Thanks for the lively discussion! Last week’s post was the most commented upon String has ever had. It’s nice to know that others meet enjoyable people (and poorly socialized idiots) through stitching and knitting in public. And that many of us think alike during these encounters.
I’m moving along on my projects, both on fabric and paper. Progress has been severely slowed as of late due to work related deadlines and a bout of the Evil Flu that’s been going around. But there is some slim progress none the less:
You can see that I finished the eye-boggling interlace, and am now working a relatively tame flower in frame segment. All three are patterns from the blackwork filling collection. I should be finished with this segment by mid-week at the latest.
Next up is a new one though. It’s a double running stitch design graphed out from a photo of a period artifact (part of the upcoming book) but I haven’t tried it yet. The new panel will feature some small areas that are filled in. In the original they are stitched in the same stitch that is used to make a totally overstitched mesh like background on many other contemporary pieces. This style of stitching is most often seen worked in red, so densely stitched that in the mesh like areas no background linen is seen, and it’s most often used as the background on a voided style work, although there are examples of it being used as foreground, and (as in my upcoming trial – a spot accent).
Here’s a good example from the Manchester Art Gallery – you can see that some of the foreground detail is filled in using plain old cross stitch, but the background and the solid fill detail areas are clearly different. This style is a pulled thread technique rather than a withdrawn thread one (neither warp or weft threads of the background material was removed during production of the stitching). Needlework authors cite several stitches as the working method to achieve these mesh like backgrounds including
- Italian Two Sided Cross Stitch
- Four Sided Stitch (aka Quadra, Punto Quatro, or Simple Fagot Stitch)
- Russian Drawn Ground (but this is a withdrawn thread rather than pulled thread technique)
- Double Fagot Stitch (sort of Four Sided Stitch on steroids, with each pass taken twice)
The first two are the most commonly cited. My limited experience with those two makes me lean towards the Two Sided Cross Stitch because Four Sided Stitch usually leaves a little dot of background fabric exposed in the center of each bundled stitch unit (here’s an example – beautiful and regular, but the centers aren’t covered with thread.)
Embarrassing as it is to admit – I’ve not tried any of these in context. Long Armed Cross Stitch, yes. I use it all the time. But the family of pulled thread stitches has always intimidated me. I’ve played with them a bit, but aside from an occasional spate of Italian pulled thread hemming, I’ve never employed them on a “real” work. But there is first time for everything, and I intend to try out the Italian Two Sided Cross Stitch. Stay tuned for more developments!