More on the Wreath, and Other Details

Mast Spars and Wheelhouse

Mast Spars and Wheelhouse

In the end I covered the twisted cord (actually a bamboo and cotton blend knitting yarn) for the mast and spars with silk ribbon, which was more than slightly fiddly to achieve. There’s a collar around the mast, which, in an echo of the lifebelts, is a loop of buttonhole stitch. That was even fiddlier (is that a word? It is now!).

And Great-Grandfather’s wheelhouse has acquired a roof, made of several layers of buckram covered in silk ribbon, with buttonhole bars for the struts holding it up. That was also fiddly!

Detail Of Wreath

Detail Of Wreath

So, on to the wreath itself. That involved three different colours of silk ribbon, in two different width. I briefly considered something like the folded “leaf” shapes using wrapped parchement you sometimes see in 17th Century work, but in the end I decided I didn’t want to create anything too formal here, because it wouldn’t match the flow of the stitching. Sometimes a formal section provides a framework for everything else to clamber over, but here I felt it would create stopping-points, interrupting the eye as it moves around the piece. So the ribbons were knotted and looped and caught down in a sort of flowing chaos. White stranded silk French Knots, representing white berries, provide subtle accent and punctuation.

Wreath And Rigging

Wreath And Rigging

As you see, the wreath is now in place, with just a few white berries – white for peace.

I have quite a few more little tweaks to make, details to emphasize, maybe a bow-wave to add, but this is the original sketch brought mostly to life, and provides me with some hope that all that thinking and working will have a good result.



  1. What a delightful piece Rachel! I agree that the subtle silk ribbon of the wreath probably goes better with the stitching than the stiff covered parchment pieces. The white berries add a nice bit of defenition to the greenery!

  2. jenclair says:

    I love the way the boat exits the wreath and the greenery emphasizes this!

  3. Not a good result, a FANTASTIC result. I love your work on the wreath. Great effect to use three shades of green and those small white berries. You are a true artist!

  4. Mrs G says:

    I’ve enjoyed following your progress on this project and the end result is fabulous and so inspiring! Thank you for all the details that you’ve shared. Don’t tweak it too much at this stage!

  5. Terrie says:

    Such great outcome with beautiful shape and textures. Marvelous piece.

  6. Dima says:

    I love the addition of the leaves. It looks amazing.

  7. LadyFi says:

    Love the leaves on the wreath.

  8. Catherine says:

    I’ve really enjoyed watching this develop. I love your ribbons and the non-regimented way you have worked them. It is really going to be a centre stage piece once finished.

  9. Deborah says:

    This is such a lovely piece your work is quite inspiring. Thank you

  10. Sue Jones says:

    The greenery and berries work beautifully. So do the improved masts. And the wheelhouse is perfect. I can’t see this ship as speeding out of the picture, it’s just moving slowly as it starts its journey, and so would have very little bow wave.

  11. Carolyn Foley says:

    The greenery really sets off the whole piece. A very impressive result for all the work you have put into it. Just great.

  12. Susan says:

    It has an absolutely wonderful turnout! The wreath is a lovely surprise to me, because I didn’t know it would be framed this way. I believe the knotting and flowing was absolutely the way to go, and the masts look great. I looked as closely as clicking would allow me, and every detail is so sharp and clear and magnificent. I might now like this better than the Amarna pieces.

  13. Sheryl says:

    I have really enjoyed watching how this project has been made from scratch, so much thought, study and experimenting to finish this masterpiece to be treasured. I like the added leaves to the wreath – perfect.

  14. karen says:

    oh I love the phrase ‘flowing chaos’…..I would say though, it’s chaos of the best kind. This is so beautiful.