18 February 2013

Handstitch course, week 1

The course is at City Lit, tutor Amarjeet Nandhra. We were given instructions for making a number of stitches, and shown how, and got on with it. First a bit of practice, then on to making "resolved samples" in which we experimented with the stitch. (I started out with grey, my "usual" colour, but quickly branched out into jollier shades.)

Here are some "experimental" things you can do with stitches to develop and push your technique -

  • change the thread, fine to thick, smooth to wooly, etc
  • overlap thick and thin stitches
  • make stitches very big
  • graduate from large to small stitches
  • make the stitch wide
  • make the stitch very long
  • mix wide and long
  • mix small and big
  • overlap sizes of stitch or colour of thread
  • create shapes
  • work stitches close together or far apart
  • wrap the stitch
  • layer different stitches
  • use different background fabrics


The day included some "timed exercises" for those who like that sort of thing - a few minutes of doing the stitch of choice, then an instruction, eg "elongate the stitch" - and a few more minutes before the next instruction, eg, "use it to couch something down" -
Lots of colours of thread to choose from. Note that we worked with hoops - I got to like having the hoop to hold, and to be able to turn it around the do the stitching from the most convenient angle.
I took my sample home and spent the Sunday stitching ... all day ... listening to Radio 4 ... bliss ...

Detached woven picot (and detached buttonhole bar); bullion knots; french knots
Buttonhole stitch, or is it blanket stitch?
Vandyke stitch - in my hands it resembles various insects
The day's work, with cretan stitch in progress -
Couching - and bokhara/romanian couching - is still to come, and then I'll feel ready for the next installment (three classes in all). 

6 comments:

Connie Rose said...

Everything you do amazes me. Do you know of Penny Berens' blog? http://tanglewoodthreads.blogspot.com/

Celia Stanley said...

Great tutor - I do her textile workshop at South Hill Park.

irenemacwilliam said...

re blanket and button hole stitch
When I was a youngster I was taught buttonhole stitch- it has a knot at the edge which creates the firm edge to properly worked buttonholes, blanket stitch has no firm edging. I was taught to sew on poppers and hooks and eyes using buttonhole stitch, it gives a lovely neat and firm attachment. As we no longer see blankets with the traditional edging I suppose it is not surprising that people fail to differentiate between the two types of stitching.

beatrice De said...

J'ai un livre, acheté à Londres, sur un choix de points de broderie.

beatrice De said...

Intéressant !

Jill Dian said...

looks like a great course Margaret...and with your creativity no doubt you'll creating even more wonderful artworks. Jill