All right, all right, so I’m getting a bit carried away. But they are quick, they are easy, they are pretty – I love my little shisha flowers! However, all this experimenting has made me re-think my decisions about the workshop kit. The Cretan stitch version is nice, but it’s less floral-looking than the fly stitch version. Can we do something about that? How about changing the shape of the ‘petals’ by changing the place where you bring up the needle to catch the loop of the thread? When I first tried this stitch, I took the needle down on one of the dots, left a loop, then brought the needle up half-way between the dot and the mirror – you can see this in the first picture. I then tried varying this, bringing the needle up nearer the dot, or nearer the mirror, to see if this would produce a more natural, floral look (second picture; the back is shown in the third picture). The effect I was aiming for was sort of chrysanthemummy; I don’t think I got it. Still, it looks interesting. Finally I came up as near as I could to the dot every time, making the petals a bit wider (fourth picture). That’s the version I like best. But it’s still not as floral as the fly stitch version.
Unfortunately the fly stitch version, which does produce nice daisy-like flowers, takes rather longer to do. It is also quite dense when using the smaller version of the design. The first picture shows a 24-petal fly stitch shisha using perle #5. The second uses perle #8 and look less dense, but of course takes just as long to stitch as the first version, as they are identical apart from the thread. Both of these were stitched using my 12-dot design, with petals stitched on and between the dots. So what if I used the 16-dot version, and stitched only on the dots? I tried this with my re-drawn design, and liked the shape it produced, although the petals were a bit short and stumpy. Back to the drawing board, and push the dots outward a bit. I stitched it and yes, that’s my flower!
So now, finally final – I’ve redone the design again to incorporate an 18mm mirror/sequin/whatever, 16 longer petals, the slightly larger leaf and the overall size to fit in the small card. It’s been stitched and photographed, the kit fronts have been printed, and I can start putting together the leaflets and the kits (once I’ve written and drawn the instructions). Progress!
I have been doing other things as well – my goldwork watering can is nearly finished, and I did some doodling in floche on felt. Floche isn’t very easy to get hold of, and I can’t think where I got mine from, but it’s a soft, indivisible thread which is quite nice to use. I wanted to stitch something simple on felt, found that the felt I had was so fuzzy that it wouldn’t take a mark from any pen, pencil or felt-tip I could find, so in the end I just started somewhere and went with the flow. Very relaxing. It may eventually become a bookmark, or it may just stay a doodle.
And finally, the Millennium frame. We picked it up from Needle Needs on our way to my in-laws last Thursday and it’s beautiful – the wood is so smooth and it all looks wonderfully solid and dependable. But here’s the shocking thing: I haven’t had a play with it yet! Somehow all sorts of other things got in the way, but I’m hoping to have a try tonight, and will of course let you know how it went.