Sunday, 6 December 2009

Cord #4

Cord #4 emerges from behind cord #5, so cannot be begun until some of cord #5 has been worked.

© JEC/Carol-Anne Conway

This cord is stitched in a wicker braid using 2 strands of flat silk. I had thought that this would be one of the easier techniques but so far I have struggled with this more than any of the other cords.

Part of the cord is stitched around the tightest curve on the design and that caused me such difficulty. My first attempt was far from right. I had to reverse stitch almost the entire length.

© JEC/Carol-Anne Conway

My second attempt was better, not perfect but I decided to leave it. I could see the needle holes from the first attempt and did not want to risk damaging the fabric.

© JEC/Carol-Anne Conway

After this tight bend the cord passes under cord #1 the runs straighter for a short section before curving, more gently, the opposite way. I had expected to settle into the technique along this section but it really wasn't going well. After going two stitches forward and one stitch back for some time, I decided to reverse stitch the entire section. Before starting again, I reread the box chart and the instructions in both the Japanese Embroidery books that I have. I also borrowed a book from a friend and read what that had to say about wicker stitch. I concluded that the angle of my stitches had been too shallow and when I started again, stitching at a steeper angle, the technique finally started to fall into place.

© JEC/Carol-Anne Conway

In addition to my struggles with the technique, there was the colour. This was my least favourite colour in the palette but again I have to admit that it works well with the gold fabric and with the other colours.

When you are stitching, you view the work from nearly directly on top and close up.
When I was photographing my progress, I noticed for the first time the two tone effect that occurs when the light hits this cord at a angle.

I wasn't very keen when I began stitching Himotaba, but gradually it has worked its magic on me and at last I am enjoying the intricacies and subtle details.

Happy Stitching.

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