Tuesday, 23 February 2010
Having got about as far as I could on my own with embroidery, I bought two embroidery with the aim of expanding my skills. I picked them out based on a combination of affordability, cuteness, and being-achievable-while-teaching-me-something.
They both came with all the necessary fabric, yarn, needles, and in one case even a hoop. And detailed instructions - an essential for a learner like me.
I started out with the "coffee" kit, mainly because it was explicitly described as an introductory piece. You may have seen some of the "in progress" photos if you follow me on Twitter.
This taught me some techniques called satin stitch, stem stitch, and french knots. It was surprisingly quick, taking me less than a week of evenings to finish the actual design.
The kit didn't provide enough thread for stitching over the writing, but I thought it would look better that way, so I went out to buy some extra brown. That was when I discovered just how many different shades are available for every colour, even in the one small sewing shop I visited. Quite overwhelming - and since I didn't have the original with me, I had to guess. I think it looks okay, though.
The writing was quite fiddly, and took longer than the main design to complete!
It's now just waiting for me to iron it and frame it.
The second kit is a Hardanger - something I'd never heard of until I saw it on Elizabeth's blog, but which seems to be a generally rather beautiful style, if slightly more structured than I would normally choose.
This kit was always going to be harder because there aren't any lines to fill in - just a pattern, and instructions on how to do a few more types of stitch. This involved a lot of counting stitches and counting the gaps, something I can only do by running the needle along the fabric and feeling the bumps, because I can't see that level of detail. Nevertheless, it all seems to be working out, and I'm absolutely in love with it:
The next part is really scary, because it involves taking scissors to the fabric! I can't attempt that until I buy some better scissors, but I'll be sure to let you know how it goes........