Friday, September 26, 2014

Tackling part of a band - most interesting designs and stitches!

I decided to finish up the band I had partially stitched before. I became worried about not having enough of the yellow green silk and discovered that the other bag of silk in my stash had a different dye lot.  I decided that I would not stress out about this but rather figure out a way to blend in the new dye lot.
On first glance this band and the remaining area did not seem too interesting to me - just more blackwork and satin stitches but then I realized there was much more to this area than I had initially anticipated.  It provided me with hours of most enjoyable study and stitching!
This little band had an interesting interpretation of design and stitch placement... blackwork, satin stitches and trellis stitches.  I decided to work the trellis stitches in different orientations to see if working direction and stitch orientations mattered and if they enhanced the textural quality of the design.  Initially when I was placing the blackwork outlines I did not quite understand why there were such 'weird' petals, both shapes and angles seemed to be all quite arbitrary BUT then when I was working out the details of the trellis stitch and other patterns and color placement I was most intrigued by how such a small area allowed me to obtain a deeper appreciation on how to turn angles and 'fit' the detached trellis stitch to the shape.  This was perhaps one of the most interesting areas to stitch on this sampler and a great study!

Here are some pictures of the completed band and then some closeups of the trellis stitch in progress...

A most surprising band...
An interesting interpretation of a motif and stitches - don't remember stitching something like this satin stitch area before

Trellis Stitch in progress

The trellis stitch is detached and quite textural
Hope you can see the dimensionality of the trellis stitch in this motif

Just a note on some of the questions asked about this sampler and my choice of colors etc.  I am a bit hesitant to post all the details on a blog so all I will say here is that I am working this from a chart that was made by Margriet (The Essamplaire).  I chose a linen color that closely resembled the one of the original shown in the chart and I am using all the same colors of silk as specified.  The only change I made was in the color 'Beige' - I decided to use AVAS 4236 after trying another color similar to the one specified and the one specified.  I felt that this way the stitching stands out evenly all over instead of having areas of bold color and other areas that are hard to see from afar.  The only other difference is the unanticipated fear of 'running out' of the yellow green and realizing there was a dye lot difference... in the end this turned out to be a nice thing.
Please email me personally if there are any other questions ... hope you understand...  I know you all like to see my close up photographs but it is  an area of concern especially for designers who depend on the income from their reproductions and designs and one of the reasons I have yet to post my own designs here....   

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Interesting study in Blackwork

Another band completed - a most interesting study in working out the pathways to achieve the patterning on both front and back -  reversible blackwork is always fun for me.  I enjoy working out the pathways to achieve reversibility which in my mind is the intriguing aspect of Holbein stitch and perhaps the reason so many samplers show this stitch historically.  For example,  the pineapple area could have been one involving a lot of counting if worked horizontally or vertically...however, working it diagonally made it easy and the pattern developed almost automatically. 
Hope to get this sampler done by the end of the month (end of the week ideally)... 
changed the yellow green color - different dyelot/same color because I thought I would run out of the brighter yellow green.  Worked out fine in this case because the darker dyelot stands out more.  Added the lighter yellow green as filling stitches.

The above picture shows the bands left to go - the one above this band and a bit more left to go on the band below.  Turns out I did have enough of the original brighter yellow green dyelot but because I was not sure I decided to blend in the new darker shade by distributing it through these remaining bands... in a way the darker shade stands out more in the blackwork area so it all works out anyway.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Another band ...

Another band - just two and a half bands left to go!
The positioning of the colors are a bit different - also chose to work some areas in a pulled thread version of the four sided stitch just to add some texture 

Added a zig-zag line of stitches in the area marked with my stiletto...the space was bothering me a bit so I decided to adapt the design a bit

On the shoulder front - the recurring pain cancelled all plans for the weekend and  I stayed home 'resting' with the hot water bottle and this sampler.  This pain was different to the frozen shoulder pain from before - it was probably caused by my falling/tripping over a chair while teaching my Japanese Embroidery class last weekend ... I had been successful in avoiding hitting the right shoulder, my forehead and any other areas as I fell backwards but the back of my shoulder had hit the chair anyway... this after an active week in the office had caused the area to be quite achy by the end of the week.  Well, resting had helped but then another treatment using Indian acupressure technique, this time on my foot, relaxed the area completely last night and things have remained 'comfortable' since.  Amazing results with simple techniques!  Thank you all for your emails and good wishes.
Appreciate your kind comments on my stitching too...

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Continuing on .... "SH" sampler

Stitching into the night with more Montenegrin stitch variations to keep my mind off the shoulder issues.  Even though I optimistically reported that most of the pain is gone most of the time,  I am finding that after a lot of activity some of the pain returns and the spasm like pain intensifies at times.  The solution is to allow time for rest and a hot water bottle....and something to keep myself distracted with... that is how I spent some hours in the middle of the night... and also how I will be spending most of today...
here is last night's progress:
Last few bands left to go...

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

More on "SH" sampler...

Finished the band with the spot motifs - did not reproduce this band exactly because I wanted the motifs to stand out separately.  The original has areas where motifs bump into each other.  Some of the motifs are  quite pretty and I could easily see them worked into future projects. 

Spot motifs - band stitched with some changes

will add to the area after finishing the remaining bands


Friday, September 12, 2014

"SH" sampler - continued

It is hard for me to continue on with this sampler these days... it is an interesting one to stitch but at this point I am really missing working on my Japanese embroidery and working on some of my own designs.

Some good news to report on the frozen shoulder front - I am finally pretty much pain free thanks to Indian acupressure techniques.  It was such a 'simple'  treatment (SIX 15 to 30 sec. applications of pressure)administered periodically over an afternoon and I have been pain free for the most part since!  Amazing stuff... my range of motion is now slowly but surely getting better as I work through the exercises... if I exert myself too much (nonstop activity for about 6-8hours) then I do still have pain and need to rest the arm for a few hours/day.  Being pain free for most of the day/most movements is such a relief after the constant, 9+ level of pain since April, the range of motion is still restricted but getting better... so I am slowly resuming all my activities and picking up all the things that were 'dropped' so suddenly. 
The good thing about this sampler is that I do not have too much more to go on this project and hope to just get it done before it disappears for years into the UFO drawer again.  It is a good sampler with a fair amount of complexity.  If you ever wanted to figure out the Montenegrin stitch in all of it's variations this sampler is a really good way.

The sampler has a band of upside down animals/critters and spot motifs... I took a break from some of the bands and started working on this area - made a spur of the moment decision to 'upright' this band and have it work with all the others...not sure if this was wise but at this point it will remain this way on 'my' version.  So here is the progress report on this sampler so far:
SH Sampler - 2nd to the last band

SH Sampler - last band stitched not upside down as charted
Have a good weekend!