Tagged ‘Linda’

All that Glitters

November 5th, 2008 by Jill Hall

really IS gold, in this case.

The gold thread for the coiling vines is real gold, and, like the gilt sylke twist, was purpose-made for this project by Bill Barnes of Golden Threads in the UK. It is a gold wire wrapped around two ends of yellow silk thread. I know the next question is whether any is available for sale, and the answer is, maybe. Right now we’re tracking how much thread it takes to embroider the coils and counting spools of thread. If there’s any left over, it will certainly be made available. If there isn’t, and there is huge demand, well, look what happened with the GST. Every time I check, new colors have been added to the line, and two sessions ago there was great excitement when Tricia brought out spools for sale. Not one person around the table said “I want this color”, or “I’d like to have this one”; it was all “I need this one. And this one. And … this one.”

So.

This past weekend’s experiment was exceedingly successful. Judy, who worked mostly at Tricia’s last week, arrived on Friday not babbling incoherently from too much gold work. She was still smiling and stitching and enjoying. Lyn J from Canada, Debbie A and Carli D from the NYC area all stepped up to the guinea pig table and took instruction from Tricia before practicing, comparing, and practicing some more.

Debbie reported that the gold is Not a pain to work with, in fact it is quite durable. She used one length for practice and was able to pick out mistakes several times and reuse the same length without trouble. The end you have to thread through the needle frays a bit, but Wendy reports that if you chew on it a little you can shape it up to re-thread.

Even after four days of coiling vine after coiling vine, Lyn, Carli and Debbie were still enjoying the work. I asked them if it seemed to take forever, because just watching them, to me, it seemed to go much more quickly than I’d thought (feared). They said that in the working it seemed to go slowly, but whenever they sat back to look, more was done than they expected, and less time expired. Lyn claimed to be Princess Slow-poke, but she accomplished several coils and none of the rest of us thought she was going slowly. I think she’s just accustomed to working more quickly than most and so this felt slow.

Here are pictures of Debbie and Carli’s pieces. Lyn was working well past the final bell on Monday, and Wendy didn’t remember to photograph her piece before we put it away. We will take a photo to post on Thursday, when we’re taking some studio photos of individual motifs. I think Carli was working on the right front and Debbie on the back.

Do you want to work some of the coiling vines? Our test group did so well we’re going to do it again. If you’re free the weekend of 11/21-24 (this is the weekend BEFORE Thanksgiving – I offered to run a session over Thanksgiving, pointing out that Pen and I will be here anyway, but got no takers), either have practiced the plaited braid according to Leon Conrad’s instructions as amplified and illustrated by Linda Connors, and are willing to work on matching gauge and stitch density, send me a note jhall@plimoth.org We can take 3-4 people to work vines, and a couple more to work silk or GST on the coif & forehead cloth.

We are “pushing” the jacket to completion this winter, in time for display at the beginning of May. I am worried about the winter weather too, look at last year! but look for more sessions in January and February. If you want to suggest dates, send me a note.

In addition to the gold workers, we had three lace makers this weekend. Sue, Linda and Colleen nearly finished the last short piece – the second cuff, as well as the long piece. Colleen also managed to do some embroidery on the coif. There are two new plans afoot – to develop some patterns for white lace to adorn the smocks, coifs, cuffs, and collars of certain characters on our living history sites, and to develop a smaller spangled lace suitable for trimming the coif and forehead cloth. If you’re a lacer and weren’t interested in working metal but might want to do some white lace, let me know and I’ll keep you apprised of progress.

I don’t have much news on the symposium, mostly because I’ve been focusing on getting the interpreters what they need to finish the season. I have a couple of firm commitments from speakers, one probable yes, and I have to get back to the couple I haven’t heard from; the biggest news is that the registration will open first to those who have worked on the piece. They’ll get a 5-week headstart to register and then we will open the registration to everyone. We plan to start this in December, and of course news will appear here and in an email blast to the stitchers/lacers. SO please update your contact information. I know there are some who have changed email/moved etc since coming. If you know someone in that situation, please ask him/her to contact us in order to stay informed. You can update by sending me or Kathy an email or calling 508-746-1622 X 8248 (Penny), X 8119 (me), or X 8114 (Kathy).

Dye Days

August 1st, 2008 by Jill Hall

To answer Robbin’s question, there will Not be plaited braid stitch instructions in the needle-gold thread kit, so go ahead and order Linda’s from Calico Crossroads. There’s a link in the upper right portion of the blog home page. Go to her searchable catalog and look for plaited braid stitch. That should bring up the $6 + shipping packet of full-color instructions. If you have any trouble you can email Linda through the contact page on her website.

Thanks for the note about the comment box being overrun by text. Unfortunately we’re between Webmanagers right now; I sent Rich a note about it on his last day. I don’t think he laughed, but only because he’s not that kind of person. He did say that issue was already on the list for the interim guy to work on, but I have a feeling the interim guy had a lot more on the list….cross your fingers that another talented webmanager wants to work here and we find him/her soon.

Looks cushy, but hot, hot, hot - dyeing outside the Crafts Center, July, 2008.Here are two tantalizing pictures of the excellent stuff Penny, Emily, Lacey, and two volunteers from the Landmark program did here on Tuesday and Wednesday. I know Pen, Emily, and Lacey want to blog about the whole experience, so I hopefully won’t be treading on their toes by posting these two. The first is their cushy setup outside the Crafts Center. Chairs! And a tent! It looks comfy, but it was scorching hot those two days.

