Having decided I needed to Have Courage and Dive In, I realised that maybe sneaking up on this panel was the way to go. Unless I immediately hated an experiment, I didn’t take it out – and sometimes not even then. Sometimes you need to stare at the thing that is wrong to work out Why, before you can even think about What Else.
This group are in the middle distance, close enough that some details are beginning to be visible. At the same time, I didn’t want to make the detail too detailed, if you follow me. Coral stitch, fairly closely spaced, forms the outline of the middle figure, and the tunic of the furthest is in reverse chain stitch.
I find that reverse chain is much easier than ordinary chain stitch to work when the fabric is in a frame, and this panel was in and out of the hoop, depending upon the stitch and the mood I was in. As I do more and more embroidery, I’m beginning to find it easier to keep a sensible tension without a frame, but then the baskets were easier in a frame!
Getting still closer, there was this fellow, all alone in his own little trench. I wonder what he’s found?
He’s worked in Pekinese Stitch, using one colour for the back stitch, and another for the interlacing. His hat is double interlaced back stitch in the same threads – round silk threads from Mulberry Silks, like the central figure in the top group. The others are in a mixture of stranded cotton, stranded silk, and another of the Mulberry Silks yarns.
I’ve only just realised that the design involved remarkably few people taking spoil away from the trenches, but at least there are two. I put a border on the tunic of the middle person, using a rather interesting blanket stitch variation from one of my Edith John books. The most distant person was in Portuguese Knotted Stem stitch, which is one of my longest-standing favourite stitches, and the girl at the front is Hungarian Braided Chain stitch, which is one of my newest favourite stitches.