Saturday, April 12, 2008

Cats 'n Kiwis - Tentative steps towards embroidery

I'm scared of embroidery, its just so free and unplanned. Compared to cross stitch there are just far more options, so so many more chances to mess up. Aida and line have holes in them, desperately calling "needle me" so you know exactly where to place your stitch and you've only got the options of a full or part cross stitch, back stitch or sometimes a french knot. Also with embroidery you have to work out how to get your pattern onto the fabric, what stitches to use and what colours to make the stitches.

Take for example the Sushi Bar pattern I bought from Sublime Stitching. I'd love to do most of the pieces but I'm scared. I don't know what colours to use, I'm worried I'll get the transfer wrong and ruin the fabric, I don't know what to put them on etc. I know I should just bite the bullet and say that cotton looks like nori, that one like salmon and teach myself how to do French knots properly to make the rice, but I don't.

I did however have the brain wave to do a basic embroider over a cloth shopping bag I have. New Zealanders are often called Kiwis and this is used in an anti-littering phrase 'Be tidy Kiwis'. It comes as no surprise then that my favourite cloth shopping bag (just like the plastic ones but cloth) has a kiwi on it.

Using the instructions for the split stitch on the Sublime Stitching website and extra visual aids from the episode when Jenny Heart was on Thread Banger, I outlined the kiwi in split stitch. I then freehand cross stitched on the inside which gave a surprisingly even effect and looked really different from my normal cross stitching in that I followed Jenny Hart's suggestion to use the full six strands to embroider with. It was also fun to make a knot to start rather than messing around with 'making a nice back', it felt sort of rebellious to follow Jenny's advice (and to rebel against the comment that
"You are not supposed to knot your thread! You broke one of the major rules of needlecrafts!" - It's not like she's asking you to chop your thumb off.

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