Monday, February 23, 2009

Returning to Basketweave after a long day of "Decorative Stitching"

I'm here on my sofa and I've got a choice of projects to work on and I've reached once again for the basketweave one. There is nothing like a good, old-fashioned, scrunch-it-up-in-your-hand, all-basketweave-all-the-time project to relax me. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy so-called decorative stitches (as if basketweave isn't a decorative stitch) but it is like a rich diet -- a little goes a long way. One needs some commonplace, no frills, everyday nutrition too and that's what basketweave is to me -- relaxing, comforting, and nearly mindless.

Having said that, let me also say that I've been working Dena's boathouse row project, putting in a portion of the sky using one full strand of Paternayan and the jacquard stitch. It looks nice and has drawn lots of positive comments. I 've enjoyed working on that piece too especially not that I've learned to alternate my stitching from bottom right/upper left to upper left/bottom right thus negating the need for turning the canvas. Turning such a bulky canvas can be tiresome. Occasionally I loose concentration and will mess up the pattern (exactly the sort of thing that no longer happens to me while basketweaving). Generally I've had to rip out only a few stitches at a time but I did have to rip out more than that the other day.

The jacquard stitch is a fun and attractive stitch though. It looks especially handsome when done in two different fibers of the same color (such as wool and embroidery floss) or when done in two shades of the same fiber. It's a stitch that has a lot going for it. It makes a fine background or, as I mentioned, sky or even grass (as in the fairway of a golf course). It's not the fastest stitch to work up though its not the slowest either. It's not the fastest stitch to work up though it's not the slowest either. It's completely scale-able so it's very versatile (you can vary the number and length of the stitches in either the Byzantine portion of the stitch or in the continental portion). It covers the back of the canvas well and if you choose not to make the stitches too long it's fairly snag-proof and durable.

I just love it and will definitely use it again. Just not tonight. I'm too tired.

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