ALL DRESSED AND READY TO GO
… Just waiting for my thread to arrive.
As I planned, after tracing the Unstitched Coif pattern onto my linen, I cut the cloth and hemmed the top and bottom of the piece (left below). Then I trimmed the left and right edges with a folded and ironed piece of wide cotton twill tape offset a bit from the linen itself, so that any side lacing would have something to bite into that would not distort the ground. That’s sewn on with simple running stitch.
Once the ground was prepped, I mounted it on my largest scrolling frame. Because the entire coif fits in the frame’s center, I don’t need to employ any scrolling functionality. That’s why I made advance accommodation for side lacing. I used plain old heavy cotton crochet string for the lacing. The ball of it lost its label long ago, but I think it’s Coats & Clark’s Speed-Cro-Sheen. Here’s the entire thing, set up on my stand using the large frame extender (the wooden arm with the metal tabs grasping the work), and laced tighter than most costume-drama heroines.
Note the brick just barely visible at the bottom right corner of the photo. Because I swing my frame out like a barn door to exit my knitting chair, two bricks of extra weight on the paddle foot of my stand are necessary to counterbalance the mass of this large frame when it is positioned perpendicular to the foot. Someday I’ll knit or crochet neat little covers for them as yet another household whimsey, but for now they’re kept tidy with plastic wrap.
Because so much of this is a trip into the unknown, I took the side slice of linen left over after I cut my project piece, and traced a couple of motifs onto it. That’s going to be my “sidecar” – an as-I-work sampler used to try out ideas before I trust them to the main project. I didn’t bother hemming this bit. You can see it on the arm of my stitching corner chair.
I’ve begun playtesting countwork on this linen on the sidecar, but I haven’t received my ultra-fine thread or needles yet. One ply of the Golden Schelle thread is almost fine enough for fills, but I want to see the others in comparison because my first efforts with it are wobbly enough to be unacceptable. Plus stitching on this stuff with a #28 tapestry needle is like passing a log through a window screen, and I am still adapting to the magnifier; both of which complicate matters somewhat.
I know one of the threads I ordered will be here later today, and hope the other two plus the blunt beading needles will arrive some time this week. For the record none are the Piper 30/2 that others are using – the cost of overseas sourcing plus the time to ship made me look for a domestic equivalent. More on all three when they arrive.
For journalistic veracity, I present the shameful and discreditably woebegone initial counted bits, and threaded #28 needle, plus a US penny (at 7:00), and UK penny (at 12:00) – both for scale. Be kind, I hope to work out the kinks before attacking the project, proper.
I will be testing out the Schelle silk, plus the Tied to History Allori and my other unnamed stash-aged silk in the mean time, trying out various treatments for the outlines and possibly the stems. I am still hoping to incorporate metal threads in the stems, but plain couched doubles of the #5 may be too stark.
Obviously for me at least having the sidecar is a total necessity on this one.