Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Correcting a cord

In my last post I spoke briefly about one of the cords on the chrysanthemum being started at the wrong place. Thought I would expand on this a bit. I've moved the orientation of the photos so it's as it would be if you were stitching. Hoping this will help with the explanation! One of the difficult things about cords is finding and keeping the angle of the stitch, and with this particular one - double central, keeping the pattern central. The cord is formed from four stitches worked on the top left to bottom right angle, then four on the top right to bottom left angle. They cross over in the middle to form a pattern of interlocking squares, these squares should line up along the middle of the cord. You have to be careful to keep each side even, if it's not the squares won't be the same size. So if this is as clear as mud you'll understand why I thought that I'd start on a straight bit so I could get the angles right because once you start going round a corner it's a whole different story.

Now the thing is normally cords are started at the end closest to the stitcher, but in this case the end closest to me was a curve (see pic below) and it is sideways on, but the other end (see above) was fairly straight. So I thought start at the other end, get the angle going right, and then going round the curve will be easy. Hmm. So off I started. You can see that the angle of the stitches is very steep and the little squares ... well ... they aren't!!

It didn't take me long to figure out this was a bad idea. So some reverse stitching later, I started on the other end of the cord. It took me three attempts to get the cord going, and even on this last attempt the first two or three cross overs are not quite right, but then they get better so I decided to leave this attempt in.

When stitching curves the angle of the stitches have to be adapted so the stitches on the inside of the curve are closer together on the inside and wider in the middle, while the stitches on the outside of the curve are wider on the outside and closer in the middle. This means the squares aren't square, but this is ok as it adds to the impression of a curve in the pattern, as the cord straightens they should gradually become square.

So this is it completed, in the end and ignoring the false starts it really didn't take very long to do. It's not perfect, but it was very fiddly to start and then work round that curve at such an odd angle so I'm pretty happy with how it is so am going to leave it be.

For any Japanese embroiderers out there who are wondering why this double central doesn't have padding. The design is a challenge piece and doesn't come with a box chart, there is only a photo. In this it looked to me like none of the petals were padded, and since there is also so guidance on thickness of thread I decided that all flat silk would be 2F while all twists will be 4T. This means that both double and single central cords are quite light being worked only in 2 strands of flat silk so I've not padded them.

4 comments:

Plays with Needles said...

Looks great, Jane. I love the vibrancy of these colors.

Anonymous said...

Looking amazing as always kid I also see the cleaner has been busy :-) LOL Sue XX

Anonymous said...

Hi Jane,
I'm wondering how to stitch these cords. Do you have a tutorial somewhere ?

Jane said...

Hi, I'm afraid there isn't an on-line tutorial on how to stitch the cords.
The Japanese Embroidery Center have a text book which includes details of the cords, visit their website for full details - www.japaneseembroidery.com
They also have a list of tutors for Japanese embroidery.
Hope this helps, jane

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