Since my coif has been on the frame for a while now, last night I finally started the actual embroidery on it. I started by doing the outlines entirely in stem stitch with the new filament silk I bought at Double Wars. It’s a little wierd to work with this black thread, as compared to the other colours from the same source, as it feels much thinner, for some reason. I am using it doubled, and it doesn’t fluff out as much as the other colours did on the test-piece where I tried them out.
So, the outline: I have a solid line outlining the entire embroidery, outside of which I’m going to do a narrow hem, and then embroider over it to enable me to make up the shape with insertion stitches, basically. For the top and bottom lines I decided not to follow the drawn pattern exactly, but rather follow the threads of the ground fabric. So they are exactly on grain. I have four vertical lines at the centre back of the coif, which I will also work by following threads of the fabric. The rest is all on the diagonal and I won’t bother counting. I could have stopped and rethought my thread choice before I got too far, as I’m not entirely happy with the narrowness of the outline. But that’s a little late now.
So far: 3 hours and 20 minutes of embroidery work done.
I think I am experiencing performance anxiety at the prospect of actually starting the coif embroidery. I’ve had the frame prepared since Friday and yet I have not started the embroidery.
True, I’ve finished one commissioned piece, added stripes to my 1575 wool gown, and it’s only Tuesday, but this afternoon I definitely could have pulled it out and set it up to start, and yet I didn’t.
I think that for Filippa’s coif I had done so much research and preparations that once I had the pattern on the fabric I could dive straight in. I also knew that if I ran out of thread at any point I could fairly easily get my hands on more. The same is not true for this project. But I should have plenty to be getting on with.
However, I haven’t tried these threads out in an embroidery, and I think I do want to test them out on a scrap before I start on the real thing. However, since the materials are so nice I don’t want to just throw away the practice piece, so I have to do a little bit of a design and decision-making and frame it up and try it out. . . So here we are with not a stitch taken. It’s a good thing I don’t have a deadline. Or maybe it’s a bad thing?
The pattern is now transferred to the very fine hemp fabric which I have some few scraps left of. Imagine that the almost circles that meet at the top in two little blobs are fully leaved wreaths, and ignore the fact that all seeblatts are turned on their sides. It wasn’t until I’d drawn it out on the fabric that I noticed this little quirk. Ah well, they’re on there at least, and I’m going to enjoy working this up.
The next step is of course to string it up on the slate frame – that’s not the most fun you can have with string, so I’m going to need to collect my mental strength before I tackle that. Maybe a blueberry and chocolate cookie will help.