Time for another monthly blog round up!
24. Improve the underside of my blackwork
I have just started working on a new blackwork commission that I am very excited about :D :D I absolutely love the pattern that has been chosen! One of the things I have been working hard at on this project is keeping the back as neat and tidy as possible. I use back stitch, rather than Holbein stitch for my blackwork, as I find I get better tension in the thread, so the back does not look the same as the front. As such I have been making sure that even though the back looks slightly different it is still very neat. At the start of the project it did make the stitching noticeably slower going, but now that I've memorised the pattern and the best ways to keep the back neat it is going pretty fast, and I'm half way through the first part.
32. Read more books on historical embroidery techniques.
I've finally gotten around to having a proper read of some of the many embroidery books that I own.
This one is by far my favourite - Embroiderers (Medieval Craftsmen) by Kay Staniland.
The book is full of some amazing photographs of medieval embroidery, and is a very interesting read!
I've also read a couple of books on Goldwork, and have been experimenting with some of the many blackwork pattern's from the Royal School of Needlework Essential Stitch Guides: Blackwork - by Becky Hogg. I've had to put the piece aside at the moment to work on commissions but here is what I have so far -
The 'V' outline has been done in 3 strands of dark purple thread. The blackwork nearest the 'V' is done in 1 strand of thread, and it then moves up to 2 strands of thread nearer the edge of the hoop. I have used 4 different shades of purple for the different blackwork quarters, and by varying the number of threads used, hope to create a more textured look.
50. Make more of my own patterns.
This year I have made and designed many patterns myself, which I am very proud of! Until recently I always thought that patterns from kits and magazines would be better than my own ever could, and it has been nice to move away from the mentality. A lot of my hoops have had patterned I have designed myself. One of my own patterns that I am most pleased with, is the Japanese Wedding sampler I made earlier in the year. The wedding has now been so I can finally post of picture of the finished design :)
Until I get around to giving this piece a blog of it's own, please check out my facebook page where there are more pictures and details for it :) -
As well as this I have been working on a couple of special birthday cards for some family members, organising the start of another commission, another felt phone case and plotting many more hoop designs!
One of my final finishes of last month was this adorable baby sampler from Nia designs -
My cousin gave birth to her second son a few weeks ago, and I made this a gift for her and her husband. When I started this she did not know the sex of the baby so I had to change the colours around a bit from the original pattern, but I love how it turned out. Here's a shot of it framed -