More progress on the big sampler:

I’ve finished out the excerpt from the big Lipperheide repeat and started another. This pattern appears on the same plate as the one I just finished. Like it, this one was originally worked voided. It turns out to have the exact north-south stitch count I need to eke out the horizontal row, getting ready for a darker, wider strip at the project’s bottom edge. It’s also an extremely quick one to stitch up. The bit above only took about an hour or so.

Anna asked me what kind of hoop I’m using, and whether or not I’ve padded it. I reply:

It’s a 7-inch Hardwicke Manor hoop I bought from Hedgehog Handworks, about 10 years ago, but didn’t use until recently. In part because I’d been on an extended vacation from stitching, and in part because I didn’t like the way it tensioned the fabric. At 5/8″ wide it grabbed nicely, but never maintained the tightness I prefer for double running stitch. So finally tiring of my ancient dime store bamboo hoop last month, I got some standard fabric store issue half-inch white twill tape and carefully wrapped the bottom of my Hardwicke frame. It’s hard to see, but the tape is angled at 45-degrees, and overlaps by roughly half a width on each wrapping. The end is tucked underneath and stitched to the bottom hoop’s inside (left on the image, where the lump is), to keep the outside perimeter bump-free. The hoop’s screw closure is long enough to handle the extra diameter of the wrapping. About six turns of the screw’s threading are visible, and I had just popped the thing off the work for the photo.

I now love this hoop. The twill tape cushions the work and minimizes crush and holds the ground cloth drum tight. However wrapping the bottom hoop does reduce the effective stitching area by decreasing the inside diameter. Even with cushioning I would not recommend using a hoop for anything other than flat surface stitching using cottons. When I stitch with silk, metallics, or use any sort of raised or heavily textured stitch I pull out a flat frame.

Where is the crowdsourced pattern of the week? I’ve got a very nifty motif queued ready to go, but it’s only one panel. I’m hoping for at least one more before I post the next update.(Hint, hint…)

Aside: Hoping all on the East coast were spared overly much grief with Irene. Only minor damage here in the leafy close-in suburbs outside of Boston:

Half a tree down, blocking our street, and another big limb in our back yard. Thankfully both fell with surgical precision, missing every structure, vehicle, power line and comms wire. I bow to the courtesy of my neighborhood vegetable friends. Also to the amazingly diligent Arlington, MA DPW crew, that had this cut up and hauled away within 45 minutes of the tree’s fall!

Finally, for folk who landed here looking for Ensamplario Atlantio. (Word is still spreading about it.) It’s here.

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