A word of welcome and the end of week 43

October 29, 2007

I would like to stop and say a word to new visitors to my blog. Welcome and thank you for stopping to visit. I hope you will find something of interest and be back again to see what’s new. If you are also new to the on-line needlework community, I keep a short blogroll that may help direct you on to a particular interest.

I deeply appreciate how many knowledgeable and capable needleworkers are blogging these days. I count it a gift. It is so encouraging to see the hand work of others. I learn so much from such a variety of people. I wish I could list them all but I think the few that I mention here will be able to direct you on to others that you may pursue as you have time and inclination. You may also check my “blogs” and “out and about” categories.

And many thanks to those who regularly swing by and visit my blog. Thank you for all the comments and the encouragement as I explore the stitches weekly.

Now in turning to the end of week 43 in Sharon b‘s TSTC, I should say I’ve unexpectedly enjoyed working with the drizzle stitch. I’m thankful to have learned and grown from my time spent with it in the midst of a very busy week.

This is one from the last post where I learned to tack down the drizzle stitches by the next one.


This allowed me to then thread other threads though them and here you see the results.


And here it the other sample that I also threaded. I love this pink wool. In threading I used just as it came and did not separate out any of the strands as I did in the initial stage.


It’s profile from the opposite angle.


Here I used the same pink wool with a glint of gold and a small purple thread. It seemed like I still needed more contrast so I stitched in a few more drizzle stitches with a blue thread.


And it’s profile.


One disappointment on Saturday was missing the bead store. I whizzed up in my car to dash in and get a few beads that I could use with a Perle 5 and found the “closed” sign out.

My experiment with beading the loops is therefore very limited. I used something similar to a Perle 12. It stood up better than I expected. I added a few blue loops and you may see the very short three loop purple drizzle stitches holding them together. If I had more patience and time I would have turned this into a flower. Perhaps I still will do that.


I’ve been laughing to myself about a new dilemma. I’m at the end of the week and thinking about how to store this week’s samples away. These samples certainly won’t fit in my journal without getting crushed. I think they are going in a box.

Ups and downs with the drizzle stitch

October 27, 2007

I’ve had my fun stitching these drizzle stitches. But when it comes to photographing them,  they are frequently out of focus. I’m going to have to try a few more settings on my camera.

I tried pulling the drizzle stitches down and securing the top of them with the next stitch. Here are two ideas. Unfortunately, I could not get a profile shot. In some areas there is little depth, in others more. It is very easy to adjust and I love the feel of the heavy texture.



These ideas need to be developed a little more so they may be back in the next post.

I’m learning a little more about how to bead this stitch and here I used a Perle 8. I was amazed at the strength it had. It held up if I put one bead at the tip or if I placed one on the needle after every two, three or four loops of the drizzle stitch. Again, I was not able to get a good profile photograph but it stands up very well.


These are the tassels that I was thinking about making. They could easily be made thicker by casting on more threads together or by couching more threads in the drizzle stitch. And here I had the opposite trouble a good profile and no good top down photograph.

tstc43dtasselprof.png  I just noticed that on the lower right, there is the edge of the top photograph’s profile.

This was in yesterday’s post.

Today I was able to get a top down photograph of it.


This was in yesterday’s post, too.


I show it again because I learned that by pushing everything to the center I could overcome the places where my handling in stitching had smashed the drizzle stitching down. This was with a pima cotton thread I’m not sure if all threads would respond so well.


This and that plus more drizzle stitches

October 26, 2007

Out and about I’ve  seen so many great things and been rushing by for the most part because my schedule is so overloaded these days. My postings are still erratic and I thought things would be calmer by yesterday. It’s making me treasure those quieter moments I have had when I can just stitch to my heart’s content and think more about what I’m doing.

I’ll just say a quick word or two to direct you over to Neki’s blog, if I may and you haven’t seen it already. She has recently posted a great two part tutorial on kanoko shibori here and here. If you’re not familiar with her blog A Moveable Feast, please do take a few extra minutes to look around. There are other tutorials and Neki has many interesting posts. I learn when I visit.

