Thursday, May 30, 2013

Day 8 & 9 Elizabeth Harborne 1647

Slow progress ...
It is amazing that it took me two days (about 5 hours) to stitch the next band... just couldn't focus and needed lots of breaks for naps...the frustrating thing about this band was that even though it looks like there are repeating motifs, the chart reveals subtle variations within the pattern.  Normally this is precisely the thing that I enjoy about blackwork but just couldn't find my rhythm this time. Perhaps my body was making up for all the nights when I was not able to sleep at all - the good news is that this morning I am finally feeling better so with some more napping and resting perhaps I will be able to resume 'life' very soon!

So, slow progress but progress none the same - "mind over matter stitching"...

Day 8  - Beginning this band...
The Song of my Needle

End of Day 8 -  Elisabeth Harborne
The Song of my Needle


Start of Day 9 - Elizabeth Harborne
The Song of my Needle

So this is what I faced on day 9 ... sat down to stitch around 1pm, stitched for a few minutes and then took a nap!

After a lot of breaks and naps ....




Day 9 Elizabeth Harborne
The Song of my Needle


Day 9 Elizabeth Harborne
The Song of my Needle  
Finally finished the band!
Lots of symbolism in this band.

On another note :
There are many things to figure out about blogging.... I know it takes a lot of time at present and perhaps I have not yet figured out a quicker way.  I still have to figure out how to reduce the resolution of my pictures and watermark them and I have to make this a priority.  I have received many nice comments and some of you have asked about online classes, my designs, my other needlework etc...
This is a new venture for me and I started 'blogging' because I wanted to figure this format out and had the time because during the first week of this cough/flu episode I could not 'do' much of anything at all.   I spent a lot of time on the computer during this time.  I would love to hear your thoughts about  my 'blogging' so far because so many of you are more experienced on this topic.  Also, if you have specific suggestions and requests please do write. I wonder if showing my progress as I work through a project is something you like seeing  or if there is something else you would rather see etc....
So, please do give me your input... I do not have an issue with sharing my needlework adventures, I think we can learn a lot from each other but wouldn't want to just add to the 'chatter out there in cyberspace' and waste your time...or mine.  My focus is always to spend my time in  a meaningful way and as I start to feel better and know that I will be resuming my normal schedule by next week I want to make sure that my 'blogging experiment' has brought you some pleasure.  It will give me a way to judge if this experiment becomes part of my routine or not.  I can then make the time to figure out all the details and blog more 'professionally'.  I appreciate your input.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Day 7 - Elizabeth Harborne by The Scarlet Letter


Did not stitch or do very much over the Memorial Day weekend - still trying to just get better... stayed away from family gettogethers and just tried to rest , watched the French Open Tennis championships etc.

I decided not to skip bands and just stitch the bands with the information I had been provided with the
chart and it proved to be just fine... it made it quite obvious to me that the fever was impairing my thinking when I was trying to 'figure' things out in my last post.  Needlework has always been a good way for me to gauge how I am feeling in times of illness and is an excellent indicator as to how and when I should reconnect to my other activities (i.e. work)... detail is important to me when it comes to my needlework but it is even more important to me when it comes to my work!

Anyway, here is my progress to date... it was an enjoyable band to stitch and some of the effects are similar to other samplers I've stitched most notably Ann Holewll by The Examplarery comes to mind.  Ann Holewll is a beautiful sampler languishing in my "finished samplers drawer".  If memory serves me right Elizabeth Harbone is an earlier example  (1647) and Ann Holewll came later (1699)...have to check my books one of these days to follow up on this.  Lots of interesting 'research' ahead - English vs. American samplers - school of Juda Hayle etc.... but for now... this is what I accomplished on Day 7 of tackling Elizabeth Harbone :





Day 7 Elizabeth Harborne
The Song of my Needle




Day 7 Elizabeth Harborne
The Song of my Needle

Day 7 Elizabeth Harborne
The Song of my Needle
Day 7 Elizabeth Harborne
The Song of my Needle
Day 7 Elizabeth Harborne
The Song of my Needle





Day 7 Elizabeth Harborne
The Song of my Needle
I have tried to capture the three dimensional aspect with some of the closeup views.
I love the possibilites embedded within simple designs... there are so many ideas that went through my mind on variations of stitches, color  and techniques etc..... lots of ideas - too little time!  We all know how that goes!





Friday, May 24, 2013

Elizabeth Harborne - Reproduction by The Scarlet Letter

Progress - Day 6

After my post on the "critters" on Nicola's blog I received a nice comment from Marsha , owner of Scarlet Letter that the critters were 'wild boars'.  So, now I have to figure out if there is any symbolism linked to that.
Stitching the next band will be on hold because the charted design and the picture show discrepancies and I plan to continue after hopefully getting some clarifications from Marsha.
So I will be skipping past this band and continuing.
I had planned to post the latest progress yesterday but then didn't get around to it so here it is...

