Out, about and guitar picks

September 3, 2007

Out and about

This is a word of welcome to those new to this blog or the on-line needlework community. Thank you for visiting. I enjoy many blogs, I’ve tried to highlight a few major categories of needlework blogs on my blogroll. From there I think you may find many others of interest.

The highlight of my week was seeing the start up JoWynn Johns blog at Parkview 616. I’ve been busily reading her excellent essays as well as seeing her beautiful embroidery. She has done a lovely tree using various stitches to attach the shishas. Annie at Annies Crazy World has some wonderful and informative posts on this subject as well starting with her August 31 post and going through today’s post. And in this post she also points on to another example of more good work with shishas. And there is so much more good work on this stitch that I wish I could highlight all that I saw this week.

Gwen Magee at Textile Arts Resources posted an article worth considering on working in a series. There is a follow up post here with an Amy Lindenberger quote on the subject.

Cyndi at Layers upon Layers has done two great posts on expanded squares one here and the second here explaining how to make a digital stamp with them in Photoshop. Many thanks to Cyndi for the great posts and to Susan Lanz of Art in Stitches for pointing me to Cyndi’s blog. There is a nice profile piece on Susan there, too.

Guitar picks

This week has been rather exhausting for me. The incident with my eye took a lot out of me. What a wonderful gift our sight is to us! I’m so thankful that no harm followed, but it did limit my stitching and sent my whole stitching plan for the week in a new direction. And I am not sad about that, I explored the stitch in a different way and learned perhaps more than if things had proceeded as I’d planned.

When I began to think of substitutes for the mirrors, guitar picks stood out in my mind as a possibility.  They are made in all colors and a variety of shapes. I see butterflies and flower petals in them. They also have shinny metal look versions but the ones I saw didn’t appeal to me.


Here are a couple of trials with them.



I found the thin picks cut fairly well. I had in mind almost a stained glassed window look. I was first thinking of doing this with the CDs but started practicing with the guitar picks since I’m still perfecting a few things with my cuts on the CDs.

The alternating work I did the other day with the shisha stitch needed improvement. This went much better. I’ve used a different thread for the anchor stitching to make it clearer what I’m doing with the stitch.

tstc35ealteven.png  tstc35ealtdiag.png

Shisha stitch and safety matters

September 1, 2007

Shisha stitch

Here are some of the things I’ve been doing with the Shisha stitch.


I tried building more layers.


Slants tstc35dslant2.pngtstc35dslant1.pngAlternating

tstc35dalternate.png More work is needed here! Seems like I’ve been working on this idea all week and am still not satisfied about the best way to do it.



Safety matters

If you haven’t read it already, I want to mention Annie’s post at Annies Crazy World about safety in our needlework enviroments. She has also asked for tips from others. If you have some, please do let her know. After the incident earlier this week I, for one, am all ears. Since reading her post I’ve made a couple of changes in my own set up. I appreciate her thoughtfulness in doing this as my grandfather would say frequently, an ounce of pervention is worth a pound of cure.

And please do look at this post Annie did on making shisha’s with cds! Great ideas and instructions Annie, thank you.

Slivers and slices with the Shisha stitch

August 31, 2007

I had some time to do “off grid” slivers and slices and well as do more “on grid” work with the Shisha stitch.

Here is the “off grid” work.



The more I consider this stitch it seems like the bonnet stitch, but not self anchoring.

In “on grid” work my favorite was this wavy line. The back stitched anchor row looks almost like a little line of tan beads.


Here are two different rows. As I sat stitching yesterday I thought perhaps they might be way to add a drawstring casing to a small bag. The one with the two rows is from yesterday. I just brought it forward so that you can compare it to the single open row. The two row finish is my favorite way of finishing, it seems so much neater. But of course one row is much faster and takes less material.



I haven’t taken up the mirrors again, but Annie at Annies Crazy World left a great comment for me explaining how to make use of CDs. I think I will be trying that instead. Thank you so much, Annie.

And before I’d read Annie’s comment I’d been thinking how nice it would be to try attaching guitar picks with the shisha stitch. I’m almost convinced that a triangular shape would work. It looks like there should be many experiments ahead with this stitch.

Here is another fill idea.


Progress on the Shisha stitch

August 30, 2007

As one of my friends commented on the yesterday’s post the shisha stitch without the shisha. I’m thinking about the mirrors again, but I haven’t decided yet. I’ve had plenty to do without the mirrors. This stitch is an interesting texture. I’ve had a couple of control issues in smoothness of the work and so forth but it’s been fun to work with.

My eye is pretty much back to normal, thankfully. Afresh I realize I can’t take the ability to see or do anything else for granted. How quickly I could be completely without the ability to do anymore work with my needle and thread. My mind doesn’t grapple with these thoughts too often, but when something stirs them up it promotes thankfulness to God and rest in His care.

Here are the experiments I tried yesterday.


tstc35broundedsq250.png rounded square

tstc35bchangingshapes.png  changing shapes


tstc35bperle8vs.png This and the second photo are using the same technique. The size in thread is making the difference. It was and experiment in using a zig zag row rather than a backstitch row as a tie down. On top photo where I tried using both sides to the zig zag row for tied downs, I was pleased to see there is a nice change in texture that could be exaggerated a bit more, I think.

TSTC Week 35: The Shisha Stitch

August 29, 2007

I’m late, but fine. This is the way I saved the opening of my Tuesday morning post on Monday afternoon (usa, west coast)…

Here we are at the last week before reaching the two-thirds mark in the TSTC year. Sharon b has assigned the the Shisha stitch for this week. I thought I’d combine it with a review of the stitches learned since the midpoint review I did in June. It looks like a fun stitch to learn more about. My local craft store had mirrors in squares and circles. They had some triangular things, too. But I changed my mind about purchasing them until I’m certain I get along OK with the circles and squares. Sharon wrote an easy to follow step-by-step with photos in her introduction to the stitch.

Today, I’m reviewing the long and short stitches (week 25), the bullion knots (week 27). I’m planning to come back and pick up the half chevron (week 26) and the sheaf stitch (week 28) in Wednesday’s stitching.
Thursday, the arrowhead stitch from week 29
Friday, the buttonhole wheels (week30) and cast on stitch (week 31)
Saturday, the crested chain stitch (week 32)
Monday, the scroll stitch (week 33)

Well, that a plan, let me see what happens.

… I wasn’t sure if I’d post the whole plan but I needed to at least lay it out for myself. I printed it out to put with my stitching. About 7 pm I went back to stitching and I decided to transfer those mirrors into a resealable plastic bag. I noticed there was a little gritty feeling on my fingers but never gave it a thought. A warning missed because in just a little while some of that grit got in my eyes. Thankfully in God’s mercies, the worst was not stitching the rest of Monday evening and having to do very short stitching times yesterday.

Except for finishing one bullion stitch project that was nearly finished when this happened, I’ve had to focus on the shisha stitch itself. Not a bad stitch to experiment with, but I definitely have not felt like picking up one of those mirrors again. I’ve almost convinced myself that I should try to substitute buttons.


You can see this is just a first effort. I might have added more bullion stitches as petals, if I’d not had that accident. I’d planned a daisy like look with the long and short stitch.

Instead, here are the bits of experiments I did try afterwards.

tstc35adiamond.png  Perle 8, everything else is Perle 5 except for the pima cotton rust in the last photo which is probably a little under a 5 Perle cotton.



The straight rows of shisha stitch are anchored by initial and ending backstitch rows.