Saturday, February 23, 2008

Blackwork - complete!

Here is my first finished blackwork project. It is intended as a set of cuffs and collar for a shirt. I made it with the thought that I would give it away. My back side is not as perfect as I would like it to be; ultimately I would like my work to be indistinguishable front from back. I have already chosen the pattern for my next project, a set of cuffs. It is a little more complicated. I think if each project gradually increases in difficulty I will improve without being overwhelmed.

*Fabric: Zweigart linen "Belfast" 32ct. in Antique White

*Thread: Soie d'Alger "NOIR" single strand

EDIT: This blackwork sold for $35 at an auction to benefit the Shire of Crosston.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Projects in progress

Right now I have several projects in progress. Just so I can keep things straight, here is the current status:

* German embroidered bag - still waiting for my silk order with the yellow thread. It is on backorder.

* Stool - currently on break from woodshop class. I'll return next month and have bandsaw access again.

* New needlebook project - this is something I started a few days ago for my first experiment with cloisterstitch. I was just finishing up with the edge trim but ran out of fingerloop braid. As soon as I make more I can finish, hopefully on my next day off.

* New project: blackwork! I have always wanted to try this and did make a couple half-hearted (and poor quality) attempts but this time I am really going to do it. I chose a simple pattern for increased likelihood of success.

* Maru dai stand for kumihimo - needs sanding, finishing, real bobbins. Not feeling very excited by it right now.

Why am I posting all this? To my knowledge, no one reads my blog. I am doing it because it makes a nice record for me to look back on and see my progress and have everything in one place. Also if I want to show someone what I am doing I have easy access to pictures. Besides, someday someone may read my blog and even make a comment.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

German 14th century embroidered bag - in progress

This is my second embroidered piece in brick stitch. It is Soie d'Alger silk using four stands on 24 count linen congress cloth. It will take ten skeins of thread when complete. The unfinished part is where I ran out of yellow so I will finish it as soon as I buy some more. When the embroidery is complete I will make it up into a bag and use the fingerloop braid my friend Renee of the Mists made for me to finish the edges and make a drawstring.

Medieval stool

This is my second project in woodworking class. It is a medieval stool based on many I have seen depicted in manuscripts and some extant examples. It is made of poplar, the least expensive hardwood and suitable for a beginning project. It is unfinished but far enough along to see approximately how it will look. It is turning out just how I imagined and I am so excited about it!

My first attempt at a maru dai and kumihimo

I started taking a woodworking class though the local adult education and I am hooked! For my first project I made a kumihimo braiding stand called a maru dai. Although is it not finished yet I wanted to try it out to make sure the dimensions were good. I liked it a lot and now I will finish it. I tried this type of braiding once before using a quickie cardboard contraption but the wood stand is much nicer to use.

I made a simple four strand braid for my first attempt and it turned out pretty well. The thread is some silk my friend Renee gave me. She dyed it using indigo and tumeric. I also have to work out a better system for the bobbins and counterweight. I don't like tying a slip knot around the bobbin and for the counterweight I used a spool of solder and some wire my boyfriend was using that happened to be handy. I'll post another picture when I have that worked out.