something old

It occured to me that although those who come to class might be familiar wiht one of these pieces, I don’t thing I’ve ever blogged either of them because they’re so old.

I think they’re worth showing because they were really the first things I did in split stitch.

Like a lot of people I think I struggled to get the hang of split stitch, and these two pieces were where I first “got” the stitch. I’d struggled with it for years, and then it just clicked.

The first if one of four identical dragons on the neck and shoulders of a Saxon dress, they’re based on a Saxon book mount. they’re a plied silk rather than a floss, just done with what was around at the time, the dress itself is a wierd mix of wool, silk and linen, which I suspect is not an authentic blend, but it is a lovely fabric to wear, and tbh no-one ever notices that it’s not just a twill wool. The colours have faded a bit, but it’s wearing well considering that it gets a fair bit of use.

I did this a good twenty years ago, over the course of a week where I was ill and bored – reactive arthiritis due to a cold virus, the return of which I’ve dreaded ever since. Every joint swelled painfully, and my hands looked like bunches of sausages, just about the only part of my body I could move without pain was my thumb and forefinger, so I could hold a needle and that was about all, so this was the result.

that one got me the hang of the stitch, the second got me starting to thing about how it should be used in terms of flow, direction, and modelling.

This was also my very first “handbag” embroidery, carried in my bag to do at work. St michael adn the dragon, based on a woven tapestry of the c12th

It’s also before I started veg dyeing all my own threads, so this is appletons crewel wool. The weird eye is true to the original, and I’ve always been rather fond of this piece. Although I have been meaning to turn it into a cushion for about twenty years. It’s about twelve inches square.

Bonus random idiot photo. This is his “How you doin?” pose

~ by opusanglicanum on August 12, 2019.

2 Responses to “something old”

  1. It’s always so satisfying when you “get” a stitch that’s been giving trouble, isn’t it!

    • definitely. I’ve never had a problem with underside couching, but a lot of people do. For me one of the joys of teaching is that moment when someone finally gets it, and it’s very often with underside

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