Now to turn a corner, my experiments with the drizzle stitch are on-going. I did some unexpected things and some that I’d wanted to try as a result of previous stitching.

The unexpected happened because I was thinking, how can I couch a thread with the drizzle stitch? As you can see I had various thoughts about it.


My next unexpected thought concerned the two threads cast on together. I think Jenny at Reading and Stitching in Il with her comment on my blog yesterday might have started me thinking more seriously about how this drizzle stitch is like both stitching and knitting. In knitting a thread may be carried so as I cast on with two threads I carried one from time to time.

Jenny, many thanks for your visit to the blog and especially for your comment. I think it inspired me on to better work with this stitch as I reflected on knitting.

I should also say a word of thanks to the many visitors who are stopping by. Thank you for bearing with me during these strange, pressured-schedule days. I think…I hope…I barely dare to say it…but things are about back to normal now.

Now back to the picture.


Perhaps you can see on the left that I stopped casting on the pink thread once I’d worked the drizzle stitch a few loops and cast on only the green then switched to the pink and ended the stitch. This or something similar is done through out this group of drizzle stitches. I’ll try to get a better picture tomorrow. It’s just to late in my day for enough natural lighting now.

Then I thought of combining this idea with the loops above. The first photograph is top down and the second a profile.


Now my only thoughts are to try beading the loops or cutting the loops to have tassels. Oh, I should also try beaded tassels. Perhaps those thoughts will be illustrated in tomorrow’s post.

The expected things. The first was the trial using smaller beads with a Perle 12. It did improve  things. The beads on the drizzle stitch to the left are placed on the thread; to the right, on the needle.


The second expected thing is my flower. It seems I always try something floral with every stitch.

I’ll try for some better photographs tomorrow on these since the better shot angles were blurred in what I did today.

Beads and the drizzle stitch

October 24, 2007

I had fun beading with the drizzle stitch. I’m not a beader, but I enjoyed trying out beads with this stitch. I’m still having a difficult time photographing them. Today’s pictures are not much better than yesterday’s. I’ve only posted the best of the photos, not all of the samples.

I found two ways to bead the drizzle stitch. I’d love to hear other ideas, if you have any suggestions for me please leave a comment. I either placed the bead on the needle or on the thread.

Here are the results of placing the bead on the needle. As you can see I was still experimenting with the length of the drizzle stitch.

tstc43bneedlegreenprofile.png  profile photo

tstc43bneedlegreentop.png top down photo

Beads were placed on the pink Perle 5 thread. I didn’t enjoy the blue Perle 8. I found it wasn’t what I was looking for. It wasn’t strong enough to hold up the beads nor thin enough to fade into the background.

tstc43bthreadprofile.png profile

tstc43bthreadtop.png  top down of beads placed on the thread

tstc43bthreadtopp8.png  top down view of the Perle 8. I just now realized my main problem may be the bead size. I’ll try some more experiments using smaller beads.

Mixed tstc43bmixedcrmprofile.png  profile

tstc43bmixedcrmtop.png  top down

I tried another experiment of casting on two threads together. This time rather than having both threads the same size, I tried two different sizes. The light purple is a Perle 5; the medium purple, a Perle 8. The contrast is just not enough. More experiments ahead for this thought, too.


TSTC Week 43: The drizzle stitch

October 23, 2007

The drizzle stitch is a near relative of the cast on stitch. My posts will be mounting up in that category this week as I try to keep up with week 43 of SharonB‘s TSTC. She posted a short introduction to the stitch this week. However, it is chock full of tips for working the stitch and there is a great photo of some of Sharon’s work with this stitch. The post links to her stitch dictionary where there is an excellent step-by-step.

My experiments with this stitch are rather on the “school girl” side. And my sample pictures are very plain. This stitch needs to have something else with it. By itself it is not much to see but the texture is wonderful.

