Thursday, February 4, 2016

Thursday again

Happy Thursday.  Plenty of stitching, but not actually a lot of progress:

Current project list/status (SCA/Historic):
  • Project X for C&L -- the "Convent Stitch" piece.  Outlines are done and the figures have been filled in on one of the two motifs.  Finished the first motif with only one change of thread.
  • Couched cord piece for C&L -- Nothing new.
  • Applique piece for C&L -- Nothing new.
  • Class for February and March.  I've done a bit more of the sample stitching for this class on German Brick Stitch.   Here is more info about the March event for those who might be interested -- at that event it will be an intensive class.  However, I'm also teaching it twice in February as a smaller class, at this event and this event.  
  • Marshall Hanging -- No, nothing new.    
  • Hem stitched square -- This is officially my current "work on at events" project.  
  • That silk tunic I did for my husband -- still need to pull that out and get the seam finishing done, and maybe plan some more embroidery for it. 
  • Other garb waiting in the wings... Also in planning are a couple more coifs -- and shifts and shirts.  

Current project list/status (Modern)
  • Bay of Fundy Scarf.  The slightly over half done scarf is patiently waiting for its time to return.  Gift knitting is done and this may get to return to rotation soon, though I'm pretty embroidery-focused right now.
  • Clothing for work.  Guess what, that hem still hasn't been done.  On the other hand, I've found a website with some patterns that have me kind of excited.  Mostly they take zippers.  Here's the thing, I have never been happy with my zipper work.  However.... 
  • Zipper class.  In March I'm going to be taking a class just on zippers!
  • Studio project. A number of things have migrated back to the studio (where, admittedly, they belong), and a few things in the studio need to come out.  I need to determine a day each month for specifically concentrating on getting everything back to where it belongs, which should help keep this room organized. This has not happened in January, though I may be able to carve some time out this weekend.
Blog notes:
  • Still working on a three day a week pattern -- Monday for SCA/Medieval/Renaissance related; Tuesday for post 1600 to modern related and Thursdays for status updates.
  • I'm also considering a couple other pages -- one for links to museums and other excellent web resources, and one for a bibliography (with appropriate links).  Any requests? 
So, that's it for my plans for the coming weeks.  

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Some modern resources for supplies.

I want to preface this blog post by saying I have no financial affiliation with any of the companies I'm about to list.  They are some of my "go to" places for fiber related supplies.  This is not an exhaustive list, it's the first handful that I can think of.

First, I always suggest your local needlework, yarn, sewing/quilting store if you have one.  Even if they don't carry what you're particularly looking for, if you develop a relationship they may be able to order in stuff.  There is also no substitute for the joy of what I call browsing the colors.  Even if I walk away with nothing, I get a creative burst just from being in a place surrounded by the materials of my art(s). (Though I usually find *something* to buy.)  By "your local store" I do not mean the big box craft stores, though they have their places.

Fireside Stitchery -- This is my "local needlework shop."  They primarily cater to modern needlepoint, but happily sell (and talk) threads and materials with anyone.  They also do mail order and will order in materials requested.  Fireside carries most of the silk threads that I commonly use, as well as both DMC and Anchor stranded floss, Kreinik metalics, linen threads, and a wide variety of specialty threads.  I rarely leave without one of their little plastic bags with something in it.

Nordic Needle -- This is an excellent website for many basic supplies.  They also sell many of the embroidery fabrics available -- and many of them by the inch.  For them, by the inch means a full bolt width and the number of inches ordered.  They also have most of the more common cuts available for most fabrics.  Nordic Needle has a wide focus, and is particularly famous for their Hardanger supplies and designs.  They do have a store, in Fargo, ND -- so there are people for whom they are the local needlework store.

Threadneedle Street -- This is another website selling a large variety of threads, fabrics and other supplies. They also sell the new manufacture of DMC Medici.  So far, this is the only thing I've bought from them, though the experience was very good and I expect they will see more of my business. Threadneedle is a local needlework store for anyone in or near Issaquah WA.

Lacis -- Another store that is far away but also as close as my computer.  This California company has a focus on historic needlework and is one of my sources for both linen threads of different weights and metallic threads.  I have gotten some great tools and other supplies from them as well.

Knit Picks is one of the websites I go to for yarn, and one of the catalogs that is referred to as "oh, here's danger" when it hits our mailbox.  Low prices on decent yarn, making experimenting in knitting a reasonable thing to do.

Webs is another website for yarn -- and a local store for Northampton, MA.  I've been a couple of times thanks to the fact that I seem to keep going to events in Massachusetts. I have not actually experienced their web/mail order interface but the people there are fantastic, and I always leave with several new projects on my list.

Well, there are lots more, and this is the beginning of a new page I'll be setting up -- "Resources."

Oh, and those big box craft stores?  In my area that means ACMoore, Michaels and JoAnn's.  Well, they get plenty of my business as well :)

Monday, February 1, 2016

Some on line goodies

My wonderful trip to New York to see their exhibit which included many period embroidery books had me doing a little poking.  There are a number of design sources on line, including scans of some embroidery designs.

One is Johann Siebacher's Schön  Neues Modelbuch von allerley lustigen Mödeln naczunehen, zuwürcken unn zusticken, found here.  You can download a pdf of the book, or just view it.

Here is a lovely page from this book.  St. George is a common image -- and those lovely stars in the lower design are also very common in many forms of embroidery.

Image 00063

There are also pages with needle lace patterns:
Image 00083

Another one that is available on line is Federico Vinciolo's I Singolari E Nuovi Disegni. The Dover edition of this book is one of the first ones I bought when I first started doing historically based embroidery.  It is available on several sites, here is one.  This one will be familiar to many as "the purple cover."   The Vinciolo also has both charted designs and needle lace patterns.

In fact, one of the charted designs is one that I used for one of my earliest pieces done for the SCA.  I did this stag in several forms -- canvas, free and blackwork -- each of them a little bag.  I was originally going to do it in all 12 of the Athena's Thimble categories (though I haven't figured out how I was going to accomplish it in a couple of the forms).  Perhaps some day I'll come back to that plan.

Here's a picture of the canvas work stag.

One of the groups I am in on Facebook is Historic Hand Embroidery.  There, a link was given to a blog post of a list of modelbuchs, including links to ones that are on line.  I forsee an afternoon of clicking and downloading :)  Here is the Modelbuch list.

There are a couple of things to remember about these books:  They are very "late period" to people in the SCA, they freely "borrowed" from each other (you will find designs repeated across books), and unlike today's pattern books, they give no guidelines as to how the embroider was to be executed.  There are no color keys, no stitch diagrams, no materials lists.

So, as I continue to work on the pieces for my upcoming classes and for my big couching & laid project, I am also building up my "to do" list as I peruse these books.  It may be time to make some lists.