The Finnish Table Runner is Finished!
At long last… I have finished the Finnish Table Runner!
The embroidery itself is very simple – Bokhara Couching and Stem Stitch, with the darkest leaves worked in nested Fly Stitches. I used two shades each of two colours – a greyish green, and a golden yellow.
The couching stitches of the Bokhara Couching are carefully arranged to create a basketweave effect, and I worked harder than usual to make the stem stitch regular with an even twist to it. Real simplicity is hard work, because the simpler the tools and effects you are using, the better-executed they have to be!
So I have taken particular care to stitch evenly. This was not entirely straightforward, in fact, as the fabric is a plain weave (one thread over and one thread under in each direction) but is not a square weave (warp and weft threads equally spaced). Since it is also a linen, and the threads are a little slubby, sometimes the effect is exaggerated. This became especially clear when I worked the hems.
Incidentally, I’ve no objections at all to the fabric not being a square weave or to the threads being slubby – these are just factors that sometimes influence how something is worked or the effects that are achievable.
When I hemmed the piece, I chose to use Antique Hemstitch (at least, that is what it is called in Yvette Stanton’s Right Handed Embroiderer’s Companion). This leaves only a small stitch on the front of the piece. I withdrew a single thread for each hem (the instructions usually suggest at least two, but I wanted a narrow line down the edge and not the dogtooth effect of hemstith on only one side of the withdrawn threads), and then grouped four threads in each stitch. If you look hard at the photos, you will see that in one direction the stitches look longer than the other, although they group four threads in each case.
Since the table runner is about a metre and a half long, and nearly half a metre wide, that’s about four metres of hemming, which for some strange reason I enjoyed enormously, even though I’m really not good with repetition. I used ordinary sewing thread, but decided to use a golden yellow to add a bit of colour along the edges.
When my mother saw it first (half-done), she told be I was being a little show-off, but I think she meant it as a compliment!