Sunday, December 28, 2008
The blue flower has no leaves yet, as I'm tired, and need to study it tomorrow. - but here is the chart for the little pink one to keep you busy.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Outside the primary framework of the mitered bargello, it is simply a matter of filling in the blank spaces. I continued to use the format of "over 4 threads" that I had used on the other white elements, and just filled in as I could against the outline.
Backing up a little bit, this second picture (close-up) shows how very very easy it is to turn the corner at the 45 degree diagonal if you mark it first with dots out from the center.
I had to make a trip "out" today to get a big bag of cotton floss in Spring colors to start making the next ornaments and eggs, and now am starting to visualize different flowers in 4-way bargello. Quite a challenge with buttercups, etc.!! Something to look forward to, as this is my favorite part of the design process.
P.S. Update! I just posted a picture of the finished ornament on the other blog!
Friday, December 19, 2008
As usual, I enjoyed using fibers with different textures instead of lots of different colors. The whites are YLI ribbon floss for it's shine, Kreinik metallic ribbon 1/16" in color #032 (white) and plain old DMC Perle cotton #3. The flower is made with Frosty Rays, and its center is four smyrna crosses in yellow Ribbon Floss. The leaves are Kreinik 1/16" ribbon in green. The light green just inside the darker green Perle Cotton border is also Ribbon Floss. (I love this stuff, as it's so versatile) The gold outline is Kreinik gold 002HL ribbon 1/16", and the red is the same width metallic ribbon.
The drawing on canvas is easy to follow. As always, I outlined the shape first to confine the bargello stitches and make the edges smooth and even. It's much easier to stitch this way. Also, I made the chart to fit the octagon, so you would need to expand the stitches to fill in the circle shape, as well as the egg, which is very easy to do.
Another alternative would be to simply fill in with basketweave around the basic four-way bargello motif. I have marked the centers on both designs, but you will need to mark the diagonals yourself on the circle (trusty Sharpie or Pilot ultra fine point drawing pen)
This motif has many possibilities both as shapes and colors, and the way of setting it up. I can see maybe Petite Very Velvet in basketweave as a background around it, and maybe a few beads set in. (of course). Enjoy being creative and adding you own touches and ideas! The stitch count is very simple - just based on two, three, and four threads high for the stitches - nothing complicated or elaborate for this one!! Just have fun and relax!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
This is how the 4-way Bargello begins when I get an idea. A sketch on my tracing of the egg shape, and then the drawing on canvas, complete with marked centers and diagonals - and the most fun part, THE THREADS!! Stay tuned.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Bargello is a type of needlework made on canvas with upright stitches - the name originates from some chairs seen in the Bargello Palace in Florence, Italy. (These have the "flame stitch" pattern, which is a sharp, zig-zag pattern as opposed to the curved motifs). The term "Florentine" work is also applied to this type of needlepoint, as the Bargello Palace is in Florence. I strongly suggest, as it is very interesting, that you "Google" four-way Bargello, and click on the link for the Wikipedia, which is the source for these swatches demonstrating the difference between flame stitch and the curved motifs. Lots to learn there!
Anyway, It's close to Christmas/Hanukkah, and I thought maybe a very small project to play with might be relaxing while taking a break from lots of activity. The 4-way bargello is actually a "mirror image" thing, and looks a bit Kaleidoscopic, as it mirrors in 8 sections. I'm showing the very small 3 1/4" circle (on 18 mesh) for starters to play and practice. It would be a bit larger on 13 mesh. Notice that it is drawn with an EVEN number of stitches at the top, bottom, and sides, as the stitches are made in the grooves between the threads, being upright. The center is marked BETWEEN the threads, and then the diagonals are marked with dots in all four directions.
The first stitch should be made in the center - not necessarily at the center of the ornament, but somewhere between the top and the center if you wish. Then it's a matter of repeating to the left of the vertical center the same stitches - and turning at the diagonals for the mitering. You can play with threads and colors, and create your own patterns by doing this - surprising results!!
