Celtic swirl creeping along…

It’s impossible to photograph anything here in natural daylight, as someone/thing has turned off the sun – we haven’t seen anything remotely bright in the sky for days now – and I’m getting moderately fed-up with it, arrrgh!

Okay, rant over – ish.

So anyway, (deep breath), moving on, just to say that there is some progress on the Celtic Swirl tapestry.

celtic swirl wip 1

Having gone back to the hessian (burlap), for this one, I’m finding that although the stitches cover more quickly than in the last scrim piece, I’m having to stop and start a lot, moving the canvas around in my frame.

I know it’s not the way it’s normally done, but I just don’t like the idea of having the design rolled away so I can’t see it  as you would on a traditional frame – I need to be able to see the whole design as I’m working, so I use a large square clip-on plastic frame – great, but it slows me down a little.

(I have considered making a much bigger frame, especially now that I have the floor stand, but I’m not convinced it would suit the ways I like to work, and would probably end up with a saggy middle – never a good thing!).

I treated myself to a handful of balls of knitting cotton last week – mostly Rowan Cotton Glace. I needed to find something that stitches up with a sheen, but without having to buy hundreds of embroidery skeins. The best thing I ever found was Debbie Bliss Pure Silk, but my local retailer has stopped stocking it. I might have to trawl Webland to find some more.

But I’m happy with the Rowan cotton – it stitches well and has a reasonable sheen, it also comes in the shades I wanted – something that’s not always easy to find. I never realised before I got heavily into needlepoint art, how much painters take for granted the ability to be able to go out and choose the colours they want off the shelf and then go home and mix up precisely what they want – we have to hope that we can find the shades we want, in a yarn that suits and at a price we can afford.

Yep, I think the day when I bite the bullet and try dyeing, might not be all that far away…

Anyway, the Celtic Swirl is definitely in progress – just don’t hold your breath.

Happy stitching.

Starting the Celtic Swirl…

Here’s a sneaky peek of the design behind my new piece of needlepoint.

I’m going to call it Celtic Swirl – I seem to have spent most of 2012 sewing swirly patterns, which might tell you about the state of my mind – but at least this time, I can say that I have positively tried to incorporate a Celtic theme – albeit in a loose, freeform style.

I’m going to use the hessian for this piece – partly because I want to see how it feels to go back to the bigger holes after the last piece on the linen scrim, and partly because as I mentioned in the last post, my stocks of crewel wools and silks are a bit depleted and I’ll need to get out to find some new threads before I make another large piece on the scrim.

I’ve been drawing it up this morning – I’m not sure if this shows up, but here it is anyway.

I like to have the main parts penned in, so that the form is maintained, but I prefer to keep the rest of it fairly fluid as I work.

As it stands, it’s about 28 x 18 inches.

So, off I go. Happy stitching everyone.


Time To Shell Out…

Remember the other part of the hessian experiment?

The shell

The Shell, in progress

This is the 10oz hessian, with a considerably tighter weave than the 7.5oz, although still soft and quite variable. I don’t know what it is about working on this material, it certainly has its frustrations, but I really like it – perhaps it’s the drapier texture, I’m still not sure. Perhaps it’s because it’s irregular, and that appeals to the bit of me that doesn’t like to play by the rules. Anyhow, I’ve picked up The Shell again and am making some progress on it. I think I may have mentioned before that this is not my normal palette, and I’m finding out about these more subtle colours as I go along, but it makes a change, and as I’m currently brooding on developing a stained glass inspired piece, this one is keeping all those glorious exuberant shades under control until I’m ready to let them loose.

Happy stitching, drawing, quilting etc.

Possibly Finished?

The tree might be finished…

I persevered – it was lovely to stitch, soft, yielding, warm. But it has given a whole new definition to wonky.

It hasn’t told me what it wants to be – I thought perhaps a rather arty wall hanging…

It would however need the skills of a remarkable magician, to overcome the wonkiness.

Years ago I made some clay pieces that might lend themselves to weighting the bottom edge.

But right now I think I’ll put it away and move on to something else. Maybe inspiration will strike if I stop trying to force it.