Another decision to make!

A picture of a small panel of underside couching in silver.

Underside couching, I’ve decided, is rather like satin stitch. In concept it is simple, not to say obvious. The execution, accurately and aesthetically, is very much less so!

I had intended to use the gold thread left over from the Amarna Family Group as my thread for William’s background, in the interests of economy, if nothing else, but then I had advice from Tanya Bentham and others, to at least try the Smooth Passing, which might for a multitude of reasons behave rather better.

The first practice block of underside couching has been joined by a second in a lighter shade of silver.

So here you see the second practice block started, again using silver, but this time smooth passing thread.

The passing thread is, as suggested, much pleasanter to use, and creates a smoother and less shadowed surface, which in turn, I think, should help the pattern I intend to use. Which, you may note, I’ve not yet got around to practicing!

However, that brings me to my decision. I do not think that I can be certain that the spool of Gold Smooth Passing I have left over from a Thistle Threads project will finish the job, so I shall have to buy some smooth passing. And it turns out that Gold comes in more than one shade!

William Marshall, as far as he has gone, with two differently coloured spools of gold thread on top.

The decisions are never at an end, are they…

And since I’m working on pulling the Amarna pieces together properly at present, I can’t claim to be giving my whole mind to the decision-making!


  1. Sue Jones says:

    Gold comes in MANY shades! Best to get it all at once. Left-overs will come in for many things. Underside couching uses more theead than you might expect, so also use your practice sample to do a rough estimate of metres per square inch (mixing measurements glibly there, but never mind). The new sample looks nice and neat. I wouldn’t get too light a gold, with the grey walls, nor too dark or gingery with the blue border. A nice medium shade would do the trick.

  2. The passing thread definitely looks better and won’t overwhelm the foreground with its texture which the other was threatening to do I suspect. I agree with Sue about the gingery gold, too dark and just wrong. I quite like the paler gold, but perhaps something just a bit more “goldy”, which is very unhelpful since that is such a subjective term!!

  3. Lin says:

    Just as you make a decision another one comes along!

  4. Decisions take time to make, but it’s necessary to let then take as long as needed. If you want the advice of your blog reader, I will join in and say that a deeper but ‘godly’ gold would be best. It would contrast the light stone and look nice with the blue border, in my opinion.

  5. Terrie says:

    So much to see and learn from your stitching. The first image on my first glance looks like hooked or crochet. Quite textural I like.

  6. Alex Hall says:

    It’s never as straightforward as you think it’s going to be…!

  7. Linda says:

    I have done gold work in the past and have a variety of threads, and you’re right there are lots of different shades of gold.

  8. Karen says:

    Never having done anything like this, it all looks utterly bewildering to me but I can see that you have everything under control. I think gold is probably a bit like white, in that there are lots more shades than you might think.

  9. Viola says:

    It’s a blessing that there are lovely people like you who make such beautiful things… I love figuring out how to achieve the best result… keep up the good work for you.
    Great your work… love it.

  10. Carolyn Foley says:

    I like the paler gold. There are so many different shades in gold thread. Who would have thought?