This week, I have spent a little bit of time in the evenings working on my Ann’s Orchard Clutch. It is slow progress (I still suffer from extreme exhaustion after a day of working), but I am happy with how the project is progressing. I had planned one evening to work on my Trevelyon Cap, however I find sitting on the couch, usually with my furry friend not too far away, snuggling up under the blanket was much more appealing! I also find this can be a bit more relaxing, maybe it’s just the ‘slouchiness’ of it all!

I have now finished three leaves (and yes, I struggled again with the stitch direction!), and I am now starting to get the hang of them, though finishing off the stem part seems to be something that causes me continual grief!

third leaf completed

I then moved onto some of the small ‘branches’. I decided to add a bit more colour into these ones, and have opted for the second darkest of my collection of blues I chose to compliment the design. The first one I stitched, I decided to use two rows of stem stitch. I wasn’t particularly pleased with this result – it looks a bit heavy to me.

too thick?

The second one, I have opted for just one row, again with one strand of thread, and I’m much happier with the result. It looks more delicate to me, and like it will blend in with the overall effect of the piece better. But this is where I need your advice, as my husband likes the thicker effect better! I’m tempted to move on, and see what the overall effect is when the larger, thicker branches added in, and then make a decision.

too thin?

Some slow progress, but it is better than nothing! Since my accident, I have really struggled with exhaustion, so just adding one or two stitches a night at times feels like an achievement! But I have been lucky, as I am now going to start working four days a week, so hopefully that will have a positive impact on my general life and health over the coming weeks, and in turn, give me more time and energy to stitch!

Slow progress

And now for what I think is exciting news! I am lucky to be going to the Royal School of Needlework tomorrow, to partake in an introductory stump work class! I have done some stump work before, but as I’ve never done anything with such a prestigious group of people before, I thought I should opt for the beginners class rather than the intermediate! It is a class on the fundamentals of stump work, so I will let you know how it goes later next week! I’m hoping one of the things I will learn the skills to practice is how to embroider the wired elements, without getting ‘holes’ in the stitching close to the wire, which I just can’t work out how to avoid. I’m so excited, and it’s at Hampton Court Palace! What a lovely place to spend the day stitching! I might go and pack my bag now!

And now for your advice and thoughts – do you prefer the branch on the clutch stitched with one row or two rows of stem stitch? Thank you!

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