Hardanger embroidery – back to the fjords (via Sydney)

Posted in books, Embroidery, hardanger, Needlework, whitework with tags , , , , , , , on July 2, 2016 by suetortoise

I’ve been waiting eagerly for Yvette Stanton’s new book Early Style Hardanger since I first read about it as a work in progress, on her blog, White Threads. It sounded right up my street: firmly focused on the traditional Norwegian whitework technique rather than any modern interpretations.
I’m delighted to say that the book lives up to my expectations. It’s a substantial paperback: neat layout, enticing photographs, clear typography, copious step-by-step diagrams and charts. If I had to sum up the contents in one word, it would be ‘thorough’ – it’s one of the most in-depth single-subject embroidery books that I have seen.

Early Style Hardanger cover

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Annetje Band Sampler

Posted in Embroidery, Needlework with tags , , , , , , , , on June 19, 2016 by suetortoise

Annetje on light background

As promised, more about the band sampler. In March last year, I bought a bundle of charts for old samplers, from someone selling up stock. One of them was a reproduction of a Dutch sampler from 1663

Permin chart cover

The original sampler was charted by Permin of Copenhagen – it’s a massive chart on two huge sheets of paper. Worked over two threads on 30 count fabric, the size of the whole sampler would be 61 x 57 cm! Their reference number for the kit version is 39-8406 “Sampler ‘Antique'”. (Stocked in the UK by Sew and Sew, if you fancy such a mammoth undertaking.) Back in 1663, it was stitched by 11 year old Annetje Muusdochter, who lived in Broek in Waterland, near Amsterdam.

I can’t do better than point you at this blog page from Ex Antiques, who specialise in old samplers and have researched the Broek samplers – sixteen surviving examples known so far. They have a picture of the original. Not the clearest of photos, but close enough to show that the Permin chart is very accurate. The Ex Antiques blog is a treasure trove if you are interested in old samplers, particularly Dutch samplers. There are other posts about the Broek samplers, and photos of many of them.

When I saw the sampler, two things caught my eye. The first thing was the long strip of voided patterns on the left of the sampler: oh, how I wanted to work those bands! (More about the practicalities of working them in a momannetje church and housemarksent.) I definitely wasn’t interested in producing a copy of the whole sampler, although one or two of the motifs might be quite fun to adapt, and the lettering style is quaint, if not particularly easy to read. The other thing that caught my eye was the curious way Annetje had filled the gaps between the motifs and patterns – little shapes and signs made of straight lines. What were they? Some sort of code?

 

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Finished!

Posted in Embroidery, Needlework with tags , , , , , on May 31, 2016 by suetortoise

annetje band sampler

I’ve been working on this band sampler as a carry-around project for well over a year. I promised myself that I’d finally finish it this month – and I did – just! (Better photos and some more information about it will follow in my next post.)

Barred Box Stitch

Posted in Embroidery, Stitches with tags , , on May 21, 2016 by suetortoise

barred box sample complete

I was hoping to be getting on with my Dutch band sampler this weekend: it’s nearly finished at last. But I’ve got a stinking cold so I’m keeping the silk sampler safely out of harm’s way. Instead, here’s another stitch from the Mordvalaisten pukuja kuoseja book for you to experiment with. This one is a good line stitch, more solid than cross stitch. I’m calling it Barred Box Stitch as I don’t know its proper name. It’s a bit like that pencil and paper game of boxes.

Barred Box Stitch diagram

It’s worked in two stages. The first stage is just a row of vertical lines. The second stage completes each box: top, diagonal and base line. It’s more-or less reversible, too. It can be worked on the diagonal, and in various sizes. It’s very straightforward as a line stitch, but working around corners does take a bit more planning and the occasional ‘fudge’ if you want to keep all the diagonal bars lying in the same direction.

barred box sample in progress

The scrolling patterns on the sample are also taken from the same book. Here’s a chart for the pattern. barred box border chart (Click to see full size.)

Glimpse – PART THREE

Posted in Embroidery, Needlework, Stitches with tags , , , , , , on April 30, 2016 by suetortoise

Here’s the last, and final, part of the instructions for the Glimpse bookmark. If you’ve just joined up, you’ll find PART ONE here and PART TWO here. This time we’ll finish the bookmark, I promise.

Here’s the chart again, to save you having refer back:

glimpse bookmark chart

And this is where we are so far:

window stitches finished

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Glimpse – PART TWO

Posted in Embroidery, Needlework, Stitches with tags , , , , , , on April 2, 2016 by suetortoise

Okay, you’ve prepared the mesh in Part One, so let’s get going with the filling stitches.

glimpse bookmark chart

Here’s the chart. You can see we have two types of filling, open squares with overcast edges and squares filled with two crossed bars. We’re starting with the filled squares. (I call them “window stitches”, because they look like a child’s drawing of a window.) Use the same colour that you used for the edging stitches. Thread the needle with as long a length of thread as you can manage comfortably, to avoid having to make too many joins.

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A Slight Delay!

Posted in Uncategorized on March 23, 2016 by suetortoise

Well, I still haven’t finished the write up of part two of the openwork bookmark project “Glimpse”. However I am now over a dose of depression which made concentrating on everything difficult, and I’m raring to get on with creative stuff again.

Sprig - silk on silk, shadow work

A few weeks ago, Rachel of VirtuoSew Adventures blog told me about the great Lady’s Magazine Stitch-Off – part of a project being run by the University of Kent. The Lady’s Magazine blog put some patterns from the magazine online and invited people to work their own versions. I tried this little sprig in shadow work – Devere Yarn’s 06 silk thread on silk habotai – the fabric was  little too light for the stitching but, because of its lightness, it showed the ‘shadow’ colour through well. This year is the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen’s Emma and the pieces we made are now on show as part of the Emma exhibition at Chawton House.

I am all ready for my stitched box workshop in Manchester at Easter, having made up the kits now. (This is part of a science fiction convention in the city.) A workshop is bit daunting as I haven’t run one for very many years. I am sure it will be good fun. It’s the Chester Box pattern which I originally designed for workshopping and for kits. I’ve got some little bee charms to trim the tops of the boxes, in recognition of Manchester: this is a (Man)Chester Box. I’m also exhibiting in the art show there, so I will be as busy as a bee too.

(Man)Chester Box

I was a workshop attendee myself, at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery in February – more about this when I’ve finally finished the tent stitch piece that I started there.

But my next post will be the second part of the bookmark project, promise!

 

 

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