Tag: Golden Accessories
You last saw the Golden Acorn in July, when I was thoroughly fed up with it.
Since I’d got so engrossed in stitching that I’d neglected to pay attention to the details and had to unpick the lot, when I came to re-stitch I decided to put in the braid stitch in silver first.
I found the silver to be a more temperamental thread than the gold, although structurally it was exactly the same. However, these threads are all made more or less by hand, and must be hugely susceptible to temperature and humidity.
I know from my textile technology studies that natural fibres – such as cotton, wool, and silk – are susceptible to environmental conditions, because the basis for the success of the Lancashire cotton industry was due in no small part to the fact that ideal conditions for growing cotton are far from ideal for turning the cotton into cloth. In fact, nowadays, textile factories are built with climate control, because the speed of modern production demands that all possible variables be thoroughly ironed out.
In the same way, if you visit a woollen mill, you will see piles of wool at various stages of production, just sitting there. If you are a time-and-motion person you’ll get very uptight about this, and talk about “Just In Time” manufacturing – only to be told, in no uncertain terms, that if you want to pay for all the failed batches that will result from not allowing the wool to relax (technical term – yes, honestly) between processes, you’re welcome, but the manager won’t let it out of the factory with their name on it.
The silver and gold threads we are using have natural fibre cores, so sensitivity to climate is only to be expected!
I found both of the two main stitches in the strapwork, Ceylon stitch and Braid Stitch, rather troublesome in metal thread, although Braid Stitch in pearl cotton is one of my favourites. There’s no denying that they produce a rich and exotic effect once they are in place, though!
I became slightly fed up with tent stitch – there was such a lot of it! – while I was working this, so I’ve been giving myself some time away from it. I’ll get started on the next one of these when I feel ready for fine tent stitch again.
I’m also waiting until all three are stitched before I decide which to finish to create which stitching accessory. If I recall correctly, there’s a scissors keep, a needlecase, and a pincushion. I suspect they’ll end up in that famous Winter Decoration Corner I keep threatening to do!
I need to learn to pay attention to the instructions.
Still, before we get to that – I’ve finished the tent stitch on the Golden Acorn!
Here you see it, first with the outlining for the strapwork still in place, and then in close-up with the outlining removed. That was exciting at times – the gold thread had been caught in a few places by the green.
Next, there was a pattern of bullion knots to create an interesting effect on the cup of the acorn. Several different lengths interlock here. I’m not particularly keen on Bullion Knots, but I’m glad I included them – I think they look really good.
The beginning of the strapwork was a row of Broad Chain Stitch in each of the narrow channels left in the green background.
All is still well in the first of these pictures, where I’ve put in the Ceylon Stitch strapwork in gold.
Then, concentrating painfully on my Braid Stitch I went on to add the second lot of straps, and didn’t stop to think until I had finished all four corners. At which point I looked at it and thought it looked rather clunky and that it really didn’t have the delicacy or charm I’ve come to expect from Tricia’s designs.
So then (not soon enough!) I went to have a look at the instructions.
The Braid Stitch should be in silver.
Out it all came.
That’ll larn me!
(“Larn” is a dialect word, so what I mean is “That’ll teach me!”)
The Acorn itself was finished rapidly, and looks pretty good. For some reason I found it easier, with the second leaf, to work by reference to the first leaf, rather than the chart. You would expect that that would lead to the result being asymmetrical, but I think removing the extra step of checking with the chart was a good idea!
The next stage is to work the background, leaving space for the goldwork stitches that will embellish it. I really do not want to have to refer to the chart with every line of tent stitch, so I’ve taken some time to outline the placement of the goldwork stitches in back stitch. Doing this has nearly driven me absolutely mad, but it will means that I will be able to count the background from the edge of the goldwork rather than from the acorn, which will be ever so much easier.
The background is dark green tent stitch, and I will next post about this when I’ve finished it, and started the goldwork stitches. It will take a while. There is only so much dark green I can cope with at any one time!
The Golden Accessories is a set of bonus instructions for three needlework accessories which was supplied with the Tudor and Stuart Masterclass, and now that the Petite Pincushion is finished, I’m starting on the first of them.
The silk work seems to be entirely in tent stitch, so, although the fabric is very fine, it will be simple enough to work. The cold snap at the beginning of the year has roughened my hands, so the silk sometimes catches a little – but in fact, surprisingly little, and at least the wristwarmers make stitching possible at all!
I’ve been fortunate, since the weather has been kind, giving me good light to stitch by. So good, in fact, that the first two colours seemed to be stitched in no time at all, leaving me positively flabberghasted by my progress. Strange to say, although tent stitch has never been a favourite of mine, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed starting work on the Acorn – I think it is something to do with the silk thread, which is just gorgeous to work with!
There was a set of Bonus Instructions in the instructions for Month Fifteen, from a teaching project that Tricia had retired from use. She was asked whether she’d produce kits of the materials for those of us who don’t have easy (or even difficult!) access to a really good needlework shop. Yet again, apparently, demand outstripped her expectations (a good problem to have!), and here is my kit.
It includes finishing materials for the various accessories, as well as the fabric and the silk thread, but not the metal thread, since all of us already have large spools of that from doing the main Spot Sampler.
My intention is to finish these to add to that planned “winter decoration corner” I’ve mentioned a couple of times. I’ve found some masks which I’m going to decorate in silver and gold, and I will use some metallic gauze or something similar for the background. Already the two Needlework Nibbles, the Floral Glove Needlecase and the Tudor Pincushion look like they will create some wonderful reflective textures for a dark corner…