Amarna Family Group Progress

Grapes reinstated
Grapes reinstated

In the end, I sighed, consigned the Cretan memories to perdition, and decided to do the little girls in the same colour as their parents. However, while I was looking at the tangle of limbs and bodies of the two smaller girls on Nefertiti’s lap, I thought that something definite would need to be done to keep them from turning into an amorphous tangle of limbs, something like one of my early memories of my two big cousins. I’ve since got my cousins separated in my head, but I thought it would be nice to keep Nefertiti’s daughters individual from the start!

With Outline Section
With Outline Section

So I started putting in an outline on the eldest daughter, using a fine, very dark brown thread from Devere Yarns.

Only to stare at it with hostility, because it somehow managed to look a bit too clunky!

Considering that Devere silks are really very fine, this is quite an achievement, although I’ll admit it wasn’t one I particularly cherish.

Little Girls Making Sense
Little Girls Making Sense

So I decided to just keep working on the “block colours” of the design and trust to later inspiration to find out how to keep the girls from blurring into an undifferentiated shape. I’ve left a few deliberate gaps where limbs cross, to help the design “read” properly.

And I’m not sure, now, that they really need anything else…

The video is well in advance of these posts, because I lost the photos I was going to use. Heigh-ho. Anyway, enjoy Episode Twenty Two, in which, among other matters, the mathematical concept of “triviality” is discussed…!


  1. Sue Jones says:

    The dark brown is far too strong for an outline worked in the main technique, as you found out. If you do need some dark and light details at the end – eyes, etc – maybe you need a very fine thread ‘floating’ over the top of the surface, like a pen line, not going over every thread of the gold individually. I am thinking stem or couching of some sort, something quite wire-like and delicate. Does this make sense?
    Now there is much more of the finished picture to see, it’s a lot easier to read what everything is without extra information. It will also be clearer where a few slightly darker stitches will allow one limb to be obviously behing another, and where one or two small changes will improve the reading and the flow of the shapes. It won’t need much.

  2. Jen Mullen says:

    I don’t think they do need anything else. Having watched this progress, I’m still amazed at how you have translated the scene to thread!

  3. Kathy says:

    In the pictures here, and on the video, those little girls “read” quite happily as separate figures, and you’re right, that dark thread was far too dark. I agree too about Nefertiti’s dress, it does need some level of “articulation” doesn’t it, to tie in with Akhenaten’s and not look blocky. All in all though, it looks wonderful, and I think the red stool showing behind the chair leg is the way to go.

  4. Lady Fi says:

    It’s coming along so well!