The second is some yarn gently simmering in madder, I think. Yarn in the dyepot and flip-flops!

They all had an excellent time, worked really hard but said it didn’t feel like work; the visitors loved it, the other Crafts Center artisans loved it, and Penny’s so pleased she’s already talking about doing it again in September. That much makes it a ringing success. But they also got loads of gorgeous yarn out of the deal, and that’s just gravy. They all three looked really tired on Thursday, though.

Finishing

June 25th, 2008 by Jill Hall

Thanks, Rosemary, for catching my error in the dates for the August session. The formal session is 8 August to 11 August, a Friday to Monday weekend. However, Tricia is planning to be at Plimoth all week, from Monday 4 August to Friday 8 August (that’s what I was thinking of, I think) working on the gold. Anyone is welcome to come work for a dayAstrida stayed late to finish this rose. or more that week, running into the weekend session or not. Please let me know what you’d like to do so we can plan accordingly jhall@plimoth.org

Sunday Astrida was planning to leave about 3:00 pm to get home to New Hampshire in time for her husband to participate in one of his favorite hobbies. She stayed late to finish a rose; here she is pleased and proud, JoAnn determined to finish that pink before the bell.and a little tired too, with still a 2-3 hour drive ahead of her. She left around 5, I think, but not before Mr Astrida called wondering was she almost home? Not so much. We thank him for his patience and understanding – that rose couldn’t wait.

And here’s JoAnn, working furiously away to finish her last motif before leaving. Here are Wendy and Linda encouraging her work, and here’s JoAnn, alsoJoAnn and the next to the last pink. looking pleased and a little tired. JoAnn stitched a pink, a motif that’s taking most stitchers between 7 – 10 hours to do. It was the last big motif on this piece that we have directions for (we’re waiting for marching orders on the borage, the bird & the fancy worms) and the big blank space there was really bugging Wendy for the last couple of weekends. Must get that pink done. And JoAnn did! There is one pink left on the jacket, a “split” one that’s divided by the line where one of the gussets will go.

Linda’s needlework

April 28th, 2008 by Jill Hall

Last session Linda joined us for Saturday. She lives locally, but not too local, so it was a bit of a drive each way. Linda used to work at Plimoth, about 35 years ago, before the program was consistently first person (which is when the interpreters pretend to be people from the past).

Linda’s counted thread huswife.Linda took a walk through the Village in the afternoon and was a little dismayed to see how very different everything is now. We’ve learned so much about the past, the architecture, the material culture, the clothing, the world view, the foodways, in those years, that of course the exhibit would change, but it was a little disappointing nonetheless, not to find anything familiar.

Linda’s stitched accessories.I was very glad Linda had come, and she brought some great show & tell embroideries. Here are just a couple of photos, of a counted thread huswife and the stitched accessories that go with. I think it was the “L” pincushion (or maybe something else?) that started a discussion about whether each of us could find our names on those displays of personalized key chains and pencils and bicycle name plates that were so popular in the 70s. I could occasionally find “Jill” but so often not that those few times were a real treat. I remember Abigail said she never could find her name, which is funny given how common that name is now. I think Bryce said she never even expected to find hers. All sorts of interesting topics come up while your hands are busy with the embroidery and lace.

Tallying the Progress

April 14th, 2008 by Jill Hall

Today Wendy counted up the motifs that were done this weekend. I had high hopes for this session and I was not disappointed. There were many hands working and a great deal was accomplished:

blue worm16.5 worms. The plain worms, not the fancy worms. We don’t have directions for those yet. But the plain worms gave us plenty of head-scratching moments, as we tried to figure out what color each should be, comparing the photos of the original and the different pieces of the jacket. The half worm disappears into a seam, and it was the back half that was stitched, which led to some merriment. Oh, and Debbie thinks they’re actually slugs, since they have little feelers on they little heads. Are slugs ickier than worms?

completed pansy3.5 pansies. Pansies take a LONG time to work, and they’re not as spectacularly colored as the pansies I’m familiar with. Still very pretty, and after these 3.5 were done, there are not that many left.

pink and leaf2 whole pinks. Pinks, or carnations, and in the 1627 village gillyflowers (hence very popular with me). Also take a long time to do, and we’re almost done with them, too.

6 leaves, 1/2 a pea pod, 1/2 a rose hip, 1/2 a thistle calyx, 1/2 a honeysuckle, 1 set honeysuckle buds, and one little edge of a pea pod that vanished into a seam. It was just a tiny line, but it was fiddly to work since the way it was oriented meant a long column of one buttonhole stitch per row rather than one long row of stitches. Abigail did that one. Some of those half motifs were partially done at other sessions by other stitcher, some were the kind that disappear into seams or off the edges of the pieces.

thistle calyx and trefoilAND TWO of the dreaded trefoils. That’s a thistle in the bottom of that photo, with the calyx of course the green part below the blossom. Debbie did one of the trefoils and Linda did the other. Linda was with us only on Saturday.

Not to mention 9 lace motifs in only two days (that was Bryce, speed lacer.)

rose progress 2Here’s a picture of Wendy working that very first rose motif. She stayed late tonight to finish it, “so her boss won’t yell at her.” We’ll see what Tricia thinks of the result, maybe next time we can add another motif to our repertoire.

Thanks, everyone. I so enjoyed this weekend.

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