Monday, February 26, 2007


Thought it was about time for a change of pace. In many ways I am looking at streamlining my life so the simpler format is quite appropriate. Still need to figure out the RSS feed in from my LJ account and vice versa. Will try to add labels as appropriate and have opted to try the comments form for blogger rather than reblogger.

More soon - but just a teaser -- went to Stitches West -- knitting show. LOVE those threads!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A Different Type of Stitching

After all the historically focused stitching and deadline stitching of the last couple months, I am taking a short break. Yes I need to do my column which will be on Interlace, but I've got a couple weeks to get it done.

As you know I've been playing with quilting. Crazy quilting in particular. I am coordinating the visit of Sharon Boggins from In a Minute Ago when she comes to the San Francisco Bay Area in June 2008. As part of this I am working with a quilt shop - Always Quilting. Before Sharon's class we will need to have had a series of how to build a block classes, something the store does on a regular basis, and some basic embroidery classes. So some how I'm teaching basics for Redwork next week. To that end, I'm stitching a butterfly. I'm using some of the Dinky Dyes overdyed silk threads which are always a joy to use. I'm doing stem/outline stitch in single and double threads, satin stitch, and will do a bit of back stitch too. I'm thinking of doing a series of butterflys like a redwork quilt, but we will have to see if time permits.

I am also doing a teacher exchange with the smocking guild the following week. Need to redesign my basic blackwork handout and remind myself of its historical application to smocking (need that patter or is that blather).

Then as if I don't have enough on my plate, at the EGA region meeting our workshop coordinator handed out a "Petite Project" with a challenge to bring it back to the June meeting. It is pulled and drawnwork. The instructions are lousy, but I can figure out what they want done. She handed out Jobelin fabric and pearl cotton. I'm using the fabric (blech!), but since I had some of the Dinky Dyes cottons handy... I've had a series of nasty colds so stitching something brainless has been good therapy.

I am supposed to receive the pre-work for the England trip class in the next couple weeks as well. Then since my column deadline is while I'm away, I need to get that column done asap as well. Meanwhile back to writing up the instructions for joining the kneeling carpets. It should have been done last month, but it is hard to think with a head cold.

On a Valentine's note, my honey wants us to go to the Cyprian's Ball this weekend so he can "pick me up". Every one say "ahhhhhhh". Lots of waltzing, hope the head is clear by then.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Threaded Thoughts

A couple of people have commented on my comments about choosing a thread for the background of the Elizabethan pincushion - so here goes.

My research shows that it was a metal thread used for the background whether it was tent or straight gobelin or encrouching gobelin. The comments from people who have received training at the Royal School suggested 371 (gold) for doing plaited braid stitches and something finer for background stitches. 340 (gold) and 345 (silver) are finer and supposedly about the correct diameter for the stitching. 371 is too stiff for stitching, but that is what makes it good for doing the braided stitches. 340/345 would probably work for an encrouching gobelin stitch because of the layering of the thread would create sufficient coverage. It didn't work for straight gobelin on 36 count linen.

The swete bags historically were anywhere from 28 to 42 count; versus slips in wool around 25 count. I chose 36 count because single thread of silk in tent covers nicely.

So back to the search for the best metal thread. Passing was the right diameter but like the 371 it was too stiff. The Indian version of 345 was also too fine. I tried the silver DMC floss which provided better coverage, but still not sufficient. It probably would be useable if you used an additional thread - 4 instead of the normal 3 twist. The Kreinik very fine braid worked to cover adequately. It isn't real metal thread, but it got the job done and has the right look.