Well I managed at long last to post my next video on YouTube today. I promised I’d make that video some time ago. Quite honestly, I got fed up of waiting for the brighter weather to help with the lighting, so instead I made it in the dark using gold thread. The video deals with “badly behaved” Single Buttonhole and how a little consideration as to the orientation of the tiny crossed arms of each loop means you can make the stitch look as if you had in fact worked it spirally, when you hadn’t, without wasting precious thread on a straight stitch return row.
Here’s the link:
Now, there’s a long story behind the gold thread I use in that video…what if I told you it was made in 1930 and it came from Java ! Um, I wasn’t around then of course, I acquired it 12 years ago. Its the best gold thread I’ve ever seen and really cold to the touch when you put it against your cheek…ooh mucho oro tio!
On the general subject of videos can I say that I’m pretty shocked that there isn’t a decent video out there of Tent stitch. The only video I could find on it ages ago, and its still the case, is of a mid 1960s retro style clip where a woman with platinum-exponential-back-combed hair is stab method tent stitching a piece of canvas with a picture of a camel printed in primary colours without any close-ups!
In fact, may I say, what I find strange about Tent stitch generally is a lot of people give up on it and do half cross stitch instead or they do Tent stitch with the stab method. This is very regrettable as Tent stitch does things half Cross Stitch cannot do, e.g. its very thick on the reverse side which means its very heard-wearing for things like chairs and dear old footstools and if done properly its very fast and hypnotic! I think I’m going to do a video of Tent stitch…
Permit me to digress a little here to tell you why I decided to make these videos. First off, I don’t make a video of something that there is already a good, clear, all- encompassing and unequivocal video of out there. I make videos because I was stuck and I hated being stuck. Added to which, I will never forget that a few years ago, when I was going through my knitting phase, I got a very informative book out of the library, it called itself an encyclopaedia (of all things) and I sat there diligently working my way through it until I reached a section that I was desperate to master but found to my utter consternation that the instructions of how to do that particular procedure, which they had illustrated, were completely and utterly wrong. Since then I have had a healthily critical appreciation of instruction manuals. I will never forget how it felt to wander around being utterly confused and very annoyed with that book until a dear video on the very subject put me, finally, on the straight and narrow once again.
Ooh, on the subject of cool stuff on YouTube, I’d like to mention that you might like to take a look at the ‘Viking Knit’ videos that are on there.
If you recall I spoke in a previous post about Viking and Anglo Saxon art being the inspiration behind the plaited and coiled designs so favoured by Elizabethan decorative taste, especially in embroidery, well, in case you hadn’t heard of Viking Knit (I hadn’t), interestingly enough, you will notice it has exactly the same formation as Plaited Braid Stitch.
I’ve always wondered as to the provenance of PBS, its such a complicated stitch to just pop up, I often ask myself: ‘from whence did it hail?’ Well it turns out Viking Plait was originally worked with thin silver wire and was actually used by the Vikings as their form of currency, which they used to cut up into little bits. Indeed, lots of Vikings are buried with tiny sets of personal weighing scales, so they could work out how much all these little chunks of silver weighed when they exchanged them for goods.
So, as complex as Plaited Braid looks to us, in Tudor times, it was just ‘in the blood’ as they say…In my view, this ancient reverence for a plait made of precious metal must have been the inspiration behind the cultural predilection of the Elizabethans for fabric to be embroidered in gold plaits once the gold thread was easier to come by.
Now before I wander off, I must show you my first quick sketch of the next flower motif on the swetebag. Again, its made exclusively out of Detached Buttonhole constructed in 5 glorious layers…..can’t wait, as this flower is one of the main reasons I wanted that bag!!
My next post incidentally will be about Slanted Encroaching Gobelin stitch, worked vertically, as on the bag.
So pleased to reveal that I managed to finish the Stumpwork Mini Book and I shall devote an entire post to its construction after encroaching Gobelin.
Spring is here, finally, warming the soil and the tiny chests of the tweeting birds!