Still Practicing Beforehand

First attempt at Basketweave Underside Couching. It's a bit tatty.

As my regulars know, all too well, I’m not much given to practicing beforehand. Therefore, the sight of me practicing should give everyone a slight sense of discomfort – the world is out of joint!

For this first practice, I used a gold metallic thread that is a bit finer than the recommended one, but it was at least the right structure and type. I did improve as I went through it, sufficiently to then move on to the real thread for the next practice panel.

Halfway through the second practice panel of Basketweave Underside Couching. It's using the gold thread intended for the real piece, and the pattern looks crisper.

This seems to be going better. The thread is slightly stiffer and thicker, and having taken the suggestion that Tanya made, I tried every combination of working away, working towards, working left to right, and working right to left, until I found the version that worked for me.

Horizontally, and away from me, since you ask!

William Marshall panel, with guidelines for basketweave underside couching finally in place.

Anyway, I intend to finish the second practice panel before I start on the real thing, but in the meantime I have now sufficient belief in myself on this one to have put in the guidelines on William for the real thing.

Even that wasn’t entirely straightforward, as my lightbox substitute is a little too big to fit comfortably under the frame, and has a slightly fragile usb connector, but it is now done.


  1. I think all your practicing has been incredibly useful, and will allow you to start on William himself with much more confidence. The practice piece looks much better than some of your early trials, lovely crisp clear lines that show off the basketweave design. I do wonder though, have you placed it within the William piece to see if the colour of the gold works with the piece it is enhancing? It is a less “goldy” gold than I imagined, and I wonder if it is a bit close in tone to the walls? That may, of course, be down to the vagaries of photographing in different lights!

  2. Linda says:

    That to me looks like a lot of practicing and gold is not an easy thread to work with if I remember rightly.

  3. Alex Hall says:

    There are some occasions when you have to bite the bullet and in this case, practise clearly is paying off. I have no doubt the finished background will be a testament to your skill and repay all your time practising!