Day 6 Progress
The Song of my Needle
still can't resist the urge to center things along the width - the half motif on the left is not charted and I may take it out after stitching more bands and then evaluating it afterwards. 
I am glad that I changed out the blue ... you can see the original dyelot of the light blue on the first band... I will restitch that band also - just want to continue stitching for now...
Stitching and 'researching how to blog' have been a bit slow these past few days... still not feeling 100% and plan to rest as much as possible this weekend so that I can get back to a normal routine by next week.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Elizabeth Harborne - Day 5

I only had a small amount of time to work on this sampler today.
Here are some of the detailed shots...


Elizabeth Harborne - Day 5
The Song of my Needle
 Holbein - Double Running Stitch - Blackwork

all names for a simple stitch but a simple stitch that promises lots of fun if you want it to!  If you want it to be reversible, or if you want to create a variation of the pattern on the back, then it requires concentration and is much like a maze on paper... you have to figure out a pathway. The beauty of blackwork is that the possibilities are endless, shading, blending, fading out one pattern and introducing another... it is a lot of fun...
In this simple band, to make it fully reversible, I had to work the acorns in two different ways depending on the location of the the red thread at the baseline. 

Elizabeth Harborne - Day 5
The Song of my Needle
And then this is when  I discovered "critters"!  So what do you think they are ? Pigs perhaps, rabbits, cats, dogs?...
I've never noticed these beasts on any other sampler before... I know that I have never stitched such critters ever and am not sure if I really like them... have to figure out the symbolism on this ... any thoughts?


Elizabeth Harborne - Day 5
The Song of my Needle




















Further inspection of the chart revealed some other critters at the base... frogs, goats etc
This sampler is also unusual because a portion of it is stitched upside down - the verse and the beasts arranged in spot motifs are upside down so you could hang this sampler either way.  There must be a reason for this too ... perhaps it was intended for a certain purpose... more to read and investigate.

There are things about reproduction samplers that used to 'bother' me when I first started stitching them... and I used to correct them, center things etc... because after all they were 'mistakes' a young girl made when she was learning how to stitch..... luckily, I finally started to appreciate the charm of such 'mishaps'... you'll note that the margins on the side are getting wider with each band. I normally like to give myself a 3 to 4 inch margin on each side but because I made the decision to use what I had in my stash I have a narrower border.  It will be fine though...I've reduced my use of mats ever since I'm running out of wall space!

Monday, May 20, 2013

My First Blog! & Elizabeth Harborne 1647 - Day 4

My First Blog

I want to thank all of you for your kind encouragement - your comments impelled me to start my first "official blog".
I decided to use the name I have used for my own designs when I taught at local venues or exhibited my needlework....so, after spending hours yesterday researching things on the internet related to 'Blogging' I decided to give it a try...  here is my blog then... called "The Song of my Needle" and it will feature some of my needlework adventures in years to come.  I look forward to this new venture.

At the moment I will use it to show more pictures than the ones I post on Nicola's site so that I do not take up too much space on her site. 

Please bear with me as I learn the in and outs of this forum ...


Day 4 : Elizabeth Harborne 1647 - reproduced by The Scarlet Letter

Status :  spent a lot of time on the internet so not much stitching got done... however, I have finalized the colors and dyelots I want to use so things should move along pretty well in the future.


Dye lot decisions  - Day 4 E.Harborne sampler
The Song of my Needle




When you examine the colors of the middle tones on the bottom - you will notice a slight difference in dyelots.  The one on the left is what I had kitted up a long time ago but decided to exchange it with the 'greener' one on the right from my stash....
 



Final Colors - E. Harborne sampler
The Song of my Needle








Here are the final colors - besides changing out the blues I also changed the ones that have my  thimbles next to them



Finally time to stitch !
The Song of my Needle







 another view of the colors and the 'progress' to date...not feeling well has slowed me down ... but then I was also spending a lot of time on the internet these past few days 'gathering information' and 'doing research'... good excuse isn't it?


Decisions on Bullions
The Song of my Needle




 Stitching through the night .... trying to make up for lost time - next decision to make : Bullions
place them as charted (on left) or place a bit differently (on right_... amazing how long it took me to focus my brain and hands to make these - something that under normal circumstances would have not been an issue.  I will probably take them out again and restitch them when I feel better because they have 'issues'....





Early morning - stitching thru the night - Day 4
The Song of my Needle 
 Status of things as of this morning around 5am...still not quite comfortable.  Tried scanning the picture to see if more detail could be studied from the picture that way... not very successful because of the light colors.... so, back to wishing that there was a larger picture I could study...