Have Courage, and Dive In!



I mentioned when you last saw the “View Of The Excavation” that I was rather anxious (for which, read: positively panicky!), because I’d been staring at it, on and off, for weeks, and found myself completely lacking in ideas and inspiration. I hadn’t the vaguest idea where to start, and I was even beginning to wonder whether I ever would. Since I still knew I wanted to do it, this was a bit of a problem…!

Finally, I screwed my courage to the sticking-point, and decided that the thing to do was to just dive in, playing with the stitches, and not necessarily expecting to like them the first time. My Twitter followers became accustomed to pensive tweets, wondering whether I liked something or not…

Very Distant People

Very Distant People

Gradually, a vague sense of a system, or at least a pattern of stitch choices, began to emerge. The most distant figures were outlined using a single colour and a single stitch for each figure.

In fact, in this group, there are only two colours, and only the one stitch – split stitch, which is very good at providing a slim, unobtrusive, but definite line. If anything, there may be more lines in here than I really need, but true to my decision not to second-guess myself, I’ve left it for now, and when I have finished the whole panel, I’ll review everything again, just to be sure…

Distant Group

Distant Group

For the group in the middle distance, I began to use a greater variety of stitches and colours, even within each person.

One element which remains the same throughout the panel is the baskets. All of the baskets are worked to create a criss-cross, woven effect, except that the stitches in different directions aren’t interwoven. This helps to make them a little more fuzzy, and worn-in.

The people are worked with stem stitch, reverse chain stitch, twisted chain stitch, and even rope stitch, which is a knot stitch, but with the knot hidden by an arm of thread. I’m beginning to hope that I might be pleased with this when I’ve finished it!


  1. coral-seas says:

    It’s looking good from here 🙂

  2. Janet Brandt says:

    I love this whole project! Keep going, it is coming along beautifully.

  3. Glenis says:

    I think all that staring at it has paid-off – subconsciously, even if you think it did nuffink 🙂
    Keep going; it’s looking good so far…

  4. Lady Fi says:

    It’s coming along nicely.

  5. jenclair says:

    Looking good! Sometimes the only choice is to dive in!

  6. I knew you would come up with a plan! This looks very good – I like the concept of identifying the figure placements by stitch.

  7. karen says:

    your angst was worth it, this is developing beautifully…

  8. Sue Jones says:

    Coming along very nicely. Not too little detail, not too much.

  9. It is looking very good! As always, I am looking forward to seeing how it progresses.

  10. Janice says:

    That’s the secret, isn’t it – not to expect too much of yourself when you begin, and to consider it an experimentation stage. It’s looking good. The shadows work very well.

  11. wendy says:

    It’s looking good so far, you were right to just get started – done is better than perfect

  12. deanna7trees says:

    i’d say you’ve been very successful.

  13. Carolyn says:

    The trick is to make a start, which you have. Now the ideas will start to come, even if the first ones are not the same as the one you finish with.

  14. Penny says:

    Good for you – pushing through! Its looking very good – and I can’t wait to watch it come to total fruition.

  15. Jillayne says:

    I like it! I think you’re wise to work the farthest away figures on only one stitch – it will be the perfect foil to the detail you’re adding for the close-ups.
    Good for you for not second-guessing yourself. I’m enjoying your process…

  16. […] 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 […]