Monday, 5 May 2014

Chapter 9 Stitching

Ref 5.9.1
Ref 5.9.2
 My thread library covered a range of natural and synthetic yarns.
Perle DMC 80(white and cream),60(cream) and crochet yarns in 5.9.1,cotton and linen threads, tanne (top), then  sulky, natural linen 50/2 , white linen 40/2 and natural cotton in 5.9.2, top three are cotton embroidery yarns and Anchor and Knockando wool yarns in 5.9.3 and synthetic ribbon top, then Monovic invisible yarn. rayon, silk gimp and paper yarn in 5.9.4

Ref 5.9.3
Ref 5.9.4

Working on a black cotton fabric I chose a simple six stranded embroidery cotton for Sample 1  allowing easy variation of thickness to 'shade' the samples. Looking through a host of stitch patterns, with inspiration from the timeless book by Constance Howard Book of Stitches I decided to chose the simplest stitch, a straight or running stitch to see just how much movement and variation I could achieve.
The samples are noted in columns A,B, and C and rows 1 - 4:
A1 shows diagonal lines of running stitch worked in three rows each of 1 - 6 strands.
Ref 5.9.5a
A2 again works through the thicknesses of the thread a 'seed' effect using single stitches has been worked
A3 proved to be a more complex design of horizontal and vertical stepped stitches which would have been easier to work on a canvas structure fabric but persisted and while it looks uneven and not particularly formal its movement as the thread reduced  from 2 to 1 ply across the piece was worth keeping!
Ref  5.9.5b row 1
A4 Trellis effect where a long single diagonal stitch was woven with an opposite directional single stitch which was held in place with a vertical stitch.
Ref 5.9.5c row 2
B1 Two curved rows of running stitch were stitched in one thread and two thread thicknesses. Alternating the size and space of stitch for a second and third set of rows a meandering thread was used to give a feeling of movement.
B2 Back stitch rows were made in a similar sequence of reducing plys and increasing spaces
Ref 5.9.5d: b3,c3 and b4,c4
B3 Couched thread shows a meandering thick thread held in place by one ply of the embroidery yarn
B4 Milanese stitch worked in 3, 2 and 1 ply sequences.
C1 Random shapes in satin stitch gradually build up in this small sample with, hopefully, a feeling of a 'boulder' landscape
C2 Arrowhead stitch using thread variation and also space and size of stitch changes to add interest
C3 Stepped stitch with 1 - 6 ply thickness and gradually reducing spaces gives a hint of a reflective quality?
C4 Straight stitch in a circular pattern which looked quite interesting on both sides of the fabric
For the second sample a variety of threads were to be used to achieve more irregular effects on the same black fabric.  This could have proved to be a bad choice as some of the threads did not 'sit' easily on the fabric.  However as the sample was being used to get irregular  effects I decide to continue.  Note to self, 'perhaps it would be an idea to get a range of slightly large weave fabrics when doing final resolved sampling
The samples, noted in columns A,B, C and D and rows 1 - 4:
A1 Weaving, cotton thread and paper string.
Ref 5.9.6a
A2 Meandering shapes were worked in wide nylon thread and then, to give a variation of width, introducing a thin sulky cotton thread stitched in between.  While the effect had a certain symmetry about the stitch intervals a more random approach could make more impact. Note to self: stop trying to make every stitch even - consider wearing eye mask or make reverse the right side!
A3 three stitches in cotton held by finer linen thread
A4time to play with loops held by back stitch in a variety of thread weights

B1 Weaving and looping woollen threads through perle running stitch.
B2 Long cotton thread weaving with contrasting thread weight of linen and sulky yarn
B3 Straight perle threads interwoven with cotton thread in straight and 'v' formation
Ref 5.9.6b samples a2 and b2

B4 Variety of threads from tanne to nylon ribbon used in stem stitch
C1 ribbon, linen and invisible thread used in elongated stem stitch
C2 cotton perle and cotton tube ribbon used in straight stitch over a thick cotton thread
C3 straight cotton threads stitches that intersected at random, a similar effect to seeding but using a running stitch
C4  Woollen threads held with random stitches

Rubbings from relief surface
In preparation for Chapter 10 Ref 5.9.7 shows the Texture and relief in papers from Chapter 3.  To the right of the images are rubbings done with an oil pastel.  The small images need to be blown up to help investigate the stitch patterns that will be used in the next chapter.


  1. I love your hand stitched samples, Judith. As you say, Constance Howard's book is timeless, one of my favourites.

    1. Hi Ros, think Constance is going to become a constant companion!

  2. Hi Ros, think Constance is going to become a constant companion!