I took some profile shots because the top down photographs that I usually do don’t show much of what is going on with this stitch.


tstc43aprofile2.png In the middle of the pink grouping of drizzle stitches, I used two threads at once and cast them on together. I’m pretty pleased with this experiment. Both threads were Perle 5, however. Now I want to try it with one Perle 5 and one Perle 12 or 8. The green and purple threads are pima cotton about a Perle 8, I think.

Here are the shot down photos of the same area on the sample cloth.

tstc43atop13grn.png tstc43atop13purple.png


In the next experiment involving a second color I wrapped the needle and two previous drizzle stitches in the light pink cast on stitching. The advantage is that it makes the drizzle stitches stand off the fabric more. I think this could increase the depth of the texture in a area where there is not a lot of other stitching to support the drizzle stitches. And it could be done fairly unobtrusively, if desired. I used two colors partly so that what I was doing would be clear in the photos. The top photo is the profile; the lower, the top down.



“School girl” work begins. From right to left the drizzle stitch increases by one cast on stitch. And you can see the edge of some of the work I began to do with beads. I need to retake photos of the bead work. It will be late tomorrow before they are posted, I think. My schedule has taken a crazy turn. So the posts may still be erratic for the next day or two.



Too bad I caught up some of the felt fibers in the stitching. It’s not very noticeable until you have advantage of blowing up the photo. Then it is right there.

Top down shot that really shows what a “school girl” work it is.


Here I’m just posting the first samples from my stitching on SharonB’s TSTC week 43 and week 44 is waiting in the wings. I probably won’t be able to resist trying the zig zag Spanish knotted later later this evening.

More experiments

August 4, 2007

I’ve more experiments with the cast on stitch.

Here my aim was the mixing of the density of the cast on stitch withe the openness of the buttonhole wheel in one circle. The round white shape is also a cast on stitch pulled very tightly.


Next, double cast on stitches with some French knots scattered here and there.


The blue thread except for the French knots is used for a regular cast on stitches. The white thread was used for the double twist cast on stitches I’ve been experimenting with. They are indeed wider and have a knottier appearance at the edge. Unfortunately, the photographing is not picking it up well. I’ll have to try some more in another color.


tstc31epeachandwht.png Having fun with various edgings!

Two cast on stitches whipped together.



Here I was playing with various things, the most important to me was another attempt to get a picture of the increase and decrease of the width of the cast on stitch by twisting the loops as they are stitched. Perhaps the first white cast on stitch is the most recognizable of these. There are other attempts there but they are not showing up as well.

Experiments tried and failed

August 3, 2007

Generally, I like experiments, but none of the ones I dreamed up the other day with the cast on stitch were successful for me. They are just not my normal experiments.

The most interesting to me were the ones I did to vary the width of the stitch. I tried two means. The first by adding on tiny cast on stitches to the first larger cast on stitch.

tstc31dhenscomb.png  Now here you just can not see the rest of the poor hen, whose comb I was trying to embellish.

The second means to increase width that I tried was by adding twists to the the cast on stitch.  I don’t have good photos of this but will try to put them in tomorrow’s post. They did not really fail like the others in today’s post. Another experiment was whip stitching two cast on stitches together at the top. That likewise I plan for tomorrow’s post.

My woolly sheep–poor thing. I should have drawn it out first rather than stitching with no guide.

tstc31dsheep.png  Not a bad stitch for the sheep woolly coat, however.

And then here is my evergreen tree, also rather failed since the top is far for pointy and the proportions far from pleasing. But like the other experiments posted today I think that they could flourish under a proper pattern and a skilled embroiderer.


Do I mind all the failures? Not really. I’ve found things that I can’t do. So I’ve merely found that my question, “where to go next with the cast on stitch?” takes more searching out. I always count that a very good thing. Experiments are for eliminating possibilities as well as for opening up new avenues. And what fails today may in some way lead to or be incorporated in what succeeds next.