Stitch Challenge: TAST OR Math?

There are a few stitches that challenge me more than others.  And Sharon Boggon from Pin Tangle’s Take a Stitch Tuesday (TAST) has included more than one in her weekly challenges.  This week in fact!  The Knotted Cretan Stitch is lovely.  I love the texture.  I don’t love the math.

I suppose it wouldn’t be so bad if I drew lines on the fabric rather than counted threads.  But the threads ARE lines so it really shouldn’t matter.  Actually a basic line of Cretan (or chevron or herringbone) stitches isn’t a problem.  The problem is when I try to layer them.  The second layer takes a few minutes to figure out my new count and placement.  But the third and fourth are killers.  It feels like I’m using my left hand instead of my right.  Is this a Right Brain vs. Left Brain thing?  Can anyone tell me how to make this easier?

I can fold egg whites into a batter without loosing a molecule of air, but I struggle beyond belief with multiple layers of these stitches.  I can take the sugar out of a recipe and make the item taste like a thousand calories.  I love the texture of  layered stitches.  And when I look at other peoples’ work, it all seems so lovely and effortlessly layered.

I know it’s about multiples.  That’s kind of like permutations—right?  Could someone please write a blog about this for we mathematically challenged stitchers and send me the link?  Or will this not really matter when I pull my antique crazy quilt out of storage and start the embellishments that were never done?

One thing I have learned this week with the Knotted Cretan is about when to end the thread if you didn’t start with enough.  End at either far end of the stitch (A or D per Sarah’s pictorial tutorial.)  Bring the new thread in at the point where the stitch will be bisected, the middle point, the C point if you use A-B-C-D notation for a stitch.  If you end your thread in the middle, you have to introduce the new thread in the same space and it looks messy.  Thank goodness I DID learn something.   Everything else was kind of accidental!  But I DO like what I did and think I could recreate it.  What do you think?  How would you further embellish this?

Knotted Cretan Stitch in four threads and different lengths

Knot sure what I did here!

Oh, and I played with threads.  This is the first weekend for picking strawberries here so I was thinking about fruity colors.  Colors related to cherries for the bottom two rows.  Grape and watermelon for the top two.  I was going to add something for blueberry, my favorite, but pooped out.  There’s a variety of silk, stranded cotton, and perle cotton in this sample.  Here’s the cast in order of appearance:

  • DMC Perle #5 3042
  • Weeks Dye Works floss #2262 Watermelon
  • Caron Wildflowers #081 Black Cherry
  • Caron Waterlilies #149 Cherry Cordial

TAST Week 9 Meets Studio Journal

Laptop screen after a fan fell on it

Fractured Laptop Screen

A lot has happened since I last posted. We moved from Bay St. Louis, Mississippi to Robertsdale, Alabama. It’s very nice here and super weather today—84 degrees with a good breeze. Beautiful trails to walk, so the pups are loving it!  Unfortunately, when we were settling into our new site my laptop was damaged.  The image to the left is what you see on the lower right screen when turned on.  I think I’m going to create a needlepoint design out of the pattern.  Needless to say, this has had an impact on my internet presence!

I’ve started a new class. Sharon Boggon’s Studio Journal: a Designer’s Workhorse.  Yesterday began Week Four.  I have been busy reading, completing the exercises, and working with my journal everyday.  Following is an easy, but fun example of an exercise from the Studio Journal course.  Hopefully in the future you will see designs that flow from the exercises I’ve been doing and from the creativity using the journal inspires!

Cut out from Studio Journal Class Week 3

Smaller cut out

Smaller cut out block duplicated for overall pattern

Smaller cut out block duplicated for overall pattern

TAST has taken a back seat during the weeks for detached chain and chain stitch, but I’m back on track with this week’s Couching Stitch.  Taking the Journal class is pulling a lot of loose ends together for me.  My sample of TAST’s Week 9 stitch led me to pull out an old UFO, Venus de la Mer.

I once did a doodle of a Venus of Willendorf incorporating Chakra points.  I liked the doodle so much I decided to turn it into an embroidery piece.  I couldn’t decide if I wanted her to be represented with elements of Earth, Air, Fire, or Water, so I decided I would do four pieces, one for each element.  I started with Water since I had some cool water fabric to use as a background.

