In my part of the world we say you are a fool if your passion for a pursuit overcomes all practical sense. I am a stitching fool, and I stitch foolishness.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Workin' on the Chain Gang

The broad chain around the threadwinder case is finished, and I've started working it on the needle roll that will accompany Fair Maiden.

I should have pressed the linen for the needle roll before I started stitching, but I had thread in the needle and figured that where I was starting didn't need pressing. Now that I've finished that needle full,  I can slap it on the ironing board and get the creases out before I go on.

I'm using Gilt Silk Twist for this section, just as I did for the outlines on Fair Maiden. And I've pulled out one of my hand made Japanese embroidery needles to use as I work this stitch with this thread. The eye of the needle is round so it's super easy to thread with GST, which can be uncooperative with a regular needle. And the needle is so smooth that there is no fraying in the thread from a potential burr in the needle eye.

These needles do require more care than typical needles. They can rust very easily, so I run this one through my emery strawberry after every use, and store it in its little air-tight bottle when I'm not stitching with it. I do have a special needle pad designed just for these needles, but I've found the bottle works even better. I have lost a needle in the needle pad, and they're not easy to find once they bury themselves deep within. It took an Earth magnet to get it out.

If you've never done broad chain stitch, there is a great diagram on Tricia Nguyen's website, where it's listed as reverse chain stitch in the stitch diagrams section. Once you do a chain stitch this way, you'll never go back to the way most of us learned--that sequence of lazy daisy stitches linked together that are always hard to keep uniform.

It's a good thing I love doing broad chain. There's a lot of it on this project. More than I realized until I reread the instructions from the class I took almost two years ago.

I really need to start finishing projects right after I take the class rather than allowing them to age in the stash for awhile. Or I need to take notes that will make sense two or more years after the fact--I've been trying to decipher something that sounds like a hidden message behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War.

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