First a quick thank you for those who have nominated this blog for a 'make my day' award, I will get round to passing in on over the next week or so.
I've been stitching away on bamboo circle for the last few days, struggling to get the kikko pattern working to my satisfaction. It's important to get the stitches horizontal and the vertical line of the pattern straight, you can see if you check earlier posts on this that it wasn't quite there, I was also struggling to keep the one point open space even.
Slight digression here, don't think I've spoken about one point open space before. As a rule when stitching traditional Japanese embroidery we work the foreground motifs first and then work backwards to the motifs in the background. Between one motif and the next we leave a one point open space, basically a space about the width of a needle. Of course there are always exceptions which prove the rule, but I won't go into those here.
So, the kikko pattern wasn't as straight as I would have liked and the one point open space was a bit uneven - stitching on metallic fabrics made me reluctant to take the threads out because each time you put the needle through the fabric it makes a hole and if the stitching is taken out it is impossible to make the holes disappear completely - but I wasn't happy with the stitching and I love this design so I want to do a really good job. So there was no choice but to take the stitching out and try again. Third time lucky I thought.
Out came all the stitching and the guide lines, I twisted up a whole lot of new threads using the same 2 into 1 twist but this time I made the twist a bit tighter. Then in went the guidelines and I started stitching again. This time it seems to have worked much better, I placed the stitches much closer to the guide lines, and having a tighter twist in the thread helped it sit much better on the fabric. I'm very happy with the result this time and very glad I worked this a third time.
The orange blob on the left is one of what will be three pine trees.
This evening I decided to have a break from the kikko pattern and make a start on the cords. The cord is an imitation wicker braid and fades from one colour into another around the circle, over the top will go some gold metallic stitching which helps to create the braided look on the completed cord. The gap in the cord is where another leaf goes, this leaf is worked purely with an outline.
This design is one of a series from the Japanese Embroidery Centre and I'm really enjoying stitching it, maybe I'll get round to stitching some of the others at some point, watch this space ...