Friday, 6 June 2014
All Frogs Have Been Banished from the Kingdom!
What a relief! After the massive frogging session on Noel Blanc I decided to spend all of Sunday re-stitching it so I was back where I started from. Here is the latest progress picture:
See, I have completely finished the bad border and reached the far end of it too. Now I have to stitch the outer border and then I can reward myself with the lovely alphabet. The frogging was a pain but it was worth doing because there was no easy way to fudge this as it is a double border, it just threw the outer border and the symmetry totally off kilter.
Usually at the beginning of a month I start with my obligation stitching and my monthly challenges to make a good start. This month I have signed up for a Joan Elliott SAL on FB. The border was released this week and there will be eight further parts over the next eight months. The layout is very much like a round robin with four larger blocks and four smaller blocks, there will be eight faces to go in the blocks.
As usual there has been lots of chat about fabrics and colour schemes etc. Many of Joan's fans are English because she regularly features in the UK magazines and like many English stitchers some of them are surprisingly inexperienced with evenweave and higher counts. I find the English obsession with 14 count aida hard to fathom!! I do appreciate the ease with which you can stitch on it, the fact it is clear to see the holes and easy to count spacing out. But compared to the feel and look of evenweave - no contest!! Personally I blame the magazines, they rarely feature anything other than plain aida and considering we have three* of the finest hand-dyers in England this seems strange to me.
Anyway I am hoping this SAL will open up the beautiful world of hand-dyed fabrics of all counts to my countrywomen. Which brings me on to my dilemma. The stitch count is 139 x 139 so 10 inches on 28 count. I looked in my stash bag and found some nice 28 count Crafty Kitten hand-dyed and started stitching the border. While thinking "this is big, it's not 32, is it going to look too chunky?" I don't have any suitable 32, most of it is either bright solid colours or neutral linens for samplers. Then I thought "what about over 1?" I checked with Sharon Shebafudge to see what she thought, she damned me to hell and back because she has a lovely piece of fabric which the SAL will fit on over 1 and now she can't shake the idea!
But I was concerned about the faces and whether they would lose the definition. Joan does not use so many fractionals as a Mirabilia but they are there in her faces. So the only way to tell (other than wait a month for the first one!) was to stitch one. Luckily I have alot of Joan's charts and I chose Autumn Fairy for my sample. Here she is, nearly finished:
I had to change the metallics to plain DMC, I rather like the bright yellow and there's an orange to come. The beads will be French Knots. The only issue now is the backstitch, the charted colour is way too heavy so I'm thinking of using a sewing cotton instead in paler colour. Most of the design doesn't need bs anyway, just the outline of her face.
But I'm still in two minds! I know the designs look lovely over 1, really delicate, but do I want to lose the metallics and beads? I don't know!! I used to be indecisive but now I'm not so sure...
* wondering who the three are?