded edge of the hem while you created a decorative insertion at the same time? I guess I should break out the embroidery thread and make a sample of as many of these nearly 700 stitches as I can.

Another day.....

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Another row! This one is woven bars. I didn't buttonhole the ends this time. I think I'll wait and do all of them later with a smaller thread. This stitch is pretty easy although I did experiment with ways to start out the wrap so it's not as consistent as it would be. You should see the same transition stitch between every bar but you won't 'cause I played. (smile) I also put this in the hoop once the threads were pulled. I'm getting a little better at cutting and pulling them.

I usually wear contact lenses but when I'm home and especially when I am doing any kind of needlework, I wear my regular glasses because I am constantly pulling them off to SEE. Even with my bifocals, I cannot see those tiny threads easily but without my glasses and holding the work close, I can.

Ha! Then I put my glasses on to go get the mail in the mailbox down the lane - everything was blurry because my eyes cannot make that refocus so easily these days. The blurriness was clearing up on my return trip. I've noticed this before and finally concede that age is creating changes I might as well get used to.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Drawn Thread Work

I've been wanting to do this for a long time and in recent weeks had reason to dig in my fabric stash for something and found some potential fabric to use. Now, I know I probably should have started with evenweave fabric but I like the feel of this and thought I could at least try.

I'm using a book from the library to try out stitches. The top one is the ladder hemstitch and the second one is the trellis hemstitch. Unfortunately, the book does not tell me how to finish the sides so I've done a buttonhole edging there until I find out. I guess I'll have to refer to some other books I've got. You have to finish it off somehow! In the meantime, I'm learning to pull threads and make some stitches. This won't be anything in particular but I AM trying to keep it spaced about the same so that it will be a sort of sampler.

I'm not using a hoop so far. It seems easier to manipulate the fabric without it but I may try using one just to feel the difference. Instructions aren't too clear on that either. I'm only using this book because I thought the diagrams looked clear. Looks deceive, however.

Sigh...I have so much other stuff I should be doing.