I decided to set the Peacock aside for a bit, mainly to find the rest of the materials I need, which seem to be temporarily lost but in trying to find them, I located my file of patterns, yippee!
So, after working on a piece that was so incredibly colourful, I became preoccupied with 3-d DBH layers.
As you can see, I’m halfway through a small doodle cloth butterfly here. Using trusty metallic knitting yarn for the body. I made three lines of Ceylon stitch, then ‘wove’ two lines of black thread over the connecting rungs, with quick stem stitches. The Elizabethans certainly stitched over a lot of these types of rungs in their time. I can only assume this grew from their love of Soumak Weaving.
The layers of colour DBH that form the wings are triangular on this demo but looking at the original, which is part of a pillow embroidery, the little flaps are so curled, that I’m not entirely sure if they used triangles or curves?
Then I decided to plot all the flapping shapes I could see on that one pillow and came up with this list:
The list isn’t exhaustive but as you can see, in the row of shapes at the bottom, the pattern for the wings of this butterfly is the central diagram. I made 2 rows of DBH into the fabric, then continued the 3 tips in 3-d.
Ending off the thread after each tip is always tricky but thankfully I can see in Elizabethan Stitches there is an image of a flower made in gilt passing thread where you can clearly see how they ended the thread off in historical times.
I also made some curved yellow layers for this next rose.
The 3 layers of DBH -one 2-d and 2x 3-d – are all connected by the same base line of chain stitches. Its difficult to explain how to do this, so I might work up to producing another pdf file…
Notice how the sepals are semi-detached. By that I mean I started stitching them onto the fabric, then continued extending them in mid-air. All of this is not as fiddly as you would first think, because remember, you’re using your finger tip to support the work, so you can easily find the place to take your next stitch.
Once I completed that flower, I decided to try and make it again but much smaller and came upon another very interesting observation.
In so doing, I noticed that if you try to make the DBH stitches more compact, the element does not curl as much and ends-up looking very flat and more like classic Reticella work.
So, I’m discovering that the key to keeping the work tiny is to use fewer stitches and finer thread, rather than the the other way round.
Speeding up the production of multiple layers for motifs such as these two, is essential, as there are quite a few stitches involved and its this issue that I’m addressing right now: faster flowers and bugs!
Gotta go ppl!