I’ve joined “Take a Stitch Tuesday” at inaminuteago run by Sharonb.  This is done in an effort to improve my embroidery skills and perhaps my motivation.  I’ll have a lot to catch up on though.  Perhaps I’ll have finished some little thing by this afternoon? 

Thanks to Deborah and Deb who helped me put the button up – sans image though I’m afraid. ( I don’t know your blog links – if you let me know I’ll link them in – just incase you visit again… if you don’t ofcourse you’ll never get to read this apology and I’ll just assume I’m alone in cyberspace!)

The thumbnail images haven’t come up too well but clicking on them will show you a better image – if you call a better image of my work “better”… could be a worse one!


 Herringbone Stitch Sampler

The first one is Herringbone Stitch .  I’ve never done this one before though I realise it’s a classic. 

 I didn’t quite get this done yesterday but I did finish this morning.  I don’t think It’s entirely succesful.  I had read about embroidery on patterned backgrounds and thought I’d give it a try with this. I tried to work with the symetrical pattern.  This probably would have worked better if I’d been able to section of the circle more accurately but I didn’t have a compas and I was anxious to start.  (Excuses, excuses) I’ve got a lot of catching up to do.   It was fun working out the design and, as I’m a beginner, I found it challenging to come up with the design using one stitch as the base stitch.


Buttonhole stitch sampler

I really enjoyed doing this particular stitch as it was originally taught to me by my Mum when I was a kid.  But because it was taught as blanket stitch I’ve never reallly thought of it as a decorative stich before.  I have stitch prejudice. It was really fun to play with.  It’s my first teensy tiny play with cutwork too.


detached chaing stitch on bowldetached chaing stitch on outside of bowl

So I think this was semi succesful.  My brain didn’t appear to be working that creatively when I did this so I sort of ran out of ideas.  I stiched on a knitted and felted bowl I had made some time ago.  I had been waiting to do something to it.

The outside of the bowl started as the inside but it didn’t seems to really work.  This is the spot where all the little detached chain stitches are.  Can you see them?  They are stitched in green with a white/green inside stitch. Yep… I could hardly see them either.

So I turned it inside out.

It needed more colour contrast so I stitch detached buttonhole filling on the points of the inside – which used to be the outside.  I liked this but it needed something to tie it together. So I stiched a little detached chaing stitch motif on the inside.  3 of the motif’s “petals” are twisted detached chain stitch.

So what I want to know is… does this count?  This funny little mixed up bowl that started off with detached chain stitch tips and ended up being dominated by white buttonhole stitched tips.

 CRETAN STITCH – 11.04.07

Cretan Stitch Take a Stitch Tuesday

I stitched this on a velvet upholstry offcut.  I relaly like the way the beads nestle into it.  I really dislike the way that the hoop leaves marks and the way that, if you have to pull any stitches out, little velvet tuffts come out too.

 I had to pull out the seahorse and redo him as my partner strolled in while I was working on it and said “Cute giraffe”.  Nothing like a completely innocent comment to bring one undone.  He also remarked that the seaweed looked a bit like jungle.   What do you think?  Does the seahorse contextualise it so that it now looks like seaweed?  Does the seahorse look like a seahorse?  I looked up many pictures of seahorses on the internet.  They all look very pretty… and quite weird and really different… just like mine, I’m thinking.

So most of this is cretan stitch.  I’ve whipped some of the seaweed stitches. I like the way the thread that is whipped stands up and pulls the other thread in a bit. The shells are made of layers of creten stitch and outlined in backstictch which I’ve then woven through with some metalic thread. I like the layering effect and think it would look even better in different shades of coulour. There are some french knots on the “seahorse” and the water is made using stem stitch and metalic thread.   I do like the way that the stitch is flexible enough to describe a changing shape.   I’ve added some beads in the sand bed.  This is by far the most sparkly piece I’ve ever done.

Not sure what to do with it now though? Any suggestions?



I really enjoyed stitching this.  I experiemented with colours I wouldn’t normally use, and certainly not together.  It took me a little while to get into this stitch, but once the muscle memory was there it was really easy to see how it could be developed.  Although, as I didn’t plan this, my counting is a bit off and I had to sort of condense one of the edges for some of the patterns I stitched.  I’m really happy with the couching in the very middle of the piece and with the layering zig zags.  The two orange edge rows I worked as little squares and the centre incidental sitch was put in to easily navigate back to the starting point for the next square.  Overall I like it. 


TAST ALgerian Eye

I really enjoyed this one too.  It reminded me of the toy “spirograph” from the 1970’s.  I used variagated thread and my only problem was that I ran out of the lighter shades before I had finished so that the top right hand corner is not as light as it should be.  Ireally liked how the placement of the beads allowed for a contrasting thread to be ‘drawn’ over the eyes underneath.  It made it seem even more 3D to me. 


 Tast - feather Stitch

Oops,  I posted about this stich and the Fly stitch in my general blod but forgot to write something here.    So I’ve just pasted these in after finishing the Cross stitch section.  I’ve written about them in the main blog part and they come up under categories, if you’re looking.  And here I was thinking I was soooo organised!

FLY STITCH – 21 – 5 – 07

Fly Stitch tast

 CROSS STITCH – 22.6.07

Blue woman  - cross stitch for TAST

I didn’t really know what I was going to do with Cross stitch.  I do some “ordinary” cross stitch so I think I was a little bit trapped by my past experience with the stitch.  It had occurred to me that the stitch could be used like cross hatching is when drawing.  So I  tried to play with that idea and I think it worked out ok.  I would have preferred more subtle shading but I was working from my embroidery stash and don’t really have the money to go out and buy materials for an exercise.  But I can at least reference this if I decide to do something like it again. 

I tried to work the cross stitches in different ways and some areas are more effective than others.  I can see how you could build up the stitches over the top of one another in different shades to  create depth of  colour. Also, how the  density of each stitch can be changed for effect.  I found it quite good for couching, particularly when I elongated a top arm in the direction of the “hair”  so it sort of added a “fine” thread over the one being couched.


 up and down buttonhole stitch

I had trouble finding a rythmn to this stitch.  I found I realy had to concentrate to find our where I was going, particularly when I started making the triangle shapes with it.  For me it’s a so – so stich.  Perhaps I didn’t push it far enough.  I must admit my mind was more on finishing it than it was seeing what it could do.

COUCHING  – 5.8.07

TAST - Couching

This piece seemed to go from bad to worse to palatable.  I started by couching on some roving using buttonhole stitch, open chain stitch and zigzag chain stitch. It looked bad.  I then couched over some threads using cross stitch in a metalic thread.  It looked worse.  I then thought I’d make some patterns using a thread couched over some satin stich – It continued to be revolting. 

I paused and thought , “I can stop and try again or I can keep adding more and see what happens”.  I went on, just for the fun of it. 

I added the ribbon, couched down in backstitch, to see if I could break up the thick messy roving areas.  It helped a little but the colours seemed all wrong.  I founds some mossy green and fawn velveteen yarn and couched down a wad of it with a chain stitch on top  – desperatly trying to find some form. I pulled out some sea-greeny wool and couched down loops, held over a pencil.  It seemed to help a little as it continued to build up some texture and blended in the blue roving a little more.   The thing looked too square – so I couched down some purple yarn using feather stitch to break up the outline a bit.  

Believe me it looks better now than it did at the middle stage.