FNWF – Working a Canvaswork Sampler

FNSF is a monthly gathering of cyber stitching friends. Find out what I got up to!

Last night, being the first Friday of the month, was the first Friday Night With Friends (FNWF) of 2017! FNWF is a ‘Friday Night With Friends’, run by Cheryl. The idea is that you join your cyber friends, and stitch up a storm! I encourage you to check out what everyone else got up to!

I was exhausted after the first week at my new job. So many new names to forget, and everything else that goes along with it! It’s also a very ‘busy’ job – definitely not one where you look at the clock and think is that all, I thought it was home time. Quite the opposite – a good grief, how can that be the time?! Just that settling in phase to go through! So in short, this couldn’t have come at a better time! And I was very lucky, as my hubby said that I looked ‘very settled’ when I announced it was time to cook dinner, and therefore cooked dinner for us! Very spoilt.

One of the things I’m working on at the moment is a little ‘sampler’ (though certainly not anything that will ever be displayed like young girls used to make), of the canvaswork stitches noted in the RSN Canvaswork book. I know absolutely nothing about canvaswork, so this is a great little exercise to test out stitches, and find out how well they cover the canvas, as it has to be completely covered for the RSN piece.

Canvaswork sampler worked with Appeltons wool and DMC thread by Catherine of Hillview Embroidery

I started this little exercise about a week ago, and at first my plan was to stitch each stitch with Appeltons, two strands of DMC, three strands of DMC, and finally, six strands of DMC. But I quickly decided that unless I wanted this to be the piece for the RSN Certificate, I would have to speed up the process! So now, on the whole, each stitch is being worked only in Appeltons, with the occasional one being worked in DMC (in three or four strands – not six – that was just awful!). The problem with Appeltons, which I had when completing the Jacobean piece also, but is amplified here, is the ‘haphazardness’ of the thread. I find it to be a rather frustrating thread to work with, as it isn’t consistently the same thickness, and some parts of it are worn and need to be discarded before you even start thinking about stitching with it. And not to mention they way it will just ‘snap’ on you. The harshness of the canvas is also made very apparent on the thread, so short lengths of thread are the way to go.

Canvaswork sampler worked with Appeltons wool and DMC thread by Catherine of Hillview Embroidery

I’m trying to start and finish the thread as described in the book, which is to start with a waste knot, and when finishing, to bring the thread up about two to three centimetres away , covering an area that will be stitched over, to secure the thread. I don’t think I’ve been giving myself a long enough piece of thread at either the beginning or the end, as I’ve noticed some ‘loose stitches’ emerging. Something to be aware of for the actual piece, though I’m sure I will be given sufficient guidance on that.

I’m also stitching this ‘in the hand’, so there is no hoop, and therefore no tension. I’m actually really struggling with this! Having the fabric tight makes such a large difference to the evenness of the stitches. This is just a tester, so it isn’t a problem, but something for me to think about.

So a lovely way to spend the first Friday of 2017. I hope you also had an enjoyable evening.

I’m sorry about the rather awful colour of the thread! I didn’t think about photographing it when I chose a thread to stitch this with!

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26 thoughts on “FNWF – Working a Canvaswork Sampler”

  1. This looks lovely Catherine, I have never used canvas either and might try it out someday. I have never tried Appletons but have used DMC tapestry yarn which is quite good. Your stitches are so neat !

  2. Hi Catherine, starting and finishing will also be much easier when your piece of canvas is on your slate frame. Since the canvas can’t move, the tails stay put. A far better choice for wool, is Langley Threads Heatway Milano. Good luck!

    1. Thanks for those tips Jessica! I was hoping having it tight on the frame would make a difference to the ease of starting and finishing. I will try and get some of that wool to try out.

  3. I really like all the stitches you’ve used and I also like the colours. This is a good way to get a bit of a head start for your original piece. Good thinking!

    Many, many years ago I did a very small piece (about 2″ x 3″) and I really enjoyed it, seeing your sampler has made me want to have another go, oh dear when will I find the time, lol.

    Glad to hear your new job is keeping you busy, there’s nothing worse than clock watching.

    1. Time is definitely something we seem to run out of! I’m actually really enjoying working this little sampler. I admit, canvaswork is yeh one module I wasn’t looking forward to, but doing this has made me see the enjoyment and potential it has! Let me know when you work your piece again – and I’d love to see it!

  4. The advantage of Appletons is that as it is stranded, you can alter the number of threads you use to improve coverage, and if you have a collection of various different types of thread, they all have different texture and shine as well, and you can use that to change the effect the stitches produce..

    1. Oh thank you! I’m going to work all of this little sampler in a single strand of Appletons so I know how well the stitch covers the canvas. But from working it to date, I know one strand isn’t going to be enough for a lot of these stitches.

      1. It isn’t stranded however you can use it doubled like you would with a stranded thread ? to get either thicker or better coverage from it.

      2. Oh I had no idea there was another type of Appletons! The only one I’ve ever used is more like a tapestry one, though they call it crewel wool

  5. this looks like an interesting experiment! I bought a piece of canvas a while ago, and some speciality Oliver twist threads. I still haven’t got round to starting it!

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Catherine at Hillview Embroidery

Thanks so much for visiting today! I’m Catherine, and it’s great to have you here. You will find here lots of information about my projects and designs, what worked, what didn’t, what I enjoyed, what I didn’t!

With a Certificate in Technical Hand Embroidery from the RSN, I strive to complete each piece to a high degree of technical excellence. But I also like to stretch the ‘rules’ and explore my own methods and techniques!

Keep in Touch!

Join my community to receive all the latest news, be the first to know about special offers and releases in my shop, and some general embroidery chat in a monthly (ish!) newsletter. I’d love to see you there!

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