Last Sunday I was sitting with an elderly friend so his daughter and wife could both go to church for Mothering Sunday, and I’d taken Happy Hour 1 with me to stitch. Of the four designs in the set, it is definitely my favourite, and it is the one that uses the threads which inspired the set, those lovely Australian Cottage Garden perles. I’d picked an opalescent 28ct Lugana to work the model on, and as we were chatting I settled down to some serious stitching. #12 satin stitch centre in Oregano green, #8 satin stitch, almost Florentine, around it in Dahlia pink. Looking good! Leaf stitch in Oregano, and then on to some triple chain stitch. I’m sure I must have seen something like it somewhere, but I couldn’t find it in any of my stitch dictionaries, so I did my own stitch diagram, and wrote the instructions. It’s basically like a detached chain stitch (also known as a lazy daisy), but instead of only one loop of thread held down with a little securing stitch, I wanted to have three loops.
I had drawn a detailed diagram. I had written a description of every step. And yet it wasn’t until I actually tried to work the stitch that I realised its fatal flaw: I would have to come up in the hole that I’d just gone down in, not once, but twice. And I hadn’t noticed!
I decided to work the plain chain stitch border instead, and re-chart the triple chain stitch when I got home. Having considered two possible solutions to the problem, I eventually settled on a small anchoring stitch, and all three loops going underneath it but all starting in separate holes. The other solution, by the way, was to start all three loops in the same hole, and to anchor each one with its own little securing stitch, which would form a line together. Either way there are three different-sized loops siting inside each other, a very pleasing effect though not what I had in mind originally. You’ll be able to see what you think about the stitch when Happy Hour goes live.
And when will that be? Possibly sooner than I had originally thought – I’m enjoying them so much that they are my main project for the moment. Having finished three of the four there was a slight wait because I didn’t have the Threadworx perles needed for the last one, but they arrived this morning from trusty old Sew & So which means it’ll probably get finished tonight after choir practice! There is more #5 than #8 in this design and so it’s a bit of a shame that the lavendery #5 is not nearly so variegated as the #8, but I was pleased with how well it went with the green; it’s always a bit of a gamble, matching colours based on what you see on a computer screen!
And finally, the new idea. As I was writing the church newsletter and looking at illustrations for the Easter services I came across one I did some time ago, which said “Christ is risen. He is risen indeed!” in various languages. One of them was Old English, the language spoken by the Anglo-Saxons, and I was thinking it would make rather a nice Easter project to have those Old English words surrounded by a knotwork border or something of the sort. There is no way I’m going to get anything like that charted by the end of this month, however, so watch this space when we’re getting into Lent 2014 .