Model stitching for the SAL – a snag

There are various reasons for stitching a model before releasing a design. With the SAL, one of them is that I need to work out how much thread is needed for each month (and preferably do that before 1st November…), but even when that is not an issue it’s a good idea to stitch something before allowing it out into the real world. The main reason is that you can do things on paper which you can’t do on fabric. On at least one occasion I managed to draw something that looked lovely, just what I wanted, but which was actually impossible to stitch. And I do mean impossible – if you’d tried to work it as originally drawn, you’d be undoing the first half of the stitch with the second half.

And even when it isn’t that disastrous, it is good to remember that a design on paper never looks exactly like that same design worked in thread on fabric. For one thing, Kloster blocks look beautifully square in my design program, and while in theory they should be, considering the number of threads they cover vertically and horizontally, in practice a Kloster block is a rectangle, narrower in the direction of the stitches than across.

Kloster blocks on a chart Kloster blocks on fabric

Normally I have this in the back of my mind and sort of compensate for it while designing; but one of the SAL designs has what you might call a “floating” Kloster block, one that doesn’t border on a cut area but is only there to balance things out. On paper, where all the Kloster blocks are square, it works just fine. Stitched, I’m not so sure. The design consists of two identical halves, so I stitched the two in different ways – one with, and one without the non-essential Kloster block. And I’m still not quite sure which one to choose! I may do a bit of shisha-ing while I mull this one over.

Meanwhile, I leave you with a little SAL Sneak Peek (like the one I posted on FaceBook a while ago, but with different colours to keep things interesting smiley).

A SAL sneak peek

4 comments on “Model stitching for the SAL – a snag

  1. A floating kloster block. A relation, I suspect, to The Floating Bear (sometimes it’s a boat, sometimes it’s more of an Accident). My question? Is it necessary?

  2. That’s a good question, Serinde. My husband seems to think they never are. Personally, I think some do serve a purpose, but you can’t really tell until you stitch it.

    One model I stitched earlier this week will keep its floating Klsters, the one shown here will lose them, and the model I stitched last night may or may not keep them but has had some double-sided Kloster blocks added – never strictly speaking necessary, but sometimes they are the only way of getting the effect I want!

  3. I don’t have your designing experience, but one thing I’ve noticed in my own is that sometimes I expect the kloster blocks to do too much of the ‘heavy lifting’, if you see what I mean. On older designs, all the variety of surface stitches were used to do this job, because kloster blocks were there to allow cutting and needle-weaving. Perhaps your floating klosters are really satin stitches masquerading as kloster blocks…?

  4. A kloster block by any other name would smell as sweet 🙂 ?
    I do see what you mean, and I suppose it depends partly on whether you define the Kloster block by it’s function or by its shape.
    Generally I would definitely agree that Kloster blocks go where there is cutting to be done, but sometimes I like them to help define a shape – like in the SotW SAL, where they were often part of the outline. But perhaps at that point they were really just satin stitch which happened to look like Kloster blocks!

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