Steps forward, steps back

Faience Dates in satin stitch
Faience Dates in satin stitch

The necklace description that Mary Chubb was asked to transcribe, after her epiphany in the cellar, includes a row of dates in a repeating colour pattern of two red, one green, two blue.

So here they are, in satin stitch in flat silk for the main fruit, and more satin stitch, but this time using hand-twisted threads, for the stem. I found a rich and vibrant green for the main green fruit and used a greyish-green for the stem. Again, I’m trying to balance echoing the faience with echoing the real fruits, leaves and flowers, which is making for some interesting puzzles!

First Lotus Petal Trial
First Lotus Petal Trial

I wanted to try blending the silk filaments for one of the elements, to help recall the slightly iridescent effect of some glazes, and spent a wonderfully painstaking (exasperating!) afternoon splitting my silk. And then recombining it, and using it to stitch the first of the lotus petals in long-and-short stitch.

Only to sit back and glare at it. It’s looking congested, chunky, and not at all what I was looking for. What’s more, it’s buckling the fabric in spite of the calico support.

Snip, snip, out it comes, and now I need to think again.

Faience Grapes Compared
Faience Grapes Compared

Meanwhile I have another element to think about as well. You can see the underlayer of satin stitch on the shapes which are supposed to be recollections of bunches of grapes, and then two attempts to give them a more defined appearance. I think I prefer the middle version, which was the second I did.

That, however, means I have to unpick my first attempt. Sigh.

There was a problem with uploading my video last week, so here it is, somewhat delayed: Episode 10 of SlowTVStitchery. And, just so we don’t get too far behind ourselves: Episode 11 as well!


  1. Sue Jones says:

    That looks a frustrating exercise. You will find a solution eventually. Sometimes it takes a long while to hit the precise note you want, but after that you can just fill in the relevant harmonies and it all flows neatly from the one decision.

  2. It saddens me to hear you had to unpick the stitches you had spent so much time and effort on. You must feel very frustrated.

  3. Carolyn Foley says:

    I have tried countless mays to make me think of unpicking as a positive activity, I haven’t had any success as yet.

  4. Lady Fi says:

    Hoping you don’t have to unpick too much. I like the colours.

  5. Jen Mullen says:

    How frustrating! So much time and effort invested. On the other hand, it is much better to unpick if you know you would never be happy with the original result.