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Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Week 15 - Ladder Stitch was love at first try.  It can be worked in a very orderly fashion.  Even better it can be varied both vertically and horizontally, shaped, worked solo or side by side.  But best of all can be woven leading to myriad other possibilities.  Here is a stitch I can play with.  I was delighted  with this little bit from my doodle cloth.   At first glance I thought it was pretty cool just as an abstraction.  Maybe it's all the Zentangling I've been doing lately; I sense a hint of 3-D perspective.

I didn't have too much in mind for my sampler other than a composition of grids.  It was when I started weaving in parrot colorway that the idea of feathers arose, and next came the challenge to see if I could build an avian shape with just ladder stitch.   This is what I came up with free stitching (no pattern or outline).  I think it's recognizeable as a bird?
Although I'm through with this for now, I seriously thinking of going Crafty Chica and adding sequins & beads to the background.  Pity you can't really catch the glitter cord sparkle.

Monday, June 07, 2010


Waiting on DH in another doctor's office, I'm working on Week 14 of Take a Stitch Tuesday.  After a short time a young girl sitting across from me says, "I like what you're doing there."  Never one to disregard a child's curiosity, I invite her to sit next to me to see first hand what I'm doing.  She was intrigued by the very things that appeal most to me, pleasing colors and lots of textures.  She was delighted to touch the sampler and oooh'ed as her fingers stroked the silk ribbon, and I was tickled that she picked up on the glittercord right away.
I  reached into my thread bag and  showed her how she could feel the difference between silk and cotton.    I was sorry I had no extra cloth with me or I would have her stitching in no time.  I had to settle for her promise that she would ask her grandmother to teach her embroidery.  I got no stitching done for the remaining wait, but I had the most extroadinary conversation with a young lady far beyond her 11 years.  We discussed our art interests which turned out to be mutual, as well; we pretty much ran the gamut of fiber arts.  DH showed up just as we were creating Zentangles, me on the back of my shopping list, she on an electronic device with a drawing program.  Time well spent.  And from now on my activity bag will include not only extra stitching supplies but knitting needles, yarn, crochet hooks and small pads for Zendoodling.  I intend to be prepared for the next teaching opportunity!

The first band started out as an up/down, every-which-way line of stitching that was probably more in line with my mood while I sat out DH's routine colonoscopy.  His results were fine, mine not so much.  I frogged it completely and replaced it with two repeat rows.  By the way, all the herringbone in this sampler is worked in #5 perle cotton.  The first band is buttonholed with a variegated perle from Anchor.

The whole time I'm working on this stitch I'm thinking of ways to depict waves.  The variation I made in the second band was to alternate the peaks and valleys in the two rows.  The buttonhole portion is a single strand of Caron Watercolours.   If you look at the last part of the second row, you'll see it's more angular than scalloped.  I left it that way to show I experimented with working the buttonhold upside down.  My conclusion is the scallops lay better when worked right side up.

 Band 3 is double herringbone buttonhole; ie, both layers have buttonhole over the foundation herringbones.   I suppose it would have looked more interesting if I had "woven" the second layer, but I wasn't energized enough to try. The underlayer of buttonhole is worked in cotton perle, possibly Caron Wildflowers, the upper layer is 2 strands of silk floss from Vikki Clayton.

Turn Band 4 on it's side for a short/tall effect.  I think this would work well for waves (picture different blues and pearl or crystal beads for white caps and spray) or for purple mountains'  snowcapped majesty.  And note to self:  use a thread with less contrast for the foundation herringbone.   Young Jada asked me two questions.  After explaining the TAST challenge and how it works to her, she wanted to know what kind of prizes were we competing for.  I hope my answer sunk in, that our reward comes in learning something new, trying something new, and that through our online show and tell we garner inspiration and encouragement to go on doing what we do just because we love to do it.  Of course then she wanted to know what I was going to do with the sampler.  I didn't think it prudent to say it would probably end up in a box or drawer with like pieces, so I suggested ways I could use it by making it part of something larger, like adding fabric and making a purse or a book cover or lid for a special box.  Jada thought it would be way cooler for me to stitch all my samplers together like a quilt.  It was sort of like our coversation.  One thread led to another until everything was unified.