And this is what I working on:
This the top of "Time Well Spent" from Sampler Cove. Our EGA chapter has been using it as a long-term project, with smaller projects in between sessions on this one. I have obviously changed the colors, and haven't yet figured out what personalization I want in the open space that band near the top. My entire family's initials don't quite fit.
This is the part I worked on today:
This band is worked in a combination of long arm cross and diagonal cross. Since I am leading the group on the sampler, I tried to figure out a handy-dandy guide to switching from one stitch to the other. I wore through the graph paper with the eraser.
The fact is that 17th century embroiderers did their best to make some stitches reversible, and to do that, they stitched in all different directions and used traveling stitches to get the needle where they wanted it so there are multiple thicknesses of thread on the surface of the work. I turned and twisted the scroll bars in umpty-leven directions, sideways, upside down, and right side up. Once I decided to go with the flow, the headache that figuring out the "correct" passageway was giving me disappeared.
There are times when it is absolutely preferable, desirable, and necessary to have all one's stitches marching in the same direction If you do a piece all in cross stitch or tent stitch, the direction of the stitches affects the way the light is reflected, particularly on solidly stitched designs. However, these 17th century stitches have so much texture, with so much else going on, quite frankly, it's hard to see directional changes without magnification.
So, I'm letting the stitches tell me what they need to do. After all, if it really bothered me to have directionally challenged stitches, I could always substitute plain cross stitch. The lovely thing about doing it yourself is that you can do it to your desires.
On other fronts: I spent the latter part of last week after completing the Obligation Stitching organizing projects, threads, and instructions. I sort of straightened up my stitching nest, keeping in mind that creative clutter is preferable to idle neatness. As I was doing all this, I decided to start a list of the projects that I want to do right now.
There were 37 projects on the right now list.
Something's gotta give.
Now granted, a lot of these are smalls, and a lot of the smalls require finish-finishing. There are a few large samplers and canvaswork pieces that need only a couple of weeks of concentrated stitching and they can go the framer. However, these are all pieces that I want to do right now.
Since the first of the year, other than working a couple of weeks on Mary Atwood and spending a week at Jeannine's, I've worked on pilots, and I've accomplished a lot. But I think it's time for me to savor the stitches instead of working to deadlines, so I am retiring for awhile from pilot stitching. I will miss getting to see things early--that's always fun--I'll miss working with the designers I've stitched for--but the friendships will still continue--and I'm sure the Stitcher's ADD will become worse than it already is--but that's a given. Meanwhile, I have this list of 37 projects I want to get to.