Category Archives: Second Carolingian Modelbook

THE WHOLE THING

The permission sampler is rolling right along.  At 30 threads per inch (15 stitches per inch) it’s fairly zooming.  Here you see the whole cloth. I’m already mostly done with 25% of the patterned area:

Permission-2

That small bit of solid blue cross stitch at the bottom?  I hate it and will be picking it out, presently.  Originally I wanted to frame the piece top and bottom with a denser border, done in cross stitch.  But I don’t like the look.  The bottom border will still be blue, and will still span the entire width of the piece, but will be something directional in double-running, instead.

Now for the two newest strips:

Permission-3

Both are patterns from my forthcoming The Second Carolingian Modelbook.  The top one is done in two weights of thread – double strand for the red and green sections of the motif, and single strand for the yellow half-cross stitch ground.  There’s no historical precedent that I can find for treating the background of a voided piece this way, but I do like the look of the more delicate field against the heavier outlines.  It’s something I’ve used a couple of times now.  Since there’s no requirement for this piece to be historically accurate, why not play?  The pattern itself does have a source – a stitched sample book of designs in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, with a posted provenance of Spain or Italy, early 1600s.

As for the lower bit, in blue – that one is interesting, too.

Here’s a close-up:

Permission-4

And here’s the source:

tafel-49

This is an excerpt from “Tafel 47” in Egenolff’s Modelbook of 1527.  Note that the original is clearly a freehand piece – not graphed.  But it translates very neatly to work as a counted pattern.  If you look closely at some of the freehand drawings in Egenolff and his contemporaries, you’ll see that (to my eye at least) they were intended to be congruent with counted execution.  That’s not to say they couldn’t be done off the count, but with constrained angles, no fine detail, and geometric execution, working them that way is a cinch.

Back to my modern piece.  It’s pretty clear that the area below the words will be two columns of strip patterns.  I am still thinking of what to do in the top part.  I could do more strips of similar proportion.  I could do one moderately wide strip  (the area there is too narrow north-south for any of the really big patterns in T2CM, believe it or not).  Or I might do a collection of spot motifs, or one large all-over.  I haven’t decided.  More bungee jump stitching ahead, as I continue to design on the fly.

IT’S NOT A MYTH

I know I’ve been promising for quite a while, but serious progress is being made on The Second Carolingian Modelbook:

book

The thumbnail shows the first fifty or so plates, plus their write-up pages.  There are seventy-five in all, well over 200 patterns, with each and every one linked to a specific historical artifact or primary source.

About two thirds of the patterns are specific for counted linear styles, or mixed linear/voided works.  The rest are solid block unit patterns suitable for background or foreground stitching.  They can also be used for knitting, crochet, marquetry, mosaics, or any other craft that uses charted motifs.

Right now I’m touching up a few of the pages, writing a similar number of comments, plus the intro essay, and cleaning up the bibliography.  I’m torn about including indices like I did in the first book. I don’t think they were of much use, so I am thinking of omitting them in order to get this puppy finished for once and all.

So that’s where I’ve been, and what I’ve been doing.  I promise to trumpet here when the book is available for sale.

GREEN CONTINUES

[UPDATE:  A pile more patterns have been added to the Knitting Patterns page (Button above).]

Yes, I’m still porting old site content over here, but to reassure my embroidery audience, my massive green sampler is still in the works.  With the quickie book covers out of the way, I’ve turned back to it:

green-18

The pulled background fill does go slowly, but progress is being made.  You’re looking at about half of the strip.  The large downward pointing clump of lettuce at the left is actually the center.  So I’ll be working on this one for a while.

Extra bonus:  See that dangling thread?  That’s how I end off without adding more knots, or adding bulk that obscures the drawn mesh effect.  I take several running stitches down the center of an area that will be tightly overworked.  Then after I do that stitching and the loose end is captured, I snip it close to the work.  Starting a new thread is done in the same way.

Extra extra bonus:  If you click to zoom on the photo, you’ll see a little arrow pointing out a mistake.  I’ll be ripping that little bit out.  My work isn’t perfect, just proofread.

BOOKED!

[NEWS FLASH:  Kombu Scarf, Justin’s Counterpane and Mountain Laurel Counterpane patterns have been ported over.  All are under the  “Knitting Patterns” button above.]

The embroidered notebooks are finished and ready to send off to the recipient:

book-cover-2

Each one took a bit over two weeks to finish out.  The stitched area is approximately 5.3” x 8.25”, made to slipcover a standard 5”x 4” pocket journal style notebook (Moleskine is the most well known brand, but these were “work alikes” I found in Staples).  Before you ask – they’re the same front and back – completely stitched. 🙂

Website Port

Thanks to everyone who sent encouragement on the port.  The first three knitting patterns I reformat and post will be the Mountain Laurel blanket, Justin’s Octagon Blanket and the Kids’ Faux Chain Mail. I wish it were an instant process, but a bit of redrafting is in order.  I’ll have all up ASAP.

Also thanks to the folks at Craftgossip.com who picked up the folded ribbon trim method I used on the Steampunk dress.  If you’ve found String due to their link, welcome!  I’ve got a lot more to show you.

SURPRISE!

Wondering what we’ve been up to?

Well… You’re looking at it.

After a good run, we’ve closed down wiseNeedle.  Sustaining it was no longer possible.  I’ll be rescuing the patterns and most of the articles from it, and reposting them here over time.  And the yarn review collection will become part of the data trove at (as yet stealthy) Nimblestix.  They’re still in Beta, but if you log on with “wiseneedle” after your user name, you’ll get a priority spot in their admission queue.

All String content is here.  There will be some inevitable cleaning up as we settle into a new set of internal links.  Most but not all links here from external sites should work.  We’ll try to fix as many of the broken ones as we can.  In the mean time, please take advantage of the much-improved category index and search features.

What have I been stitching?

On our trip to India and on our vacation at Cape Cod I busied myself with small, hand-held stitching projects:  two quick book covers for small pocket sized appointment/jotting notebooks.

The finished book cover is adapted from two patterns that will be included in TNCM2.  The one in process is a multicolor rendition of a filling in Ensamplario Atlantio, with a twist edging adapted from a larger design, also in TNCM2.

So.  Be welcome!  Let me know what you think of this new site and about what parts of wiseNeedle should be at the top of my rescue-me queue.