Thursday, March 11, 2010

Embroidery lessons

I'm teaching myself how to do a little embroidery. Actually, that doesn't make sense, does it? How can you teach yourself something you don't know in the first place? I should not take credit for it. So let me try rephrasing that: I have an instruction book that my Grandma Chandler gave me that I can sometimes understand, and when I don't, my mom demonstrates for me. Then I try to copy what she did, or make my stitches look like they do in the book, and if it doesn't turn out right, I take it out and try again. On-the-job/experiential training seems to work out well in this case.

I'm getting pretty good at "Lazy Daisy" stitches, which is good, since that's the majority of my pattern. And once Mom showed me the secret to a good "French Knot" (the book assumes all good handiworkers already know this) I had a lot of fun with them too. The stem stitches are giving me some trouble, though... more trouble than I really think is necessary. If the yarn was just climbing straight up the square it would be easy, but the daisy stems lean over to either side, and I just can't figure out how to keep the stitches even as I lean. If anyone has any good ideas, let me know!

The embroidery pattern of my quilt is the long-awaited second step to my masterpiece. Yes, for those of you who have been following along, I am now finished "kni-chetting" (the afghan stitch is a strange mutation of classic knitting and crocheting) my 35 squares of mossy green, Shetland Chunky yarn. That's 30 stitches a row, 24 rows a square... 720 stitches a square... 25,200 stitches in all. After all that, I feel like I'm a Master Kni-chetter. I'm embroidering the four corners, and when that is done, I will stitch all the squares together and add a border. Anyone think I can finish this month??

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