Did I say last time that I enjoyed designing? I must have been out of my tiny little mind!
No, it’s not that bad really – but sometimes it can be quite frustrating. I’ve just finished Gingham Gems (I), and am now stitching (no surprises there) the two designs of Gingham Gems (II). Kloster blocks in two shades of beige, fine, some surface stitches inside the Kloster block pattern, fine, fan stitches in the four corners, not fine.
I’d charted these corner fans as partial ribbed spiderwebs. The complete version has a number of spokes (usually, though not always, eight), and the thread is taken round the circle, encircling the spokes as you weave so that you end up with very pronounced "ribs". Surely, if you do a quarter of a circle, you end up with a ribbed fan? It turned out not to be quite so simple.
For one thing, the two spokes at the outside of the fan can’t be ribbed. It’s simply not possible, unless you take the thread down the fabric every time you get to the outside spokes, which I didn’t want to do. It also turned out to be extremely difficult to make the ribs nice and even. I finished one fan, decided I didn’t like the look of it at all, and unpicked it. I then tried weaving the fan, simply going over and under the spokes. This looked a lot neater, but also very very solid, and far too heavy for the rest of the design. Hoping to save something from the wreckage, and bouncing several ideas off my ever helpful husband, I tried partially filling the fan, then filling it in a staggered pattern, but neither looked at all attractive. I unpicked the whole thing, and also the spokes in the other three corners.
Now what? I was still rather keen on the fan shape, because it fits the corners so nicely. What about herringbone ladder stitch? That has rather a nice braided appearance, and although it is usually stitched straight between two parallel lines there is no reason why you shouldn’t have the stitches squashed together at one end and fanned out at the other. I tried one corner.
Oh well. Better than the solid woven fan and the irregular ribbed fan, but not quite what I had in mind. I think the bottom end needs to be narrower. So the next attempt will have a single backstitch for the bottom (instead of three arranged in a curve, as here), and all the herringbone stitches will cluster together in it. I’ll let you know if that’s any better – but don’t be surprised if Gingham Gems (II) eventually goes live with a completely different corner stitch!