The larger round ornament is one I made from my favorite 4 1/2" circle - and was already on an even count, as I had added the top element, and intended to make that with upright stitches in Kreinik metallic ribbon. (This shape is from my collection of Traditional Ornaments, available on my web page) If you are new to this blog, there is an earlier tutorial on drawing circles of any size, and also the instructions for the "medley of white" ornament, on which you can see that the circle was outlined BEFORE stitching the bargello. This confines the area and makes the outline neat.
I intend to offer individual 4-way Bargello ornaments here later, but meanwhile, study these beauties of Inge's and see how they are done. The last two pictures illustrate what happens by just turning the thing 45 degrees for a different look!!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
There are twelve threads between the center lace and the top and bottom laces.
So many possibilities for threads, etc.!! The squiggly lines simply show the direction change for slanted stitches - I like to use Frosty Rays or Rachellette for this. Bump stitches for the centers, etc. and also for the leaves in between. Use your imagination and have fun!!
My intent is to use the Petite Very Velvet as a background, as it is gorgeous with the Sundance #250 hexagonal beads for glitter. The little dots show placement of beads on the WEFT (dips) of the canvas so they will nestle down nicely and not wobble.
The photo in color demonstrates how gorgeous the PVV is in white for a background for the laces and trims (these are diagonal). You can easily see the glitter of the clear hexagonal beads. The Kreinik metallic braid in 002V (#12) is also very pretty in this combination.
This ornament drawing could also probably be used for counted cross stitch, with each dot on the canvas being used for an "X" on fabric.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
I was, of course, delighted and grateful, as not only did this kind of lace originate in Italy, - but what a coincidence! This tablecloth is crocheted, as the Irish did to imitate the effect. I haven't tried yet to get the look in needlepoint of the difference in the background behind the rose, and the simple netting around it. I could do it in crochet, but needlepoint is another kind of challenge!
Sunday, December 7, 2008
The first illustration is a needlepoint pillow I made for my granddaughter Sophie, as I love the look of the crocheted filet. The motif is simple, and it moves quickly in the stitching - great borders, as well as lovely pillows may be made this way. Next - the pink one, is for our Julia. (truly a W.I.S.P., as I get distracted with other things to stitch). You can see how this is done, I think, simply by studying the pictures - click to enlarge. I like to use smyrna cross for the filled-in spaces of the design, and the background color within the body of the lace is mosaic stitch.
I have thoroughly studied the history of lace, and encourage anyone to do it, as it's fascinating - but I won't go into it in depth here. There are Biblical references to "netting with linen," and early examples have been found from the year 2,500 B.C. This type of "filet lace" originated in Italy, where some of the very earliest laces were made - it originally evolved from a linen fabric from which threads were drawn to make a sort of grid or netting, into which embroidery stitches were placed (buttonhole) to make a lacy openwork. In the late 14th to early 15th century, the Reticella lace then became a "punto in aria" or "stitch in the air" type lace, rather than starting with a fabric and pulling or cutting the threads. It was this lace that the Irish imitated with their beautiful crochet - and it became "fishnet" lace, or "filet."
To make filet lace in needlepoint, a grid or "network" must be stitched - making the vertical lines first to avoid warping the canvas. This is the only time I have ever used graph paper for designing in needlepoint - but find it necessary - extremely simple! The little spaces are filled in with smyrna cross to create the pattern. Here are some very simple charts to explain the method: Also, I can fairly well figure the size of a motif - or whatever I need, by just marking lines, as each design space requires 3 threads. The very simple chart illustrates the tent stitches that make up the "netting," and the little green stitches illustrate Smyrna crosses to fill in for pattern. The hearts are designed to be small motifs - you can count the threads, adding two between each, to find the size. The green one is about 2" wide, or slightly more. The little blue one I visualized on 13 mesh, so it would be app.
1 1/2" wide. I have found great sources for patterns for crocheted filet lace if you don't want to create your own. This site, Crochet.About.com has some really pretty ones that are free - I would make pillows with them!
Saturday, December 6, 2008
This pattern was one of my favorites - "Stepping Stones" - and I made several pillows with it in different colors, which I used in my little book on patchwork pillows.These ornaments are worked on 18 mesh canvas, but would work as well on 13 - just a bit larger proportionately.
