Another Hobby Blog

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Tuesday Stitchers import: CQJP June and six-month reveal

I'm back! I was offline for awhile because my beloved laptop got a huge crack in the screen. (I forgot to take a picture before my husband took it apart for me to replace the screen.) I thought I was only going to be computerless for a week or so, but the replacement screen that got sent was the wrong one and we had to wait for a replacement for the replacement before my husband could get my laptop up and running again. Fortunately, he's good at that kind of thing, and I'm back in business! Yay!

So I missed the last part of June and the June reveal and the six-month block combo reveal, so here's my catch-up for that! It's been so long I've forgotten which stitches are which, so please forgive me if I mis-label some of them!

The little row of "fish" like stitches on the top is some sort of experimentation with a detached cable chain stitch (I think), but now I can't remember how I even did it! It was just some sort of different way of wrapping the thread as I made the stitch, and then catching the loop with a couching stitch (like for fly stitch and bonnet) before it pulls snug... but I'd need a magnifying glass and a contortionist's handbook to figure it out again, I suspect!
The bottom row (pale lilac silk on pale lavender background -- the photo washes it out almost completely) is either knotted cretan (TAST wk 22) or palestrina (TAST wk 26)-- I'm not sure I know how to tell the difference from the look of the stitch once it's completed.

The diagonal line on the left is another line of knotted cretan (or palestrina, maybe). It's actually two lines of knotted cretan (or whatever) interlacing each other: one of lavender and one of orange. The camera apparently doesn't like that combo and washed it out completely. I'm going to have to try to take some of these pictures again and see if I can't get better results. argh.
The diagonal on the right is my first attempt at bonnet stitch (TAST wk 27). From this first attempt, I was pretty sure I was going to despise the stitch because it felt cumbersome, like each stitch took forever: make a straight stitch, then figure out how to get the needle under the stitch without catching the ground fabric or splitting the thread, then adjust the tension, then down and up again and catch the loop... ew.

Then came TAST wk 24 and buttonhole fan stitch. Really? Isn't buttonhole fan stitch just buttonhole stitch in a different shape? Does that really count as a different stitch entirely? Well, I guess it does. :) ... or maybe there aren't really any different stitches at all, and knotted cretan is palestrina is just a variation on feather or fly or whatever. I'm SO confused at this point!!
But buttonhole fan was the assigned stitch of the week, so I found a way to experiment with it. The scalloped line of buttonhole fan at the top of the pic is nice, but nothing out of the ordinary, but my little "spiderweb" pattern below it I'm particularly proud of! I used a variegated grey thread (not sure I'm exactly pleased with where the color breaks ended up, but oh well) and played around with stacking buttonhole fan in rows on top of each other, and alternating the leg lengths as I did. The result seems sort of lace-like, or maybe reminiscent of a cobblestone street. Mmm. Happiness.

At that point, I was in Leavenworth (and the bonnet stitch mentioned above had not yet happened-- pictures don't capture the sequencing very well) for a dance performance, and I had no access to any stitch directories or online inspiration or CQ books to look at. I had to pull from my own imagination and my own personal set of go-to stitches.

I started with the bullion rose (or peony?) and rose buds (or whatever buds), added some chainstitch stems (three strands DMC floss of three different colors) which looked a little cumbersome and stiff all on their own, so I added straight-stitch grass around the base (single strand DMC of each of the colors I used in the flower stem).
I remembered that buttonhole fan could also be used to make a buttonhole butterfly, so I had to try and see if I could remember how to do one from memory. Not too bad! He looks somewhat butterfly-like. He has a bullion stitch body, a little bullion stitch (in a circle, couched down) head, and pistil stitch antennae. Then I figured I needed some sign of movement: a relationship between the butterfly and the flower, so I did a little running-stitch loop-de-loop. That was allright, but it seemed really weird the way he was loop-de-looping all nice and playful like but then all of a sudden the last bit of his path is a straight bee-line (are bee lines all that straight, actually?) up and away...hmm... so he must have been spooked into avoiding something, right? So that's when I stitched up the little frog. Does it look like a frog? I really can't tell! It's either cute or really scary, and I don't know which! It's not exactly the frog I was trying to stitch, and now I don't have the perspective to look at it with unbiased eyes.
Somewhere in all that stitching I put ladybugs into the grass, added a line of brown blanket stitch below the grass (dirt? roots, maybe?) and ran a line of cable chain (TAST wk 25) up the diagonal. I think I used a crochet thread for the cable chain, and I really like how it turned out.
The little grey row of blanket stitch triangles was stitched much earlier, so I think I talked about that one already.

I revisited the metallic stars that I had stitched a while back and decided that I liked them better pulled closed at the center instead of open like they had been. I also decided that the cloud pattern printed on the cloth (very faded after having been worn as a pair of slacks and then jammies for several years) needed to be enhanced with tiny little stitches. I did most of the clouds with back stitch (which worked very well), but on one cloud (the center bottom one) I used running stitch which turned out a little differently and which effect I didn't like quite as much, but didn't dislike enough to pull it back out again.
Under the clouds is a line of Magic Chain --the red and green loops at the left edge that transition into yellow and orange at the right edge (I used a variegated crochet thread), and then I took the remaining length of yellow and orange and laced it back through the row in the other direction. It didn't do quite what I thought it would do, so I ended up adding some couching threads to hold it in an interesting shape. Ah well. Experimentation does not always yield the results one was hoping for.

Then came TAST wk 28 with up and down buttonhole stitch. I rather liked this stitch, and I can see it ending up in my set of go-to stitches.

So that wraps up June!

and six months of CQJP progress!!

Well, that was a lot to write, and I imagine it's a lot to digest, too! So I'll wait to talk about my progress so far in July until Monday. :)

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