Blogs and explorations new and revisited

July 16, 2007


This is a word of welcome to help acquaint any newcomers to a few of the many blogs I enjoy. However, as a twist this week I’m not mentioning a blog but the flicker account of Vero de la Fare. I first got acquainted with her work through taking Sharon b‘s class about stitches last fall. I’ve continued to enjoy watching her work with Sharon’s TSTC. Since Vero has done so much work that I love, it’s hard to select just a few to highlight. Her work also covers a wide range so I’m attempting to give you a flavor of that in my selection, also. Here is a charming cat, a wonderful sampler, an up-close look at a colony of virus and a beautiful piece of boutis. Please, take a look at the rest of the photos there, there are many other interesting and beautiful things.

Thank you for all the wonderful work, Vero! It has been a refreshing delight to see it.

If you are a newcomer, the TaST flickr account always has interesting work pooping up. And it is a great way to get acquainted with much of the work being done in Sharon b’s challenge.

This is the last week of the two month trial, so I’ll be examining what to do about this weekly spot.






You may be wondering why so little new work. It’s simple; I tested a lot of bad ideas. I wish I could cut down on doing that!!!



I just couldn’t resist doing something with this whole in the improved circle. It is just interlacing but it satisfied my thoughts about this circle.


This was my disappointment. I’d wanted to put a rice stitch rather than a cross stitch in the center spots along the line. I tried it; it looked terrible. I compromised, kept the more lacy look and did a cross stitch. Maybe it just needs a bead. I see more tests ahead for this line.


I just remembered, I need help deciding what family the sheaf stitch falls in. Is a looped stitch? Something else? Thanks!

Sheaf stitches: continued explorations

July 14, 2007

This sheaf stitch has so much to it that I’m barely scratching the surface of what I think it is capable of doing.

Here is a simple line that I liked and then mirrored.


I think I liked the simple line best, but it’s always interesting to see what a mirror will do. If the mirrored line were embellished I think it would be more appealing. Yes, I can almost imagine it now. Sometimes when I’m posting my samples, I get ideas about what to try next.

One of those things from yesterday was an idea of perfecting the circle that I’d tried. Here it is. Just a thread or two one way or another on this size makes a much rounder shape.


Fun with diagonals.


I haven’t done nearly half of what I’d like to in playing with two colors on the sheaf stitch. It is an ideal candidate for such experiments because the tie is so easily made a different color than the straight stitches. And the straight stitches are so easily switched from one color to another.


This is not that kind of experiment but it certainly did involve two colors. I think my results would have been more pleasing if I’d handled the group of three sheaf stitches as one sheaf stitch. A large sheaf with the switch to green in the center of the straight stitches and one purple tie would create a much smoother look. And I think the tie would have held that many straight stitches securely enough if it was four or six threads wide. If it didn’t I think two hidden back stitches and one over stitch would do it.

And my favorite line from today’s stitching.


Lines and a circle

July 13, 2007

I tried to make the center tie downs in the middle of the sheaf stitches work with me rather than work against me in couching. Not wildly successful, but still a lot of fun with the trials.

The basics



around and around we go (a Christopher Robin quote?)


I loved the way the darker thread peaked out from beind the sheaf stitches in the upper row. BTW, this is three strands of DMC cotton floss.

I couldn’t make anything work with this variation of the sheaf stitch until I tried a loop like a detached chain.


The circle — not a perfect circle, but headed there, I hope. I dreamed up one more little variation to try. If I can pull that off with out throwing off the rest, I’ll be pleased.


In between school girl mode and inspired

July 12, 2007

This week, I’ve neither settled into a school girl study nor been inspired to tackle some off grid work with the sheaf stitch. I’m somewhere in between and still stitching.

And I think that’s the important thing for me. I don’t want to stop stitching until I’m in one mode or the other. When I keep stitching, ever so slowly it’s yielding information about the stitch. And am thankful for that.

I have one major disappointment with sheaf stitches so far–couching. This evening I’m going to be doing some more experiments along those lines. Perhaps the stitch lends it’s self to lacing more easily than to couching. If so, I need to be content with that.

Here’s what got done last night.






A reflection or two on the sheaf stitch

July 11, 2007

By a reflection or two, I don’t mean something written out about the sheaf stitch, but something stitched out. Sometimes my stitching is just a way of reflecting what I’m learning about the stitch without a word being spoken.

Here are the thoughts from today.

How could I put more energy into a line?


I love diagonals, why haven’t I tried any yet?


Why limit the stitch to one tie down?


Does the tie down really have to occur in the center?


What if I turned the grid from the other day inside out?

tstc28bbluegrid.png Oops, almost looks like I was seeing about turning beads on their heads, too. No! Just forgot to check my bead before I snapped the photo.

My reflections in order of stitching.

TSTC Week 28: The sheaf stitch

July 10, 2007

This week is the sheaf stitch in Sharon b’s TSTC. In her introduction, Sharon presented such interesting variations and a step by step of the stitch that I’ve been longing for more spare moments with my needle and thread. Many thanks to Sharon for taking pity of those of us who struggle with stitches like last week’s bullion knots. However, I do appreciate her even handedness and balance in stitch selection. I think I’ve been growing through it.

I was thrilled over some of the work I saw during the week and feel glad that the bullion knot is on some stitchers’ favorite lists. Many thanks to those of you who left me a word of encouragement in the midst of my struggles. Due to my boss being out of the office my posts may still be a little erratic and struggling the next couple of days. But I’m here and stitching away.

My favorite trial with the new stitch was this one.


This is a plain grid, stacked like bricks. For me the diagonals of the two outermost stitches over shadow the two remaining straight stitches and I like the look. But it needs dressing up.


Straight column stacks with a little dressing up, but it didn’t fire up my imagination like that first simple little line did.


Beads acting as the tie down. Brick stacked again.


A fun little point inspired by the third photo in Sharon b’s introduction (first link above). My French knots went a little crazy but I could not see where I went wrong counting. It’s more likely that my tension is bad. I still prefer not to use q-snaps or a hoop if I can avoid it. It may be time to rethink that preference since there is one grid I won’t ever post today because of tension problems!