Tuesday, November 06, 2007

On the Hoop

As well as one large project I usually have at least one smaller project that I’m working on.

These tend to be for exchanges, gift or decorations. At the moment I am finishing a needleroll for a Christmas Exchange on A Crafty Natter – I can’t share that one at the moment.

My other small project is a Festive Candlewrap by one of my favourite designers – Colette from Cols Creations (link on the right).

Hardanger is one of my favourite types of needlework. In the summer I was fortunate to win a silver cup at our village show with a piece of Hardanger. I have a large Hardanger table cloth on the go and a Handanger bell pull that just needs finishing off.

There are so many things I enjoy about Hardanger:

The rhythm of stitching Kloster Blocks. Understanding the pattern and mindlessly doing five over four is a lovely way to spend an afternoon.

The challenge of button hole stitch. I haven’t done much of this stitch. Pretty in Pink the large table cloth has a lot of it and I’ve done a little bit so far. The Festive Candlewrap has it all around edge.

To begin with I was finding it scruffy and the thread kept untwisting and coming apart. I asked for advice on A Crafty Natter (don’t you love forums) and as a result I changed my needle to one that is slightly thicker and with a larger eye. This is placing less stress on the thread as the hole in the fabric is made larger so passes through more easily. A larger eye also helps hold the thread more gently.

I’m not totally satisfied with how it’s looking but I can tell it is getting better. This is a stitch that I need lots of practice with.

Cutting the threads. What can I say – sharp scissors, good light, patience and plenty of time.

Wrapping the stitches. Another part that I find rhythmic and satisfying and the work really starts to take on the personality of the design.

Decorative stitches and beading. This is the icing on the cake. At this point I sometimes question if they might be too much making the piece too fussy. I am always wrong. As the decorative stitches take shape and the beading begins to sparkle I watch a beautiful design come alive.

I think the candlewraps that Colly designs are such a good idea. At the December meeting of the Embroiders Guild we all take a Christmas Decoration for the festive table and I have decided to take two of these wrapped around red candles – very festive

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