Fun with my patterns

March 31, 2008

I’ve had an unexpected day to say the least. That in turn has led to some unexpected samples. I learned more things about Photoshop Elements.

I received a comment from Neki about these patterns that I’ve been working on the last few days. That led to a few experiments and new thoughts in approaching the patterns. If I have time to experiment with the stitching in the next few days, I’ll see how well I can transition into actual stitched samples.






Filling in the space between

March 30, 2008

I’ve been working on some of the ideas from a few posts ago (1, 2, 3). This time I picked one group out of the third post and started filling in the space between the basic outlines.

Some of these ideas may strike you as unworkable unless you realize that I’m willing to work over two fiber threads or over three fiber threads as needed to accomplish a design I like. But as with many things paper theory is not much. The test is how it works when stitched.





And then I couldn’t resist filling in some of the outlines.




Back to the sorbello

March 29, 2008

I think the sorbello stitch is becoming a favorite. In my experiments I’ve gone on to another stitch but I see how much the work with the sorbello stitch has influenced my trials.


And then mirrored



On the slant–denser would have been better


My favorite out of this group of samples. And I can see so much more that I could have tried with this same basic concept. 


Pattern in black and white

March 28, 2008

I’ve still been thinking about the work from posts earlier this week (here and here). I’ve taken the basic outline and had fun arranging them. Here are a few of them.






I love paying not only with the space inside the basic outline but the space around it. When I got to this last one I almost thought I saw birds in flight.

There is much more that could be done. I’ve got five other arrangements that I didn’t post. And naturally some of these basic groups in this post could themselves be arrange in larger groups and varied further.

Eskimo edging stitch: Day ?

March 27, 2008

I might be at day eleven on the Eskimo edging stitch. I’m really missing my old browser that showed me the previous titles as I type in the new one.

I still like this stitch and hope I’m not repeating myself with any of these doodles from yesterday.  Why I am still working with it? I’m not sure. It is not the joy the queen or rice stitches are to me. But I keep doodling.



The line at the lower edge of the sample is Mountmellick with a little addition of my own making.




Subtracting stitches

March 26, 2008

This is my subtraction process — a continuation of thoughts from of yesterday’s post. Completely unnecessary since I could have merely reversed yesterdays addition process. But I had a goal in mind.











Exactly the same number of stitches as what I started out with yesterday.


No, that wasn’t the goal I had in mind.

The goal I was aiming at was the removal of stitches with re-spacing of the remaining stitches within the outline. In yesterday’s post, I added stitches but for the most part the previous stitches were left in place.

There is much more I probably should say about blackwork along with some disclaimers about what I’m doing here. There are many introductions to blackwork on the web. If you are interested I hope you check some of them out.

Elizabethan Blackwork with free stitch diagrams.

Rissa points out some great links at the end of her article on the subject.

I enjoy strolling through Leon Conrad ‘s designs.

Linn Skinner is a favorites of mine who wrote a good article to read on the subject. It is available here.

Adding stitches

March 25, 2008

This is some fun I had with my needle and thread yesterday.








I’m practicing subtracting today. I’ll post when I’m finished.

March TIF

March 23, 2008

As a girl growing up in Vermont, the leaves of trees held a certain fascination. After all the starkness of the winter, it was wonderful to see the greens of the brand new leaves in the spring. The leaves transformed the landscape in autumn. We pressed them and waxed them. When they fell, we raked them and played in the huge piles of rustling leaves.

Now I admit the leaves in the central valley of California are just now showing the greens of the new baby leaves and I’m pleased to see them. And yes, some of the trees do change color. Their leaves fall and I rake them. And this year I did press some. 


I find the shape of some leaf or another in my doodles so frequently.


But to me they don’t hold a candle to the leaves of the Vermont trees. Above all the leaves that are there, is the maple leaf.

In the spring before their leaves appear, when the days are warm and the nights are cold, the sugar maples are tapped. My dad made a documentary of one of our neighbors sugaring. We’d peered in the buckets to see the gathering sap and smelled it’s delicate fresh spring smell. We’d been in the steaming sugar houses when it was boiled down. We had poured the hot syrup on the snow and twisted the cooling ribbons on to  sticks to eat the hardening candy. But our family had never made any maple syrup ourselves.

However, inspired by Peter and Polly books my mom came up with a plan. We were going to tap a tree and make our own syrup. How my sister was left out of the project I’ve never been sure. But by the time we trudged down the hill that afternoon, this small event of putting the spout in the maple had become symbolic of what would happen if ever my mother and I ventured out to accomplish a project together. This event is the basis of my piece for SharonB‘s March TIFC project.

I’ve been scaling it down and limiting it to a very small size. Whether I will get it stitched by the end of March is dubious. But I’ve been having a great time playing with it.

This and that with a straight stitch base

March 22, 2008

Today’s samples are a mixed bag of some stitches that are beginning to be familiar around this blog. They are all based on a straight stitch.

Eskimo edging stitch


Raised chain band


Eskimo edging stitch turned into a filler


Raised chain band “off grid”


Herringbone ladder band


Off grid in back stitches

March 21, 2008

The back stitch and double back stitch work I began earlier in the year is still fascinating me. My energy levels are just so drained with the new work that I’m doing, that I feel insufficient to pour what I should be into the posts.

But in today’s post there is a little more of this “off grid” work. It is without many comments that I might wish to make. Some of it shows a little of my explorations on incorporating the double back stitch shadow work into some off grid pieces.