Slow Progress on the Glittering Nightcap

Just as it does every winter, my work on my current Thistle Threads project has slowed to a crawl. The bay window where I have a decent light to work by is too cold to be inviting, and the grey, overcast, and rainy days result in very poor light even at the best of times. Given the effects of this past winter on other parts of the UK, the lack of light to embroider by is a very minor matter – but it does explain why canvaswork became so very appealing to me!

Gilt Sylke Twist Finished

Gilt Sylke Twist Finished

However – trumpets, please! – I have now finished all of the Gilt Sylke Twist on the brim of the Glittering Nightcap! The photograph above does enlarge if you click on it, but I’ve noticed that it is slightly blurred at the edges. That isn’t surprising, as it is quite a long piece, and it was quite hard to get all of it in the frame at once.

Half Of Design

Half Of Design

So – to make it easier to look at – here is one half of the design as I have stitched it up. You will remember that I decided to work the brim slightly differently to the main section of the cap, so that when it was finished it would be even more of a sampler of techniques than it is already.

All the detached buttonhole with return was worked in the style I found in Jacquie Carey‘s book Elizabethan Stitches, in which the border of the stitch is integral to it. This in fact makes it rather easier to stitch – once you have a grip on how it works! – because you aren’t trying to stitch into a chain stitch border, so the thread isn’t quite so mauled about  and the gilt wire doesn’t break quite as often.

I also substituted satin stitch for the sepals to create a change of reflectance. I’m now wondering whether the little scarlet buds should be taken out and worked in double padded satin stitch, too, maybe even in the silk thread used in the trellis stitch pomegranate centres, rather than the gilt sylke twist.



  1. Janice says:

    Well, that is certainly an achievement. And it looks beautiful. I do notice, though, that there remain a lot of leaves still to be stitched…?!

  2. Lady Fi says:

    That’s a lovely design!

  3. Jules says:

    It’s beautiful Rachel. I do concur about the light, it’s been generally appalling, then when it is good, I want to get outside!

  4. Cynthia says:

    Looking good! You’ve had a terrible winter in the UK, I feel bad for you. I used to live in the Midwest (USA) and know how miserable the winters can be. I like the idea of the padded satin stitch, it will give a bit of contrast to the other parts of the embroidery.

  5. Andy LW says:

    I LOVE the stitches and it was helpful having half of the design to enlarge. Can’t wait to see more. Hope you’ve had the wonderful sunshine today – lifts your heart and improves the stitching!

  6. Beautiful stitching!

  7. Penny says:

    Beautiful stitching, as always. I know how difficult it can be to work in poor light. If I didn’t have my Ott lights I’d get nothing done for most of the year.

  8. Carolyn says:

    Do not despair my piece has had to be put away because of the lack of light, dirt and dust. Your piece is beautiful and your stitching is just lovely.

  9. Janine says:

    It is lovely! I hope you have nicer weather soon because we are coming over there! What is the weather like in April?

  10. karen says:

    I understand completely the light issue, or lack of it should I say. Despite that though you have embroider this beautifully…

  11. The weather is certainly not great at the moment! I’ve had a bit of a cold so I’m just hiding in front of the fire… I haven’t really been up to doing anything more interesting. Your flowers are coming along beautifully 🙂

  12. Alex says:

    That’s wonderful and great to be able to see it in close up! I love the texture of the detached buttonhole stitch and I take my hat off to you for being able to work it so evenly given the miserable light!