Finishing William The Marshall

First corner of the gold underside couching on William MArshall completed

When we left William, I had just embarked on the underside couching, not without some trepidation, I have to say!

I stuck closely – one might say, religiously – to the advice about working underside couching that Tanya Bentham gives in her book about Opus Anglicanum. That is to say, no more than about half an hour at a time, no more than three sessions a day. In fact I think Tanya says 45 minutes, but I rapidly learnt that I lost focus and precision about the 33 minute mark, and two sessions were very much better for me than three.

Progress continues to be made - a little more than half of the underside couching is done.

If you click on any of these pictures to expand them, (they should open in a separate window) you will certainly see some of the infelicities in my workings here – scraggly bits of fabric showing, unevennesses in the pattern, all sorts of misadventures. There were even a couple of points where the fabric, doubled though it was, gave way at points, necessitating all manner of ingenuity. I suspect that my tension was adrift, as I have a definite tendency to pull too tight on my stitches, especially if I’m concentrating on the unfamiliar.

William Marshall on his bay horse, visiting the Chateau de Tancarville to show off. The background is basketweave pattern underside couching, and the picture is surrounded by a blue border with red Templar crosses at the cardinal points, and sprigs of broom and dog roses in the corners.

However, judge for yourselves whether I shouldn’t be pretty pleased with myself…

I do, of course, have to work out how I’m going to mount him, and on what, and it may be that in the end the lines of red, yellow, and green framing the border will need to be redone in some fashion. I like them as an idea, but as I move on to Aethelflaed, Rahere, and the Lady Julian, how much of a unity do I want to retain, and how on earth would I embody it?


  1. Carolyn Foley says:

    You should be pleased with your result. Take a pat on the back.

  2. Sue Jones says:

    Wow! That’s an amazing display of patience. My brief attempts at UC (in stranded cotton, couched with crochet cotton, as that was my only option at the time) soon made me see how much sheer concentration it needed. Yours looks nice and even. I bet you’re glad it’s finally finished! Well done.

  3. Bravo! All the hard work and the patience you have put into this project have paid off. There might be stitch police armed with a magnifying glass who try to find flaws, but the rest of us will only see the beauty of your work.

  4. Lin says:

    Of course you should be pleased with yourself! He does look very splendid and you put such a lot of time and effort into him. xx

  5. He looks very fine indeed, the couched background sets him of perfectly, as does the beautiful border. The red yellow and green work just fine to my eyes, their colours echoing his shield while their texture echoes the couching, and the couched blue diamonds in the border have a similar rhythm to the background pattern. All works in harmony, and you can give yourself a number of very big pats on the back and probably a large G&T!!!

  6. Linda says:

    You have done an amazing job, well done.

  7. Alex Hall says:

    You definitely should be very pleased with yourself and more than a little smug at how well you have managed to cope with all the various issues along the way. It looks fabulous.

  8. Jen Mullen says:

    Wow! Lovely–you have every right to be pleased with this result!

  9. Carolyn Foley says:

    Isn’t it good to get something that challenges you finished? And it has lived up to all the expectations. Congratulation.