Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Thick Necks

After a week to give the group time to catch up, I went to work on the head and neck of the Heron. The head and neck is made up of couched passing using the Italian shading technique, which is similar to or nue.

I did take progress shots as I was working but lost all of them. Just a warning, if you don't want to lose your pictures, don't take them while using Instagram's direct messaging feature. I was working on my piece while chatting with Pam and sharing progress shots with her. By the time I realized it, I was finished putting in all the rows.

As I got closer to the body, I started realizing that I would need more rows of passing than mentioned in the instructions to cover the neck. Below you can see Becky's version from Instagram. I was very careful to follow the curve of the neck so I'm not sure what went wrong. The nice thing with Instagram is that I'm able to get feedback from the designer within hours. It seems that earlier patterns were done by hand, new ones are printed, so maybe I got a bird with a thicker neck. I've checked in with the other ladies from the group who all ordered kits at the same time and two of them are going to run into the same issue.

I originally planned to work on my Japanese embroidery after putting in all the passing, but figured since I made a hairy mess, I should clean it up. The instructions suggested using the lasso method for plunging, but I just used a crewel needle since there is no danger of ruining the fabric.

I moaned through the entire process but thankfully it didn't take that long to plunge all the passing and tie them down.

Here is a close up of the stitching. He came out okay, but I really wish he had a thinner neck that herons are known for. If I could have I would have shaved off a bit at the back of the neck on the bottom so we can get an exaggerated curve.

I didn't only work on the heron, but also did a bit of beading. I'm officially out of beads now. I have a small area in the upper left corner to do. Now to wait for the replacement beads. Last I checked the tracking number for my order, my package had arrived in Canada and was processed by the carrier. So hopefully I will get them before end of week.


  1. Oh wow, that is just gorgeous! I don't think the neck looks awkwardly thick. I can't wait to watch your progress.

  2. I think when the whole Heron is done, you may not notice the slightly thicker neck - and besides, I've seen pictures of them hunkered down and looking quite thick around the neck...!

  3. The herron is gorgeous and you are so close to finishing with the beads!

  4. Catching up on blog posts! Your retreat sounded wonderful, as they always do. I love this new project. Herons are our local bird here. Our Primary School has a heron for the logo and the PTA is called The Herons. The pub where I used to work in The Ole Frank, a nickname for the heron.
    Shame about the beads on Hanabatake, hope they get here quickly so you can finish this piece.

  5. Beautiful needlework a really impressive herron and lovely pattern.

  6. The Heron looks great, even if he's a little strong-necked!
    Great progress on Hanabatake too - I hope your beads have arrived by now, or will soon.