Monday, September 23, 2013

Something is done, something nearly done ...something nearly started

Here again, there has been some knitting ... but mostly other things have distracted me again.
The beaded and sequined butterfly is done, and off the hoop. Off the hoop has to be the embroidery equivalent of off the needles when knitting. I followed the pictorial instructions in my Broderie d'art de lunéville book, first gently steaming the work from the back when in the hoop, That was a mistake of sorts, my sequins softened, and look less angular ... They are ok, but I guess the french instructions meant to steam with a low heat? Then I spread a thin layer of flexible glue over the back to secure everything. Once that was dry I emoved the butterfly from the hoop. A few people have asked what I will do with this - and I don't know, it was a process project, a learning project. The outcome is just that, evidence of my learning.
There was a weekend of learning projects at knit camp this year. Knit camp still ran, and we all brought our knitting .. but I was invited to teach bookmaking. Given the camp is a few hours from 'home' for everyone, and so the activity has to be portable - I decided to teach kitchen table bookbinding. That would be making books with craft tools and materials found around the home. We did lug up three small nipping presses - that is mine there in the corner of the photo. Otherwise we used wheat paste glue, pva, and heavy things to hold stuff flat. I am always amazed at how everyone has a unique and beautiful sense of colour and coordination - here are just a few of the covers from day one open and flat - waiting for their innards. I came home with a few half made books, everyone else went home with at least two finished books, not bad for one and half days, I also came home with a fantastic thank you gift - more about that next post.
I took my current sock to knit camp, vintage Purls Youturn, and nearly made it to the top of the leg on sock number two. I do love the twisted rib edge pattern - and the diamond insets. Love them.
But back to embroidery ... After the butterfly I decided I needed to work a sampler with the tambour hook, something like this. To do that meant moving to a larger frame. I am lucky in that I inherited many of my MIL's embroidery things, amongst them was a largish frame. Not quite a slate frame, but a stretcher of sorts, in lovely fine grained rimu wood.
So I spent a considerable amount of Sunday sewing calico into the frame, then organza onto the calico and tightening it all up. This isn't quite the right frame for this kind of work, I suspect it would be perfect for canvas or thicker linen .. and I have used it for that. I had to stitch and restitch the calico to the tapes trying to estimate how much it could be stretched. Unlike a slate frame the tensioning holes are positioned an inch appart so all adjustments happen in inches. I even Herringbone stitched the organza onto the calico ...before trimming the calico away.
I've done a wee bit of stitching on the frame ... but unfortunately it's not drum tight, the fabric flexes to much, moves with the needle rather than staying firm. No worry, I have a slate frame coming from the Uk so I guess I will be knitting until that arrives. I might have to follow the frame up with more sequins and beads .... I have a small stash of those things and see that stashing more could be fun ...I need to practice more to get my spacing and density right, so my beading is even, and regular. I can't do that with one or two strings of beads now can I?
Na Stella


Anonymous said...

Stella, that butterfly is simply beautiful!

Knitting Linguist said...

The butterfly turned out beautifully! I also really love the socks - twisted stitches and diamonds are great together. And i am wishing I could have come to your bookbinding tutorial, I love the idea of "kitchen table bookbinding".

Shirlee Fassell said...

When you steam put a damp towel over the iron and hold it about 6 or 7 inches from the back of the work...Let the steam drift through the work. Its my understanding this will close any larger holes made by the hook. You can use the glue of course but you can also put your iron on 2 higher... and press steam-a-seam lite or whatever kind you use to the back of the work...cut about 1/4 inch or so all around then with a clover iron or your regular gently turn the edges under. Your butterfly is beautiful!!