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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