This first drawing on canvas is for a 4" patch, and as the pattern is a "four-patch," I made each square 36 stitches. Examining the design shows that each of the four squares is divided into four more squares - so each little square within the big ones is 18 stitches. This is just to illustrate the format and construction of this quilt pattern. I didn't actually draw all these squares when I put it on canvas, as I would have had to white out (with acrylic paint) a lot of black lines that would have shown through the background stitching.
The next drawing is the pattern itself on canvas and ready to stitch. You can "read" the elements as 9-stitch squares. simple!! The next pattern (same quilt pattern, but smaller) is based on 24 stitches square instead of the 36 on the larger one. This makes the little squares within it 6 stitches. Adding the border made it 3 3/4" square.
The partially drawn canvas illustrates starting in the center with the 12 stitch square. If this is a bit vague, just look closely at the drawings and it will become clear.
When this was lying on my work table one day, I started to see what it would look like if I rotated it 45 degrees and chopped off two corners - one of my favorite ornament shapes!
As for stitching, you can just look at the picture at the top and fairly well see what I did. The red pattern is made with long slanted stitches in Kreinik metallic ribbon - 1/16" width.
On the very small version, the center square is made with green metallic braid (Kreinik) in Leviathan stitches (four stitches square each), and the little gold bumps were made with smyrna crosses, which adds some interesting texture. For background on the little one, I used YLI Ribbon Floss in basketweave, and the same thread on the border, but in long, flat stitches - you can see the texture is different because of the way the light strikes the surface. It looks like two different fibers. Wonderful effect that I use often!
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Plaid, in it's simplest form - the gingham checks - is one of the first woven fabrics I sought to replicate in needlepoint many years ago. It's just a matter of using a color plus white (in it's simplest form) and a symmetric count - that is, on this one, four threads blue and four white. Where they cross, a third value is produced. (When using two colors instead of the white, a third color is made.)
In the second picture, I used two colors plus white, and a different format. Same number of threads (4) but it looks entirely different from the simple gingham. This illustrates the many many possibilities for re-arrangeing thread counts and colors and creating an endless variety of plaids!
To begin a plaid, the canvas needs to be marked for ease in stitching - and the WARP must be stitched first, as needlepoint canvas is a woven fabric, and the warp of any fabric is the strongest element. I have seen people start stitching across - on the weft, but this is like doing continental stitch on mono canvas - it will warp badly.
You can see on the marked canvas that I have marked the four threads for color only - as this makes it easier to see where to insert the white. Just stitch in basketweave down as far as you want on the four threads vertically - using ONLY the "bumps" of the warp threads. Make the stripes of color and white BEFORE stitching the weft. (which also should be marked at the sides to avoid confusion).
I really enjoy using this to frame names and monograms - or quotes, and made a door hanger for my first grandson with "crayon" colors - full intensity! The white "background" was reduced to three threads only, and the color stripes are five.
Ihad an interesting development several years ago, as I decided one day I needed a very small scale plaid for a patch on a crazy quilt ornament - so I used two threads of each color - and to my surprise, houndstooth check appeared. Happy accident!!
Another happy accident happened when I was stitching the little pink and orange gingham heart, and was bored that day, - deciding to do the weft in beads in the same colors to see what would happen. To my amazement, it looked beaded solid!
There are many many uses for plaids - and I enjoy them so much, as starting to stitch on a bare white canvas is like painting with your needle - and as the plaid emerges, one wants to just keep on going to see what the next repeat is going to look like. It never gets boring. I have done a book on this, which goes into much more detail and shows many more uses for it - but meanwhile, this should give you some ideas to get started.
The next two charts will show the progress of stitches, beginning with the vertical stripes of the plaid worked on the warp threads - the "bumps" when the vertical threads are on top. Then the weft (where the horizontal threads are on top - the "dips") I used blue ink to show what would be white on the blue and white gingham.
The arrows point to the warp threads as they lie on top in the weave.
The second chart illustrates the plaid being formed as the weft is stitched horizontally. Notice where the green crosses the white (blue on this) that a second element of color is formed.
I hope you will use this and enjoy it - and create some new ones of your own. You'll find yourself closely examining clothing on people at the supermarket, and noticing the structure of plaids in upholstery materials - Fascinating!!