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