All the tiny stitches, ever 1

As I promised last week, this week I have some photo updates showing progress on my embroidery design including many, many tiny stitches! First though, a quick personal update. Last week, I mentioned that I was having a rough time and that I had started on new medicine. Well, I’m doing a lot better this week and whilst the new drug is still messing about my brain, it does seem to finally be settling down. The only new issue I have is randomly getting numbness, mostly in my hands and on my forehead (which is a very odd sensation indeed!). I’m also having more issues with my hands than before, with the tremors now being noticeable from a distance, and last night my hands were shaking so bad I couldn’t even take a photo because it shake reduction couldn’t handle my wobbliness. That being said, by being patient with myself, I’ve managed to make good progress on my embroidery – which is a very good thing as I underestimated how long it would take, so pretty much every spare moment has been spent strapped into my thimble.

Tiny stitches stitching kit

Buckled into my stitching kit!

This is my stitching kit. I started wearing a neoprene brace when I got wrist pain from holding the work in my left hand and it reduces the pain by about two thirds, but I still need to take regular breaks, usually stopping after 15 minutes or so. The thimble is a Clover Adjustable Ring Thimble that I squashed to fit my ring finger then taped shut. This thing is a revelation, because I hate the feeling of enclosed thimbles (especially as I normally wear my nails long) and I can sit it in the exact place I need it, which is over the thin skin just below my nail. I also have a Clover thimble with a plate, which is useful for thicker fabric. (This is my ring thimble on Amazon UK for anyone interested).

Tiny stitches bottom half complete

Bottom half, done!

This is a picture of the bottom half of the project just after it was completed. I completed the larger sections over the course of the week, then tackled the middle section in one burst yesterday. The larger parts were pretty straightforward, I worked the border in backstitch using two strands of thread, wrote the text onto the fabric using a mechanical pencil, then worked the text in a single strand – also in backstitch. I’m not sure what kind of needle I was using as it was just a random needle in my pincushion, but looking at the size of the eye, I would guess a it’s a medium sized crewel needle. The middle section was a whole different story. The borders were worked in backstitch in a single strand of thread using the crewel needle, but to get the detail I had to drop to a between using a single strand. Then I came across a strange problem – the count of the fabric was almost too small to allow for the right detail. I would have preferred a larger count rather than fighting the fabric, but I muddled through and made something passable. I’m quite pleased with the question mark! My husband was out yesterday, which was a very good thing as it saved him from having me snapping at him in frustration! The middle section alone took 5-6 hours and many, many tiny stitches to work – thank goodness for Charmed on Netflix!

Tiny stitches moving on to top half

OK top half, you’re next!

This is the top half of the design before I started to work on it…

Tiny stitches books complete

All the books are done, now onto the bear!

…and this is how it looks with all of the books completed. I also nailed the last three books yesterday – I think I was just relieved to be able to work bigger stitches again! I’ve made a few changes to some of the colours used, but the rest of the design is pretty much as I first drew it.  The next job is the bear, which will be worked in satin stitch, then outlined in back stitch.

That’s it for this week, I think I’ve made good progress and I estimate that this piece, including the design, has already taken over 20 hours of work. I really, REALLY hope that my Dad likes it. I’m hoping to get the bear finished this week, before moving onto sorting the back half out. I’ve got a little under two weeks to complete the bookmark and I’m thinking that if I get the bear finished by Friday then I’ll be on course to get everything done on time. As it that wasn’t enough, I have the germ of an idea for another gift for someone else – I guess there really isn’t any rest for the wicked… or the crafty!

Thanks for reading!

About Izzy Tinsley

Izzy is a yarn addict who crafts as often as she is able. You can usually find her with yarn and needles (and a nice cuppa) in the home she shares with her husband, quietly stuffing yarn into every available corner.

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