Reassured and making progress

Against a turquoise linen background, there's a pair of spectacles, a reel of turquoise thread, and a curved needle.
In the lower right hand corner is the little Felucca picture, which is presumably about to be stitched down.

After gazing long and hard at my layout, I decided that I wasn’t likely to improve it and that the thing to do was to just get started.

I’m determined to get to grips with Grandmama’s curved needles, and this is a perfect occasion to do so, because it’s so very hard to manipulate a straight needle to do what you want that even a curved needle feels like it is helping!

Grandmama’s set included three sizes, and I’m using the smallest, which is marked “lampshade”. I’ve always wrestled with a straight needle for lampshades, so who knows, this skill may prove transferable!

The two long turquoise panels are seen with their Spots in place.

I’m using ladder stitch, or at least, something very like ladder stitch, and I’m beginning to feel that the curved needle genuinely does help me to make progress.

This is also the point at which I am made most aware that developing these panels into individual pieces that I work on separately has made it possible to achieve what I want. The panels aren’t huge (Placidus, when I get to him, will be much bigger), but if they were already attached to the Map or the Excavation, it would be nearly impossible to reach some of the angles I want to.

I’ve found it easiest to work on stitch lines facing away from me, and while this hasn’t been entirely straightforward in all cases, it would be altogether impossible if the turquoise panels were already attached to the sandy ones.

The two short panels with their spots in place.

Especially the short ones, where I would find myself leaning over the entire height of the Map or Excavation!

I do have some concerns that the linen will sag under the weight of the Spots, so I’ve set these aside for a couple of weeks, upright, to see whether I need to gather in any Unfortunate Happenings.


  1. Sue Jones says:

    I admire your curved-needle skills. I have never experimented with one. The panels are looking very neat.

  2. Well done you, so glad the curved needles are getting easier. I do agree, you would find it very difficult doing all this without them, fiddly though they are. Looking forward to seeing further progress once you’re reassured that there is no sag!

  3. Deborah Parsons says:

    Such an interesting project to watch as it progresses.

  4. Lin says:

    Nice to see these going into place and you getting on with the curved needle. Good idea to leave them for a while to settle before attaching to the main panels. xx

  5. Curved needles are useful and can reach where straight ones can’t. The problem is that they are so damned (excuse the expression) difficult to hold. For some reason, they slip out of my hands. Like you, I find that they are easier to use when stitching away from me.
    Your panels look really crisp and elegant.

  6. Linda says:

    I found I improved with a curved needle as the project went on.

  7. Karen says:

    That’s all looking very elegant. Kudos for conquering the curved needle – my one and only attempt was frustrating to say the least. Maybe I just didn’t persevere long enough 🙂

  8. Carolyn Foley says:

    Those needles do take practise and the more you do the better will be the result.