Wow! Thanks for all the comments on my french knots project. In light of some of the questions I thought I’d post a recap (since it started about a year ago).
This is the beautiful flame mahogany veneered Victorian box I bought for a fiver on ebay last year.
The box is basically in good shape – the joints are sound, as are the hinges, but the lost veneer is a huge issue and when I got it, someone had started to upcycle it by sticking various oddments of broken jewellery etc to the missing areas.
They were easily removed and I had the idea of making a series of patterns in pelmet vilene to match the lost pieces and then encrust them with embroidery. I’d done some small scale encrusting work before, mostly with my embroidered jewellery
and I favour a mix of eyelets and french knots.
I made a pattern for the missing veneer on the top and sides of the lid and chose a selection of threads in shades of green and orange for the embroidery.
Last August it went off on holiday with me and I made a start, also incorporating some of the sea glass I love by stitching the nuggets down under a piece of chiffon.
How pristine the vilene looks there!!
It soon became apparent that this was going to be a very long project and I don’t do well on long projects due to a very low boredom threshold. However, what has helped is the unstructured nature. As there is no design, I just load my needle with a length of thread and work french knots and/or eyelets until it runs out. Working so many means that I can do them without thinking and as I’m placing them without spaces, I can embroider in less than perfect light levels and while other things are going on – like meetings. And boot sales, hence the progress I’ve made since last week.
Yes, all those knots are french knots,
not punchneedle, although I can see the similarity. Had it been punchneedle though, I would have completed it a long while ago!
And so you can get an idea of how it will work:
I can see the end in sight – well of this bit at least, as there are other much smaller areas of missing veneer which will need the same treatment. It’s been one of the longest continuous projects I’ve done to date and amazingly, I still don’t hate french knots!