Tagged ‘right under sleeve’

Notes from the Front

November 26th, 2008 by Jill Hall

Over the past few weeks several new blogs have linked to us – welcome! And thanks for helping to spread the word about this project.

Over this weekend I got the chance to work on the gold embroidery – wheee! I was the beneficiary of a personal tutorial from Wendy, which was awesome, because I’d really been struggling to understand the stitch diagrams. It is sooo confusing in the pictures, especially the starting maneuvers. Basically she sat next to me and my doodle cloth saying, come up here; down there; up here; down there. Yes, there. Really.

Across the table Debbie and Carli were smiling, because the beginning really doesn’t look like anything, and because it took even them several coils before they could start without checking the directions. Which made me feel better.

This is the little bit I managed to get accomplished, after what felt like a long time. Everyone else is going much more quickly.

The gold is interesting to work with, in a way it is much sturdier than the GST. It is also quieter; the GST is almost corrugated and it makes a thrrrrp noise as you pull it through the linen, because of the difference between the silk and the place where the gold wraps it. The gold passing thread is evenly covered so it passes smoothly and quietly. We’re using the hand made Japanese needles with it, which helps make a large enough hole in the linen for the gold to pass through, and also is gentler on the gold at the eye. Eventually the gold breaks there, though, and you have to cut and re-thread, but we’re finding it happens less than with the GST. And if you bite the very edge of the end you’re threading, just to crimp the gold, it will thread more easily and help it last longer before raveling.

Also, the gold passing (GP) is sturdy enough to pick out and reuse, more than once even, if necessary (ask me how I know). And, because it is stiff, you can feel right away if you’ve got a bump or a kink on the back. With the GST it happens often enough that you don’t find that snarl on the back till you turn the piece over to fasten the end. Grrr.

The suggested thread with which to practice the plaited braid is Kreinik #8; Debbie reports that using the high luster version is easier because it is stiffer. She feels that the blue is the most workable, but the universal opinion is that anything other than the gold passing is a poor substitute. This stitch demands to be worked with the real stuff, and this gold demands to stitch the plaited braid. It is harder to stitch even the reverse chain coils with the gold passing, because it is almost too stiff to make those small bends.

I know, you would work with the GP if you could get your hands on some, and it isn’t really fair of me to mention how nicely it makes a plaited braid. Several people have asked about buying a gold work kit, or just a spool of the GP. We’re holding off for right now, until we’re absolutely sure we have enough to accomplish the jacket, before we release any. I know we could sell this and buy more, but if there’s any kind of hold-up in the manufacturing or shipping (and I can imagine several scenarios with scarcely any effort) it would delay the jacket’s completion, and we can’t have that. As soon as we can let some go, we absolutely will.

Out of Service

April 12th, 2008 by Jill Hall

Today, one of the sleeve pieces went “out of service”. This is a good thing, not like when that happens to your TV. I am plenty excited.

Out of service means we’ve hit a point where we can’t do anything else on it, until either we get more instructions or more materials. This is the first large piece to go out of service. Before today only the gussets were out of service. All that’s left on them is the gold work, and we’re waiting for the next iteration of that thread for Tricia to test.

Left under sleeve out of service.Today Susan K finished the plain worms, and the only things left on this piece are 2 columbines, 2 1/2 borages, 1 1/2 birds, 3 butterfly wings, 1 “fancy worm”, and 1 1/2 roses. We’re waiting on directions from Tricia for these motifs: colors, stitches, direction of working, that sort of thing. So, OK, there’s still an awful lot to do here, not to mention the gold work and the oes. But let me enjoy the moment.

Wendy is even now working the prototype of the rose motif and taking detailed photos as she works which Tricia will magic into the awesome individual motif directions we have for the other motifs. Once we have those, we’ll bring this back to do the roses.

Did you catch that “fancy worm” comment? Most of the worms are simply done in ceylon stitch in either red or blue GST. The fancy worms are different, two colors and we haven’t quite determined the stitch yet. The term captured my imagination, though. FANCY WORMS. Is that an oxymoron or what?

I’m a little giddy, I actually worked two and a half leaves today, including one two-color leaf. Woo-hoo. I was working on the right side, which is in one of those huge, unwieldy frames. I stood to work on it, with the frame propped against the big cutting table. Tired now, but very pleased.

Bryce W was here for two days and has taken the first piece of lace as far as it can go. Turns out the 13″ piece for the wing needs 15 motifs and we strung only enough spangles for 13 motifs. Tomorrow Wendy will unwind some of the bobbins and add more spangles so when Carolyn next comes in she can finish off this piece and get the next one started. The lace is well and truly underway. No wonder I’m a little giddy.

Marilyn left a comment the other day, that when she got practiced at the trefoils she was able to do one in three hours. That is really zipping along, and part of the reason they’re called “dreaded trefoils”.

Hey, can anyone recommend a really sturdy needle threader? We keep busting the ones we have and can find. Any suggestions?

More tomorrow.

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