This dreary, drizzly day has just become delightful! UPS just delivered the box of Caron Collection threads I ordered a little over a week or so ago. I'm doing my happy dance (which isn't easy to do while sitting at the computer and typing). Plans for the day are now scrapped. I'm going to pore over the threads to pick out colorways for the kits I plan to offer on the Scarlet Thread Web site when I relaunch it as a comprehensive source of all things canvaswork. I'm so excited!


WIPs and Mysteries

Last week I made a concerted effort to locate all the WIPs I've got going. I found quite a few, and there are a couple that I know exist, but just where they are precisely, I haven't a clue. Here are the ones I found.
I started this as a gift for my cousin who majored in voice, has sung in a number of choral groups, and may still be singing in the church choir. I think I started it about 3 years ago. I got bored. So sad. I really should finish it. The pattern is Eleanor Marie's Choral Sampler.
The fabric was the impetus for this piece. I fell in love with it, Picture This Plus Relic (or possibly Fossil). Regardless, subsequent dye lots have been all over the map, so the name is immaterial. I'm fascinated by the Dessins monochromatic designs, mostly because I like to totally change them colorwise. For this one, I wanted to make the dragons stand out instead of blend in. I selected a couple of Needle Necessities threads that made me think of a dragon and of fire and brimstone. Then I added a Bijoux that complemented the dragon color, blending the two in a random fashion to provide a suggestion of glistening scales. I really should finish this one because I do really like it.
I took this closer shot to try to show the metallic, but I'm not sure it's that visible. Suffice to say, it shows up in person.
This is Summer House Stitche Workes Soil and Sand. I stitched this once with Thread Gatherer Oriental Linen on a 10-ct Tula, which made a gorgeously textured piece. I thought it would be an interesting study in contrasts to do it a second time with Thread Gatherer Silk 'N Colors on a 40-ct Picture This Plus linen. Sadly, I seem to have lost the thread. I know it's in the house somewhere.
When this pattern came in, I just fell in love with it. I had good intentions, but the fabric I selected turned out to be really unpleasant to stitch on, a metallic Lugana. Ugh! I'm not a fan of Lugana anyway, but the metallic thread made it just awful. I doubt I'll finish this, so I guess it's really a UFO.
Cross Eyed Kat has a series of small Impressions designs that are really quite lovely. I thought it might be interesting to stitch it on Congress Cloth over one. Apparently I barely got started before something else caught my eye.
Isn't this an interesting selection of colors? I must have thought so, and I'm sure I had a pattern in mind when I selected them. Unfortunately, I have no idea what it was. Arg.
An interesting type of embroidery design is the mourning sampler. It's usually a fairly traditional sampler style with a verse, the name of the deceased, the vital dates, and traditional mourning symbols. When I came across this Enchanted Needle design, I had to add it to Scarlet Thread's collection of patterns in that category. It was refreshing in its simplicity and contemporary look. I decided to stitch it when a friend was killed in a tragic automobile accident. This definitely needs to be finished. I of course changed all of the colors from the original pattern.
This Orna Willis piece was one of my first attempts at stitching a canvaswork design. I think I had done one before I decided to move on to one of her marvelous needleart works. I thought, how hard could it be? Yeah, right. No surprise, I changed the colorway completely. I do plan to finish this one. It's just a matter of where it goes in the queue.
This last is one I started shortly after beginning this blog. I wanted to test the various silk flosses to see how they compared. How did the inexpensive one compare with the more expensive ones? The design is Ink Circles Pot Luck.


A stitching meditation

For the past week or so, I've been stitching the same pattern over and over again in different colors. It's "Jacob's Coat," which is in the current issue of Needle Pointers. I think of it as a form of meditation that I'm doing while I get inspired for my next design. Here is what I have so far, all stitched with one Caron Collection Wildflowers color on Light Caramel Congress Cloth:
The first one I stitched is in Fiesta.
This one is in Bark.
This is Rainforest.
And the one I'm working on now is Harvest.
It occurs to me that the naming of variegated threads may be purely random. I'm hard pressed to identify bark with the colors in that thread, for instance. No matter. I love the colors.
As I'm stitching these, I find the rhythm that I fall into very soothing.
First, I stitch the border of eyelets and double crosses, one eyelet in each corner, connected by 18 double cross stitches. Then I start in the upper left corner with the alternating Scotch stitches, moving down the diagonal. I move to the next set of alternating Scotch stitches and meander back up. Back at the top, I pick up the alternating Scotch to the right of the corner I started in and meander back down. Then I fill in the pairs of stitches from the upper right corner down to the lower left. It's very soothing and relaxing. Last, I do the sprat's head variations. I love this stitch. It's quick and looks lovely when finished.
Since I'm still a novice, my stitching goes fairly slowly, though I find I'm getting quicker as I progress through the Wildflowers colors I want to use. I haven't timed it, but I think it takes about 3 or 4 hours to complete one. Maybe I'll try to remember to note my start and stop times for the next one.
As I do this, I think such an exercise is a good way to learn the changes and nuances of these variegated threads. Maybe I should do a smaller motif that will take me through at least two or three repeats of each Wildflowers color. Think how useful that would be when trying to create different colorways for one design! I mean, how hard can that be?
I started this extended stitching meditation after I completed "Turnberry Ridge." It seemed like a good way to come down, so to speak, from that wonderful stitching experience. Here's the finished piece. I meant to take it to Clive at the Brit's Gallery for framing today, but the day got away from me.