Week Ten: Spot Sampler Area 16 (w/c June 15)
Layout for Week Ten
Designed by Lorna Law
Reference: DJSampler Instructions : page 19 & 20
- a Reticella design of great beauty
- described as for ‘advanced stitchers’
- the only Band that has a ground fabric recommendation attached to it (minimum 32 count)
Stitching Area Sixteen
As a reminder, I am working my Spot Sampler on 32 count ‘Lambswool’ Permin linen and using DMC Ecru Perle 12 for the borders and woven bars. I then planned to use DMC stranded cotton for the foliage and the flower.
Why is Permin the linen of choice for Drawn Thread and Reticella? It is all to do with the manufacture process where the warp and weft threads of the linen are woven to provide 32 threads per inch but are fine enough to leave a more open ‘mesh’ (ie. the holes are bigger) than other linens.
For Danish Handcraft linen, the thread and holes are even whereas Zweigart linens such as Belfast, the thread is heavier and the holes smaller.
Permin is also manufactured with a ‘finish’ to it making it quite stiff in the hand, there is no drape and it remains stable as you work it.
Preparation : Step 1/2 Satin Stitch bars.
I didn’t do the tacking as recommended, you would think I would have learned from Area 15. This is one of those steps I will be doing from now on.
Preparation : Step 3 Work Four-sided Stitch.
Take care to add the extra thread midway on each side.
This is a very pretty frame, I’m feeling pretty good at this stage.
Preparation : Step 4 Remove the threads
I hope to improve on snipping my threads – I have since learned to snip them from the back of my work to get a closer cut.
Preparation : Step 5 Weave the horizontal bars
Refer to Lorna’s notes for this step.
Work the horizontal bars first. I tried to weave between the threads on the crossover without distorting the line of the vertical threads.
I used the finer Ecru DMC Special Dentelles for this step.
Decorative Stitch : Black Anthers
After three attempts with a single strand of DMC I still wasn’t happy. I couldn’t seem to get enough tension in the first diagonal stitch to wrap back to the centre without it all becoming a saggy mess. Oh dear!
So the first thing I did was switch thread to black DMC Special Dentelles as I know this thread is stiffer and perhaps would make this easier.
It is a lace-making thread and is plied together in a different twist to stranded cotton – it was a help in my opinion but the real breakthrough was adding a small ‘anchoring’ stitch before I started to whip back. It meant the long diagonal stitch was more stable and altogether more manageable. No-one could see the extra tiny stitches so if I needed one it went in!
I also thought that often a design element needs to be finished before you know how well the first stitches have been done so I stopped at this point, stared long and hard at the photos and decided to move on.
Decorative Stitch : Petals in Detached Buttonhole Bars
I did use a single strand of DMC rather than Perle 12 as in the Instructions as I wanted to use the light blue from my colour palette. I think the Perle 12 would be easier to manage and look better.
I persevered though and after three attempts again got some sort of flow happening. It is all to do with the number of threads I needed to lay down so I could buttonhole in the right direction to get the purl edge on the right side of the bar.
For some I started in the centre, others from the outer edge. In the end I laid 2 threads or 3 threads to get myself in the right spot to work the Detached Buttonhole from left to right. And yes, more tiny anchoring stitches were involved!
The good news was that I could ‘catch’ the black anthers into my stitching and got them to lie as I wanted. I am happy where I ended up and think by the time I have done another 7 on my DJ Sampler I will have got the hang of it.
Decorative Stitch : Leaves in Up and Down Buttonhole Stitch
This stitch had me looking up my Stitch Book to remind me of how it is worked. Pretty straightforward after all and so very effective.
Learning from the petals, I laid 2 or 3 threads depending on where my thread ended up from the previous leaf as I worked all of the leaves from left to right. More little anchoring stitches were involved so I could get a start without loosing tension.
And then I was done, whoo hoo!