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Posts Tagged ‘Ruskin lace’

It’s taken two months, but I have sort of moved the Ruskin Lace on. When I showed you the project at the beginning of June I’d worked the hem and had started to withdraw some of the threads.

And there it sat for two months while I tried to find the courage and opportunity to move it on. Which I finally did this weekend. Carefully re-reading the instructions and checking what I’d already done, I withdrew the remaining threads for the four-sided stitch border. I’m still not quite sure if they are required for anything in the design so I’ve just pinned them back for now.

Next, the four-sided stitch border. This was a little different to the four-sided stitch I’ve used in Casalguidi and other pulled thread work as the working thread wraps around each group of threads twice. But once I got into the rhythm it stitched up nice and quickly. I’m using a natural linen thread which is nearly the same colour as the linen and as the weave is very open, it’s made much more of a feature of the stitch.

So this is as far as I’ve got with the Ruskin lace and it isn’t really even the actual lace bit yet! It looks like I need to do a whipped inner border next but I’m not sure whether that happens before or after I withdraw the central square. I need to go over the next stage of the instructions very carefully again but that will be at some point in the future. August needs a new Move It On Project and I have yet to decide on what I’m doing for that.

At the Stitch Zone we’ve been learning how to attach shisha mirrors using both shisha stitch and a ‘cheat’s’ way which involves buttonhole stitching round a ring and trapping the shisha underneath it. I also worked over some large sequins and an old coin for variation and added a fly stitch border to one of the ‘cheaty’ shishas.

The couching element is sari silk thread – one of those sort of things which you buy at the Knitting and Stitching Show and then never quite know what to do with it. It’s lovely and thick with a fabulous sheen and a random sprinkling of colours along each length which makes it work perfectly with the sparkle and multicoloured stitching of the shishas.

It’s a nice change to work more freely than you have to with any type of drawn thread work, but now I’ve made a start on my Ruskin lace, I’m much more tempted to keep at it than I was, which surprises me. Watch this space!

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Well, the lonely courgette now has some friends and as they are almost big enough to be called marrows, I left the flowers off.

I used the same interfacing backed painted cotton for the leaves as I did for the original stumpwork garden and the same method, which has scaled up very satisfactorily.

Next, I added big blowsy cabbages in a 1cm wide bluey-green silk ribbon. I made sure I worked the woven spider’s web stitches nice and loosely and let the ribbon twist and bend to give a more natural look to the leaves.

Lastly, a patch of radishes. As this garden is about three times the size of the original I needed to enlarge the original tiny line of detached chain stitch pairs. This time I gave the radishes at least four leaves each and increased the weight of the leaves by using a thicker thread and nesting one detached chain stitch inside another. I gave each one a little pink base to the leaf stalk to hint at the crunchy pink radish growing just under the surface.

To give an idea of how much bigger I’m working, here is the garden so far side by side with the original version. The hoop is 6 inches in diameter – this is practically enormous for me!

As it’s the end of the month, time for the update on May’s Move It On Project. Unfortunately I didn’t get as far as I had hoped with the Casalguidi work, although for a nice reason this time. Last week was half term, so we’ve had a lovely family holiday in Northumberland and all the stitching I did was to go in my holiday journal. But the overcast trailing is finished and more importantly, I have a book I can use for the flowers when I pick it up again.

June’s Move It On project is well out of my comfort zone. I’ve seen and admired a lot of Ruskin Lace during our holidays in the Lake District and for our holiday in 2015 I created a very ambitious altered book/holiday journal which I still haven’t finished! One of the things I wanted to stitch for it was a Ruskin lace sample.

I bought myself a Ruskin Lace book but after reading the first chapter, I bottled out big time. I hate the thought of cutting, withdrawing and weaving threads back into a piece of stitching and these are core skills for this type of embroidery. But I also hate the thought that it’s getting the better of me and recently managed to get as far as hemming a piece of linen following the instructions in the book before I gave up again. I’m determined to move the 2015 journal on and I’m hoping that once I’ve got my head round the cutting threads bit, the needlelace element should be more enjoyable.

This is where I am at the moment, cutting threads to form an internal border.

I’m using some of the linen I usually use for pulled thread work and am a bit worried that it’s going to be too open, but that’s what the Move It On Project is designed for. If it works, then that’s great – if it doesn’t, I’ll have learned useful lessons. Fingers crossed.

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Our Scunthorpe Embroiderers’ Guild June meeting was an all day workshop on Casalguidi work. It was led by Pauline, ¬†who bravely stepped into the breach as the lady who was supposed to be leading it was been seriously ill this year. We started off with a display of examples not only of Casalguidi but also other types of whitework, including some Ruskin lace, from one of the Guild portfolios.

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The Ruskin lace was stunning and equally as good as any of the pieces at the Ruskin Museum in Coniston.

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But it was the heavier Casalguidi work that we were focusing on.

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Pauline had provided plenty of threads, linen in different weights and worksheets for us to practise some of the basic stitches, such as four-sided stitch, a pulled thread stitch used to create the background texture of the embroidery, and raised stem band.

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So, after we had oversewn round the linen to stop it fraying, it was time to practise. Four-sided stitch at the top and two raised stem bands, one showing the foundation stitches, at the bottom.

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I started off in a neutral coloured thread, but after using an oddment of variegated perle in yellow, leaf green and cream to mark out the little bag we were going on to make…

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I couldn’t resist ditching the beige thread for something a bit more interesting. In the end, after working a couple more samples, I decided to make a start on the main design for the bag. It’s not a quick stitching project as it’s a form of counted stitch work and not only do you have to concentrate on making sure your counting is right, but you also have to make sure the pulling is even and the stitches in the right order. So my results, even after a bit of stitching since, are not very exciting.

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It’s getting there slowly as I need good light and not to be tired when I’m sewing, but I am enjoying it and looking forward to getting the four-sided stitch ground finished so I can play with some of the other elements.

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We’ve just had a typically wet, but in spite of that, very enjoyable week sharing a cottage with friends in the Lake District. I’m on with my holiday journal which is a mix between an altered book and the found object journalling I did a couple of years ago in Cornwall. No pictures of that yet, but here are some of the lovely things that I came across in our exploration of the Lakes which have inspired me.

Stencilled Hessian wall covering, Blackwell House, Bowness:

Stencilled Hessian wall covering, Blackwell House, Bowness

 

Just one example of the stunning stained glass at Blackwell House.

Stained glass, Blackwell House, Bowness

 

Inlaid detail on a bureau:

Detail of a bureau, Blackwell House, Bowness

 

A period Arts and Crafts sofa:

Arts and Crafts sofa, Blackwell House, Bowness

…and the plasterwork between picture rail and ceiling:

Decorative plasterwork, Blackwell House, Bowness

Beautiful whitework on a pillow:

Whitework, Blackwell House, Bowness

…and the pieced patchwork hexagon fans of the 1911 quilt on the same bed:

Patchwork bedspread, Blackwell House, Bowness

Wet slate roofs in Chapel Stile:

Slate roofs, Chapel Stile

 

Crewelwork bedspread at Brantwood House near Coniston, the home of John Ruskin.

Crewelwork bedspread, Brantwood House, Coniston

An example of Ruskin lace, a type of drawn threadwork introduced by Ruskin to the Lake District as a cottage industry.

Ruskin lace, Brantwood House, Coniston

I love these cheeky sheep – one of the sculptures at Grizedale Forest.

Sethera, Grizedale Forest

Sethera, Grizedale Forest 2

 

It feels quite odd to be home – I could have happily stayed another week!

 

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