Sunday, 16 March 2008

A perfect stitching day!!

Sometimes, just sometimes, you get one of those days when everything goes right. With Japanese embroidery, because our work has to be so precise they don't happen often, but when they do they are just sublime, I'm sure my fellow stitchers will agree. Today was one of those days, the silk behaved itself, the needles always seemed to be in the right place, every stitch which went in stayed in, and Bamboo Circle is sprinting down its path to completion.
On Friday I twisted up some katayori threads (which have to be made in advance) and did a little bit of work on the kikko leaf and today I planned to get the waves completed. The waves are a stylised arch which you can see in the photo below. The katayori threads are couched with a very thin thread of the same colour and the ends of the threads are then pulled through to the other side of the fabric (sunk). I've deliberately left the ends you can see here a bit long while I work, but before they are sunk they are trimmed off to just a few mm long.
There are two sections of waves on this leaf and I had completed most of the colours when I decided that the colour scheme was too 'pastel'. So I twisted up the brighter green and orange you can see below, I thought these would work as they are brighter shades of colours already there. I'm very pleased I added them as I definitely prefer this colour scheme.
While I was waiting for the extra katayori to dry I went onto some finishing off on the kikko leaf. The little pine motifs had been stitched in either twisted silk or twisted gold thread but they still needed their needles. As I don't have a box chart (list of instructions) for this design I only have a colour photo to work from, it was a bit difficult to see how the pine needles were worked. I could see that they were in gold on the orange and green pine, but couldn't really tell how they were worked on the gold pine. So I decided to stitch them with #1 gold HH and couch them with red couching thread. HH means we hitch the gold thread through the eye of the needle so when we stitch the two threads lay side by side.
I worked the orange and green pine first but when it came to the gold one I decided to use black couching thread as I wanted to make the needles stand out a bit. I also stitched the branch in .5 black silk rather than in #1 gold. The persimmon fruits didn't need much work to finish off so I decided to work these next. The orange one just needed veins on the leaves and the seeds to complete (well I think they are seeds, the little gold blobs at the top of the fruit?).
The gold persimmon fruit then got it's leaves and seeds.
To finish this leaf off only the little ume (Japanese plum) blossoms needed stitching. I'd already worked the padding they required so in went the silk and then the stamens and pollen. I used twisted gold thread for the stamens and a gold s twist for the knots for the pollen.
This isn't a great photo, once the natural light goes it's difficult to get a good shot on this fabric as the electric light and/or camera flash just bounce off the gold fabric. It does make the flower look quite big, in actual fact they are only a little over 1cm across.
And suddenly as if by magic ... the leaf is done. Again this isn't a great picture, but it gives you and idea of what it looks like.
And so after a great day stitching and blogging, it really is time for bed. The cat is giving me an evil look as if to say I'm keeping her awake!!
And a quick PS to Carol-Ann, that little voice is very quiet today!!


Susie said...

Jane, your work is just so lovely, thankyou for sharing and I shall be looking in often

Elisabeth Braun said...

Dunno about perfect stitching day, I'd just like time for *any* stitching day!!!

Yup, lovely work as the last commenter rightly said.=) I'll be looking out for lots of nice oriental touches when we're in Taiwan over the next 3 weeks. Shame we're not gonna make it to Japan after all this trip.=(

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