Friday, January 29, 2021

Mariner's Compass - Week Three

 This week's lesson took a bit more effort than the first two.

Lots and lots of couching around the center, going round and round.

Followed by some s-ing.

Here's the trick for getting a perfect circle and this doesn't just apply for s-ing but also stem stitch as that's what it basically is. Your needle should come out to the right of the last purl/stitch and come down to the left of the first purl/stitch in the circle. This ensures seemless join.

The s-ing is then surrounded by two rounds of couched purl and lizerine.

The last bit was putting in the spokes in between the compass points.

This piece is so shiny! Usually it's really hard to convey the shine of the material, but this piece just captures all the light and reflects it back. It actually makes it very hard to stitch on for long periods as it strains the eyes. The best way to avoid this is to stitch during the day, so no artificial lighting is needed, and take lots of breaks. Three more lessons to go...

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Mariner's Compass - Week Two

 For week two on the compass, we worked on the compass points and enclosed the area.

I got to try a new material: looped wire. This one was actually hand made by our teacher Cynthia and is meant to be couched in place. She shared her process with us during our weekly zoom chats, so we would be able to make our own in future. A great asset to add to my skill set.

The compass points are surrounded by a circle of couched lizarine. Did you know there are two types: lizarine and lizardine? They're both used the same way, but I think the lizarine is finer than the lizardine. I guess I'll have to get my hands on some to really make a comparison.

I've gained a companion on my journey. I needed something to hold my hoop still, but still be able to quickly adjust and rotate my hoop. This puffin weight came in handy. He was a gift from the 2017 EAC seminar in Newfoundland, hand made by the members of the hosting guild.

Now I'm ready for lesson three. I looked at the lesson plan and it's going to involve lots of couching. Good thing I just got lots of practice.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Mariner's Compass - Week One

I think a year or two ago, I spotted this piece by Cynthia Jackson and just fell in love with it. It was one of the class that was going to be taught at the EGA 2020 seminar in Boston. I couldn't attend and later on that seminar was cancelled but I always kept it at the back of my mind. Then it started popping up on my social media. An online class had been organized and I don't know how but I missed the registration. Luckily there was so much demand, Cynthia decided to offer a second round and I jumped at the opportunity.

It's a goldwork piece, with lots of new materials I've never tried so I look forward to the experience. It's my first official Zoom embroidery class. The way it's organized is that for 6 weeks, we get homework on the Saturday(ish) and have the week to do it. It includes a document and video demonstration. Then on Friday evenings, we have a Zoom meeting with Cynthia where we can ask questions.

Homework for the first week included transferring the design onto the black silk. I learned a new method. I would have never though of drawing the design on the calico and the stitching with the front and back fabric together. I will definitely remember this option. 

The second part was to put in the kid leather at the center. All this took about three hours and a half of work.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Holiday Stitching

Every year, I take time off between Christmas and New Years. It usually gives me about two full weeks off and I spend a lot of time stitching when I'm not being dragged outside by my family for my own good. This year due to COVID, we had nowhere to go! I like to give myself goals and the two projects I selected were Jen Goodwin's Colorwheel and Hiogi.

I would alternate between the two pieces. In the morning, I would stitch on Hiogi to take advantage of the light. As this piece is big, I concentrated on the fan handle which is stitched in couched gold threads.

(click on the post to see the animation below)

That took way more time than I expected. I was hoping to complete the handle and work on the cherry blossom but that will have to wait for another time. I still have to plunge the threads but that will be done at a later date.

In the evenings, I would spend my time working on the Colorwheel. This piece stitched up very fast and I was hoping for a 2020 finish. Unfortunately it wasn't meant to be. I ran out of the purl pearl that is couched around the entire piece.

(click on the post to see the animation below)

Here's a close up of the intersecting areas. I wanted a true weave, so the couched purl pearl go over and under. A little something I picked up in my Islamic geometry classes.

Right now this piece is sitting on the side while I wait for more purl pearl to complete it.

Friday, January 1, 2021

2021 Goals

I did okay this year, could have done better considering I was home all the time. I did make great progress on one of the older WIPs.

  • TUSAL posts on the last day of the month --- DONE
  • Complete Hedebo Starburst by Jette Roy Finlay-Heath (Hedebo) --- DONE, but still need to finish the edges
  • Stitch on phase 2-3 piece Hiogi Fan (Japanese embroidery) --- DONE
  • Start phase 4 piece Karahana (Japanese embroidery, goldwork phase) --- Not even close, class was cancelled due to COVID
  • Stitch (and complete?) Blackwell Roundel by Jenny Adin-Christie (metal and silk work) --- Not even close
  • Stitch Russian Domes class (goldwork) --- Not even close
  • Start Midnight Meander by Hazel Blomkamp (crewel) --- DONE an completed :)
  • Continue learning tulle embroidery --- Not even close, I can't blame lack of time :P
  • Older WIPS:
    • Complete at least one page of Ink Circles' Bramble and the Rose --- Above and beyond :)
    • Stitch the hemstitch border on Donna M. Olson's Fantasy Lace --- Not even close 
    • Finish Katherine Drummond's Romantic Rosebuds --- Not even close 
    • Finish Annie Penin's Fleur de Sakura --- Not even close 
This year's goals will be:
  • TUSAL posts on the last day of the month
  • Finish the Colorwheel by Jen Goodwin (blackwork)
  • Finish Tracery Dragons by Teresa Wentzler
  • Stitch and hopefully finish phase 2-3 piece Hiogi Fan (Japanese embroidery)
  • Start phase 4 piece Karahana (Japanese embroidery, goldwork phase)
  • Start phase 2 piece Flow Folio (Japanese bead embroidery)
  • Start Goldwork Compass by Cynthia Jackson (goldwork)
  • Stitch (and complete?) Blackwell Roundel by Jenny Adin-Christie (metal and silk work)
  • Stitch on Dolcetti by Katherine Drummond
  • Finish Elizabeth: A Sampler Doll Pincushion Maiden and Trunk by Giulia Punti Antichi
  • Learn a new technique - Korean traditional embroidery
  • Older WIPS. I'm putting these back in because they still need to be done. I'm hoping I do better this year.
    • Complete Hedebo Starburst by Jette Roy Finlay-Heath (Hedebo)
    • Stitch the hemstitch border on Donna M. Olson's Fantasy Lace 
    • Finish Katherine Drummond's Romantic Rosebuds 
    • Finish Annie Penin's Fleur de Sakura 
I have many new pieces starting in January-February, most of them are classes. Just to highlight, I have two goldwork classes, a bead embroidery class and one on traditional Korean embroidery (very excited to share this with you). Those will be prioritized over new starts and current WIPs. I will definitely be starting some new kits as I'll be too busy with the coming new starts. 

There are no travel plans this year. I don't plan on travelling anywhere until all my family members get vaccinated and even then I plan on waiting until at least 2023 just to be safe. On the plus side, the EAC seminar may go virtual. If it does, I will take some time off in May to attend.