Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Motif of the Week

I used this motif to practice the plaited braid stitch, doing the stem in goldwork.  My stitches are getting more and more uniform with every project!

I will need to do something gold towards the top of the motif, in order to balance it out.  I am thinking spangles...

Motif of the Week

I have always stated that I stink at blackwork.  It takes such precision that my ADD brain finds it too much like mathematics for comfort.  However, I decided to challenge myself a bit, and tried a bit of blackwork for this week's motif of the week:

Not bad for one of my first real forays into blackwork!  I am using black silk on linen, and hope to add goldwork for the stem of the motif.  I am thinking this may very well become a pin cushion.

I believe that the pattern is from Needle N' Thread, and I apologize if I am wrong.  Fibrofog has been horrible the last couple of weeks.  (On the positive side, I have had plenty of time to play with string.  On the negative side, I haven't been able to find my car keys in a coupl eof weeks!)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Plaited Braid Stitch, fini!

I did it!  I fonally conquered the plaited braid stitch!  This is the stitch which has eluded me for many years.  I found a tutorial on Youtube, (see the link below if you have struggled as I have!) and pulled out my linen and some bamboo thread to use for practice, and here is the result!

You can see, as I progressed, how much more even my stitches became.  It really wasn't even difficult, once I could actually see the steps in motion!

For anyone right brained who learns better by seeing and doing, I highly recommend watching the tutorial.

The Quest for the Plaited Braid Stitch, returns!

It is a chilly, dreery morning here in New York.  With no real plans on the schedule today, I am going to do some practice with plaited braid stitch!  It is my hope to add this stitching into the nightcap.  Someone kindly pointed me towards Youtube for a tutorial (being extremely right brained, I pick up much more quickly seeing it done : )  Stay tuned.  It is my hope to have a proper blog on my progress by the end of the day.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, August 25, 2011


I think I am going crazy.  Somewhere online, more than once, I have found a booklet from the V&A musuem on embroidery.  I don't remember if it was blackwork, or Elizabethan embroidery, but I know it was there in a pdf.  Am I going crazy, or does this truly exist?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Elizabethan Nightcap, part 3

Elmsley Rose writes, "I looked at your last entry and decided that the design was a repeated border at the base of the cap. If you are talking vines - obviously not.
May we see a copy of the full design?"

Certainly!  The design is a repeat pattern, though I seperated it to space the pattern out a bit.  Because it is pyramidal, I am using the pattern to form the triangle tops of the nightcap, which will then be sewn together.  When I said vines, I actually meant stems *blushes*  The leaves each have a stem, that resembles a scrolling vine, somewhat.

This pattern was found on Mary Corbet's website.

Here is a close-up of today's progress.  I have begun the speckling, first time trying it.  I am pretty good at shading when drawing and painting, and this carries over into the speckling, I'm finding.

I am still working on it, a bit, for better shading, but its not nearly as difficult as I would have expected. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Embroidered Nightcap, part 2

After doing a bit of research and reflection, I've found what my pattern was missing!  Take a look at this close up of an extant coif from the V&A museum:
(found here:

The vines are filled with what looks (on cursory glance) as plaited braid stitch, and the motifs use speckle stitching for shading.  I am hoping to use this as inspiration on the nightcap, as it was sorely lacking in *something*.  I think the gold will look beautiful against the teal silk : )

Monday, August 22, 2011

Embroidered Nightcap, part 1

During a couple of chilly nights at Pennsic, His Lordship commented on needing a skullcap to wear to bed to help keep him warm.  I had already been planning a nightcap, based on extant Elizabethan caps I've seen at the V&A.  The only issue was that the Elizabethan pallette was a bit more...girly than the modern "manly" pallette.  I did some thinking and found a pattern on Mary Corbet's webpages,  I used my light box to transfer the pattern onto a medium weight linen ground, and decided to use the teal mystery silk thread.  I am using split stitches for the outlining, and am still mulling whether to use blackwork designs for fill, or to use some other style of fill...

Here is a pic of my progress, thus far.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Post-Pennsic Mapcap recap

I am finally home!  Home and settled in after the weeks of prep time and the two weeks of "vacation."

I plan to work up a post tonight or tomorrow, a comparison and analysis of various silk threads that I picked up on my journeys.  I have some no name brands, some Eterna and Splendor, some heavier crewel weights, and lots and lots of desire to play and experiment with them all!

Wrapping up the loose ends, (no strings attached ; )  Here are pics of the almoner's pouches I made from my first two motifs of the week.  Handsewn, lined with linen, fingerloop braiding on the seams (thank you Miss Kit!) and tassles!