Doodle of Chakra Points done over 10 years ago

A doodle of Chakra Points I did over 10 years ago, then decided to stitch

Crown of Venus de la Mer

Crown of Venus de la Mer, couched eyelash thread and pearl seed beads

I’ve now put the original doodle in my journal where it will be safe and I can easily find it again.  And, I couched the eyelash thread hair in place, using some seed beads for embellishment.  When Jeff looked at it and asked what I was doing and what was I using, I asked him what he thought.  He said, “It looks like weeds.”  Mission Accomplished!!

Freeform Surface Embroidery

Venus de la Mer: Freeform Surface Embroidery

Close up of surface embroidery

Surface embroidery: Venus de la Mer

Snow White Peony

Snow White Peony: An ANG class project due 3.15.12

I’ve also been working like crazy to finish an ANG class, Snow White Peony.  It is due on March 15.  I think I can finish it.  But even if I don’t, I’m going to send it in to the instructor for feedback.  A certificate of completion would be nice, though, especially since I’m interested in pursuing Master Stitcher qualifications.  What do you think?  Is it doable?

Take a Stitch Tuesday 2012: Update

I mentioned before that I’m participating in Sharon Boggon’s Take a Stitch Tuesday 2012 challenge.  For those unfamiliar with what this is about, every Tuesday Sharon shares an embroidery stitch with the group.  She gives detailed instructions on how to complete the stitch for those unfamiliar with whatever the stitch of the week is.

For those who have some experience with the stitch, she provides inspiration and a challenge to play with the stitch and see if you can use it in a different or creative way.  She gives photo examples of how she has used the stitch, often in one of her crazy quilt blocks or from one of er own stitch samplers.

We are now at the end of week two.  I struggled to get started as I needed to decide how I wanted to proceed with the stitches.  You could just work up a doodle on your collar.  Or you could stitch/paint a landscape.  Or you could do a crazy quilt block.  Or you could do a traditional sampler.  Or you could do a sampler like Sharon’s Sampler of all Samplers!

I decided to do a more traditional sampler.  We’ll see what happens over time.  I used the buttonhole stitch from the Week 2 challenge to couch some pearl trim into a square to place my start date.  I used the Week 1 challenge fly stitch to write out “2012.”  I’m using a 28 count linen for the ground.  The buttonhole was worked with Weeks Dye Works #1278, Holly.  The fly stitch was also Weeks overdyed cotton, but # 2266, Turkish Red.  I thought since I’m starting this in the winter, I’d use wintery colors and let the colors in future stitches reflect the passing of the year.

The results so far:

TAST Week One and Two stitches together

Buttonhole stitch border to couch strung pearls and fly stiched numerals

What do you think?  I kind of like it!

Sharon B’s Worksheets: Stitch module 6 available at a special price for 7 days – Pin Tangle – Pin Tangle

Sharon B’s Worksheets: Stitch module 6 available at a special price for 7 days – Pin Tangle – Pin Tangle.

Just got an email regarding Sharon B’s  (Pin Tangle) latest stitching index sheets.  The newest module contains 17 stitches including some cool bead embroidery that would be great for crazy quilting and some other stitches that would be good for edgings.   Here’s the list:

Stitches in Module 6

  • Alternating barred chain
  • Alternating buttonhole
  • Alternating Cretan
  • Alternating feather version 1
  • Beaded Alternating feather
  • Beaded Cretan
  • Beaded double threaded stacked back stitch
  • Beaded double Pekinese
  • Buttonhole wheel
  • Chained Pekinese
  • Diminishing Pekinese
  • Double Pekinese
  • Double threaded back stitch
  • Double threaded stacked back stitch
  • Pekinese stitch

The special price of $5.00 is only for one week.

If you’re not familiar with Sharon’s Worksheets, her first four modules are available for free download so you can try out Sharon’s system.  I think you’ll like what you see.  Here is a link to the first four modules:  http://www.pintangle.com/stitch-worksheets/  This page will describe the sheets and towards the bottom are the links to each of the four modules.

Enjoy!