Tag: Floral Glove Course
The embroidery on the Floral Glove Needlecase is based around the tabbed cuffs of gloves which were often presented as gifts during the Elizabethan era. We’re only doing one side of one cuff, of course, but the additional historical material we get each month, with high-resolution pictures of some of the original gloves which remain in existence, give us a very fair idea of what Thistle Threads were aiming for!
There are several useful diagrams in the instructions showing where to start and end the gold thread, which is couched down with silk. Furthermore – brave lady indeed! – Tricia has even provided us with a view of the back of the embroidery. Miss Hunter would have looked at the back to check that it met her high standards – as students we are studying that photograph to try to garner more clues to how the work fits together. It gives a better idea of stitch lengths, for instance, because the eye isn’t dazzled by the goldwork and can study the couching.
It is very detailed, rather tiring work, so even with a good light (by the way – bright sunlight is not, in this context, a good light – it bounces off the gold thread and the magnifier and tires the eyes even more quickly) and a magnifier, I can’t do much at once. What you see here is two or three sessions’ work.
I’m pleased, though. There are several new techniques and materials still to try in this month’s session, and I think I am learning a great deal – not least, working at this scale turns out to be less hair-raising than I feared!
I’ve finished the silk work on the Needlecase Kit!
The new stand has been working well – it is very adjustable, so I can make it suit wherever I am sitting, and the magnifying glass has been very helpful too. The only slight hitch with the magnifier is that stitching away at magnification becomes normal and then when finishing off threads at normal vision, I get slightly spooked to realise how small the stitching is!
As I have said, I am not really a fan of satin stitch and long and short stitch, perhaps because I am self-taught. Both of these stitches look simple, but are difficult to execute well, and so are very dispiriting for someone learning from books, with no-one to give hints and tips for excellence. How I long to have had a Miss Hunter to help me!
Actually, the instructions that Tricia Wilson prepared for the course are very nearly as good as having her beside you. They are copiously illustrated with very high resolution photos, so that it becomes a matter of seeking to make the view through the magnifier match the printout.
I’m even coming to think I may enjoy satin and long and short stitch, in small doses!
The kit included whole spools of the silk thread, so I have plenty left to play with. I’m not expecting to go so quickly with the goldwork, but the instructions come nicely spaced out so there will be time to take stock and work on other projects as well.
So, here is my progress so far. I’ve ended up buying a floor standing frame with a clamp so I have it ready to hand and don’t have to hold the frame, and I have bought a magnifier on a clamp as well. I’ve not had them up and running for long enough to comment on whether they really help!
There will be some goldwork in the later stages, but the first month concentrates on the silk embroidery. I’ve never used silk thread before, but it’s a lovely thread to stitch with. The thread is six strands and separable, like stranded cotton, but the resemblance ends there. The silk thread is supple, soft and shiny, and while not being difficult to work, doesn’t feel as lifeless as cotton sometimes does.
The first scare was to read the instructions and discover that the chrysanthemums were to be outlined in stitches about a millimetre long. Eeek! Then again, long and short stitch is not my favourite way to fill a shape. I admire the silk shading one sees at Royal School of Needlework shows, but it doesn’t fire me with a desire to emulate it. Still, Grandmama could do it (I shall photograph some of her embroidery and blog about it later), so I really think I should have a stab at learning.
I’m running a little behind, because of deadlines in other work, but when I get a combination of an afternoon of good sunlight and time to stitch, I become a very happy girl!
There was a gentle thud of a parcel through the letter box yesterday.
And Oh Frabjous Day, the Floral Glove Needlecase Course Kit has arrived!
What with hair-raising weather (in the UK and the US) and a much more popular course than the organisers anticipated (a great problem to have!) it has taken a little longer than anticipated for my kit to arrive. We’ve been kept very well informed, but of course once a parcel is in the system there is nothing anyone can do to speed it up…
It was worth the wait! There’s an intriguing variety of speciality metal threads, and some rather gorgeous looking silk. I’m planning to read all the instructions at least twice before even looking for a hoop – I’d like to do a good job on this, and I rarely use silks or metal threads at present.
I’ve been spellbound by Tricia’s blog following the progress of the Plimoth Jacket Project, and the idea of learning to use some of the threads that were recreated for the project was absolutely riveting, so when I found out about the Thistle Threads Online University courses, I was thrilled. So I’ve signed up, and I shall be writing up my progress as I follow the course. It goes for six months, so there should be plenty for me to say!
This afternoon I have been printing out the first month’s course materials, which consist of two fairly long documents, one of them the first month’s instructions for the Floral Glove Needlecase, the other a historical background for the design and the materials chosen. Both are copiously illustrated with very high-quality photographs, which she has licensed from various museums for the purpose.
In one of my other lives (don’t we all seem to be living at least three these days?) I’ve also been involved in negotiations with museums so I know how much effort Tricia has gone to, so that we can have some truly interesting and inspiring materials to study.
So, while I do that, there are two videos of the Plimoth Jacket at the end of this post on the blog. Enjoy!