…but not others. Heh.

After last week’s introspection about meaningful making, I took the leap into an intricate design of some stitchery related to something very close to my heart. There is much to discuss before revealing the overall design because it might be a difficult subject for some to consider. This is not teasing; I’m just not ready to give up my own peaceful meditation on the topic to external opinions yet. Does that make sense?

But, apologies, I will bore you with every stitch though. This is a monogamish time for concentrating on one thing and trying to make serious progress.

Thanks for the comments on the initial project teaser post. I answered some of the questions right in the comments section because I thought the answers might be of interest to others. Want some more data?

The fabric is labeled as 40ct linen, but there are more than 20 st/in. At this small scale, I do use some cheater reading glasses to magnify. The +1.00 are okay, but switching to +2.00 effectively doubled my stitching pace.

progress (Feb 6)

There are more than 60 colors going on in this design overall. I was storing the flosses in that owl tin (gotten for $1 at Joann last October!), but things got disorganized in a jiffy. So I got a simple art supply box to be a flossbox. The orderly storage immediately resolved my anxiety about tangles. Whew.


As I approach new colors in my chart, I wind onto bobbins and separate by color in the box. There are metallics going on for richness in some areas. Those don’t go on bobbins. And, umm, they are a pain to use. Glitter everywhere! But they are so far doing exactly as intended in the desired shading.

I don’t normally pre-chart my sititchery because I like the improvisational approach and the capricious nature of the results. But I’m starting to enjoy shaping on the computer screen for some things especially to get a bird’s-eye view of the effects of minute detail work. Of course, I still make some major adjustments once thread and linen are in hand, but for these intricate designs, it’s nice to have some semblance of a road map.

chart management

This chart is 37 pages of hieroglyphics. I shade in stitch by stitch as I stitch. These colors are so close that I can’t always tell which stitch is which, so having a geometric reference is really handy too. (This photo is after the progress shot above.) Why page 18 rather than 1? Well, as my godmother taught me a billion years ago, it helps to work from the center first.

And I work with just one page of the chart at a time. In this photo it’s on an old copy stand for typing. Remember those? It’s metal and that bar is a magnet that I use to hold the chart while also keeping my place marked.

Oh, and I don’t use a hoop. Normally I just crumple the linen in my left hand, tension with my finger tips and stitch with my right hand. This really cramps up after a long while. Specifically for this project, because I want better endurance, I got a frame. Unfortunately, it turns out that I prefer to tension with my fingers. So I now just use the scrolls of the frame (rather than crumpling in my palm), holding the work vertically in my lap. This might not make any sense, but maybe this next photo starts to clear it up?

Here’s where we are now:

progress (Feb 8)

Believe it or not, it’s starting to reveal itself. But, well, there are 35 more rectangles like this to do. Slowly and steadily…and enabled by a good blizzard.

Any more questions?

Have a great, warm weekend!