The models for week 3 (Hardanger/ribbon) and week 2 (silk) were stitched out of sequence, but I’m back on track with week 4 which will be miniature work on silk gauze. I’ve chosen a 40ct gauze, so 40 stitches to the inch. That sounds impossibly fine, but because of the open weave it is actually a lot more "visible" than you’d expect. Another advantage of silk gauze is that the weave is interlocking, so the fabric threads don’t move. This means you can work petit point on it without having to worry about your working thread slipping between the fabric threads.
The open weave does mean that you cannot trail threads across parts that won’t be stitched, because they will be very visible indeed from the front. And on this small scale it is definitely difficult to keep your stitches regular; especially if you choose to do full cross stitch rather than petit point, as I did because I like the coverage better. And even more when there are only one or two stitches of a colour which you need to squeeze in among other colours, as in the "eyes" on the tail! But fortunately that is only really noticeable in close-up, especially in close-up photographs. So I hope you appreciate my courage in showing you just that, a close-up photograph of a mini peacock:
And just to give you a sense of scale, here it is with a standard-sized match. I am offering students the option of going for a 28ct evenweave or a 20ct aida if they find the silk gauze a bit too much of a challenge …
PS for those who would like to try miniature work on silk gauze: it is available in a range of counts, from 32ct to 112ct (no, I haven’t tried that one yet). It tends to be sold in small pieces, sometimes mounted in a card frame, but occasonally you find a shop which sells it in larger cuts. Janet Grainger and Nicola Mascall are good for small to medium-sized cuts, Willow Fabrics stock 13" square cuts in four different counts, and the Dutch shop Kunst & Vliegwerk sells a large piece (about 10" x 20") of 40ct at a ridiculously low price.