A new project! Why finish something off when you can start something new?!
I am most excited at having started this project. At the beginning of the year, Kathy Andrews, mastermind behind The Unbroken Thread announced she was going to run an online course on one of her masterpieces – a gentleman’s nightcap in miniature, using one of Trevelyon’s designs. I signed up straight away! Having never done an online course before, I thought this would be an interesting way to learn something new, and get back to a ‘stitching group’, something I’ve missed greatly since moving away from Melbourne three years ago!
Unfortunately for me, the course started at about the same time I fractured my skull. So, needless to say, I am some way behind where I should be – not yet completed lesson one!
The design transfer I found particularly difficult. I have chosen to use a heavy, crewel embroidery linen, which perhaps would explain it! It is a beautiful natural colour and has a lovely weight to it, so despite the transfer problems, it has worked out for the best! I attempted to use the ‘window’ method of having the light shine through and illuminate the design, but couldn’t see a thing! I then attempted a prick and pounce (very time consuming for something that didn’t work!). I had high hopes for this method, and was most disappointed when I discovered that the design just had too many interlocking lines to make any sense of all the dots on the fabric. As a last resort, and as my birthday present, my husband purchased for me an AMAZING light box. The light is clear and bright, and I could just see through to transfer the pattern. It took several weekends, but finally I was ready to start!
Except…. I had read on Mary Corbet’s Needle ‘n Thread about a frame that could be used as an alternative to a slate frame, which quite frankly scared me! Just before my accident, I thought it would be a good investment to get myself one of these Millenium Frames by Needle Needs. I was disappointed at the time that they said it could take eight to twelve weeks, but I thought, well that gives me plenty of time to transfer the design, and as there’s not that much stitching in the first lesson, I’ll be able to catch up! Well, my frame arrived yesterday. What they fail to tell you is it takes eight to twelve weeks before they START to process your order. So it’s much closer to six MONTHS before you get one. Now, I have no doubt that it is a good frame, and worth the money, however don’t buy one for a specific project if you have a time frame or are eager to get started.
So, since I was eager to get started, and the lovely people at NeedleNeeds said it would still take time, I decided to spend yet more money, and buy a slate frame. Should have done that in the first place in hindsight. Next up was conquering my fears of the slate frame! And the silly thing? With Kathy’s amazing instructions, it was easy. No dramas at all. Nice and drum tight fabric to work on! So silly for being so scared of it! Yes, it does take time, but it was worth it. Now I actually have the Millennium Frame, I’ll use it for something else, and then I’ll be able to make a comparison! I guess I can now have two large projects on the go!
As I said, I haven’t yet finished lesson one, but I’m hoping by the end of the weekend I will have that completed, and then onto the leaves!
I think my stitching is improving as I’m going along, and I’m going to have to make a decision as to if I leave or pull out the first one I did! I think I now understand better the stitch direction of the satin stitches. One thing I’m struggling with, and is a little strange, is the right hand petals don’t seem to be sitting as nicely as the left hand ones. Given I’m right handed I would have thought it would be the other way around! Definitely most noticeable on the first flower. Once I’ve got all four done, I’ll make a judgement call.
I’ve opted to stitch in silk threads, and I am in heaven! It’s been a while since I’ve used the lovely silk AuVer a Soie threads, and each night I can’t wait to get home and put a few stitches in. Even if it really is only a few!
What do you think? Are my stitches too poor on my first attempt? Should I start again?