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2017-04-17 09:49 pm

Not dead, merely very busy

Hello poor neglected blog! If you have been following my other blog, you know that my life has been through some major changes last year. I've quit my job, moved back to Sweden and am now a PhD student in historical archaeology!

What with the move and the (still...) ongoing unpacking, there has been way less crafting done than what I would like to. That said, I'm still working on the wedding cushion (so much guilt over the delay!!!), and have done most of a phone bag I'm making for a friend.

A flower in progress on the wedding cushion. Click on the thumbnail to see the other (finished) flower peeking out behind it.

I'm happy with the flower on a phone bag, but the heart is giving me trouble: the width of the yarn makes it awkward to do a grid pattern inside it - it's either too spaced out or much too close.
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2016-04-19 10:32 pm

Wedding cushion update

I've spent the evening wrestling with my woollen embroidery. I'm glad I bought extra yarn, because so far I've ripped one and a half arm out (and neither of the four arms are done yet and I have to go to bed soon). So irritating: only doing the outlines and it looks great, then I fill in the arms and they suddenly look too chubby. Note to self: next time you intend to embroider human figures (or anything "realistic" really), make the outlines slightly narrower than intended.

And it's going so so slowly. I can do one flower in a whole day. I had assumed it would be a much faster thing, and now I'm so horribly behind. The new "plan" (as it were...) was to have it finished this summer, but I've no idea how it would be doable considering I'm working full time and doing one research project as well.

It wouldn't be so bad if it was for myself. Own projects can take whatever time they will. But this is a wedding cushion, and I don't want to risk them divorcing before the embroidery is done. And the leftover fabric was intended to be used for another gift (embarrassingly it's part of an exchange where I've already received my gift...). I fear I just have to use some other fabric for that one.
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2015-10-18 08:07 pm

Wedding embroidery - update

I've embroidered during conferences, in cafés, would have embroidered in the park but it's getting a bit cold for that now, but still, it's not going as quickly as I would have wanted it to. I blame too many other things to do in combination with sheer laziness and internet temptations. But every stitch I take is one closer to the finish. I hope I can have a few evenings when I can do nothing but sit in the sofa, listening to an audiobook or podcast and just embroider one or two hours.

partially embroidered stylised flower
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2015-01-02 10:50 pm

2014 crafts

2014 was a rather meager year for crafting, but then again I did almost nothing in the first six months. I worked on the SCA bunting, and will continue to do so this year. I finished my needle book and my apple pin cushion, and have come quite a long way on my glass pouch. I have sketched the design for my friends' wedding cushion, and found out the hard way that a talent for drawing is awkward when you do the more stylised figures of scanian woollen embroidery. The people and animals come out looking all wrong and I have to re-do them.

embroidered needle book
Needle book

embroidered pin cushion with an apple split in half
Apple pin cushion

partly done embroidered griffin in split stitch
Griffin in split stitch, work in progress

No pictures of the bunting, I'm afraid; you'll have to be patient a bit longer.
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2014-12-14 11:48 am

Almost there!

I might actually be finish this one before Christmas! (now where did I put the reverse fabric and the bag with the wool fill?)

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2014-11-12 10:43 pm

Current and future projects

Has it really been two months since last post? Time does fly. But I haven't been sitting idle. The bunting is progressing and I hope that both sides will be done by the time we have our next event in late winter/early spring. There were a few setbacks, but more on that when I have something pretty to show you.

However, I urgently need to sort out the embroidery for my shot glass covers, as I have to have something small to bring for next crafting afternoon in London. It was a bit irritating to have to decline offers of homemade liqueurs and mead at events since I only had one cup and it was rarely conveniently empty. So I bought a replica glass (admittedly 18th century and not medieval, but I honestly don't care) and then realised I needed some way to transport it safely. The plan is making a lined and padded pouch. And of course it shall be embroidered! How else will I know it's mine? :-)

I also need to get cracking with the design for my friends' wedding cushion. Luckily there is no deadline for the embroidery, as they are already married and this is an agreed-upon present. But I have to have the design ready before I go home for Christmas since I have to buy the yarn there. It will be Scanian woollen embroidery, my own design but heavily inspired by 18th and 19th century cushions - wedding ones and normal ones. Doing the design will be fun, but I sort of dread having to decide on colour combinations. I would prefer not having to post sample threads back home and ask my mother to buy more for me, so I need to get it right at the first attempt. Six weeks to go...
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2014-08-27 10:39 pm

Apple again!

It's been a long time, but finally I'm getting back into the woollen embroidery. So much easier when you've been taking a break from brick stitch too, because once my brain is in brick stitch mode, it is very hard to get out of it.

There are a lot of things on my embroidery/sewing to-do list (here's a fun one to add to yours), so I can't promise myself the pin cushion will be done by Christmas. It would be nice though. Because that would give me a good excuse to start my deer and flowers cushion!

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It's getting there!
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2013-09-24 10:41 pm

Apple pin cushion update

It's getting there. It was a bit of a culture clash, coming from the regular, turn-off-brain of brickstitch, particularly since that also covers the back of the piece (i.e. the thread always goes in at the top - or bottom), whereas the Scanian woollen embroidery is much more economical with the thread, and you only cover the front. Not to mention the difference in embroidering with wool on wool and embroidering with silk on linen. But I think I'm getting the hang of it now. I've been looking a bit at the other kits that you can buy at the Scanian handicraft shop - I don't think I'm quite ready for making my own patterns yet - and I could see the deer and flowers cushion looking pretty on my sofa... Perhaps something for Christmas, or for my birthday?

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If there were a few more hours in the day, the embroidery would be finished so much faster...
parlstickare: geometric embroidery in bright blue, red and yellow (Default)
2013-09-03 08:51 pm

Pin cushion

My next project is a combination of need and want: a much needed pin cushion with Scanian woollen embroidery. This kind of embroidery was common in the Scania province in southern Sweden in the 18th and 19th centuries and has recently had a bit of a renaissance. These are common folk's embroideries, with flowers, people and animals in bright colours. Image google "skånskt yllebroderi" and you'll see loads of examples, some old, some modern.

I've wanted to try woollen embroidery for quite a while now, thinking of making a cushion or two for the sofa. But best to start with something small, and when I saw a pin cushion kit at the local museum last time I was at home, I figured that would be a good idea for a beginner's project. The motif (half-an-apple) comes from a coach cushion, made in 1830.

The kit contains everything you might need, except a pair of scissors. Fabric, yarn, filling, two embroidery needles, and most importantly, instructions. What colour goes where and what kind of stitches. Very good to know, so that you don't pick the wrong colour and suddenly run out of yarn when you have one third left of that bit to do.

The pattern is painted in white dots on the fabric, so the first thing I did was to pin the pattern to a piece of paper and put a pin through every single dot, thereby transferring the pattern for later use. Next step in pattern transferral is to draw a line between the dots, re-draw it to make it neat and tidy, transfer the pattern to hard see-through plastic, punch holes in that, and then use that as a template for other apple embroideries.

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The pattern pinned to paper

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Turn the paper over, and this is what you'll see.