There was very little progress on this project this week. During the last week of the challenge a framed border and alphabets were posted on the blog. Instead of working the same alphabets, we can design some other words also inside this frame. Initial idea was to work the alphabets, after seeing the chart, idea of designing either my name and year or some simple words like ‘God Bless’ or ‘Give Thanks’ and the year are going through the mind. It would be better to work one quarter of the frame for the time being and complete the work without looking at the chart later.
Last week’s gate stitch sampler was completed, detailed and posted on the blog. This week’s stitch is heavy chain stitch. This stitch can be worked on –
Kashmiri embroidery [multi colour]
European folk embroidery [mono colour – red]
Embroidery design for cord work [mono colour]
The learning of the stitch will commence after making the design choice.
At last I decided to work on the silk tunic. The selection was made keeping in mind the season in Muscat. Till March it will be cool in Muscat. If the embroidery on this tunic is completed, it can be worn now. The kantha work is on cotton fabric, which would be ideal for summer. Phew! May be if it is hard to make choices between projects, bring in another new factor! So after the completion of this project, the cross stitch on Aida for navy blue polyester fabric might be the next.
The main colour in this zardosi embroidery is green. The gold metallic thread is used for the glitter. A fine silk thread in wine red colour is brought in this week. The work in progress-
I have to post details of some tunics completed last year. Really need to make some time for it.
January 18, 2017
January 13, 2017
This week’s stitch on Sunday Stitch School challenge is gate stitch. It is a canvas stitch which can be worked on even weave or plain weave too. I have worked the samples as fillings on canvas. The working of the stitch is explained here.
Details of the samples from left to right.
The first sample is the basic gate stitch without any space between the satin stitches. The second sample is worked with spaces between the satin stitches. Alternate blocks are worked in gate stitch in the third sample. The same idea is continued in the fourth sample with two threads.
The vertical and horizontal versions of gate stitch are worked in the first sample. The satin stitches are worked in one thread and the overlapping cross and straight stitches are worked with different thread in the second sample. The gate stitches are worked at two levels in the third sample. The crosses are worked smaller than the satin stitches in the last sample.
The crosses are worked at different levels. The wide and narrow version of gate stitches are tried in the first four samples. The satin stitches are extended on top [fence like] on the next four samples.
Satin stitches are worked in twos and threes and are alternated in these samples.
I used polyester thread for working most of the samples and had to use tapestry needle # 16. It was hard work pushing and pulling through the holes of the canvas. If cotton skein had been used on tapestry# 26, it would have been easier. Still it is nice and easy stitch to learn. The sampler-
January 11, 2017
This was not touched this whole week, except for the taking a picture of the work left stand still. There is a fear that if this is not attended soon this will become an unfinished project.
January 17th is the next date for the stitch of the week to be announced on newest TAST challenge.
Four sided stitch was SSS stitch in December. This stitch sampler was completed this week. The latest stitch is gate stitch. Seems like a simple stitch and the samples could be worked on canvas.
All my embroidery projects were not worked for some time. I am in a dilemma whether to embark on a new project [being new year and all that] or try tackling the neglected ones. To get over this , both options were tried.
The kantha work on sleeves of this maroon and ikat tunic was restarted. This time it was anchor skein. Still working on the sleeve.
Leaf stitches or fishbone stitches are started on the linen string bag. Anchor cotton skein in three colours are combined to create these leaves.
Started chain stitches with gold metallic thread on this raw silk piece. This is a new project.
Though it has been a busy week stitching wise, I am not able to decide on one project. May be, after starting on SSS sampler, this can be decided.
January 7, 2017
After a few weeks break I am back on track with this stitch challenge. This stitch challenge is posted by Queenie on her blog. These stitches are stitches which are simple [till now] and did not feature in TAST challenges. The working of four sided stitch is here. This is a counted thread stitch but can also be worked on plain fabric with some practice. A nice variation from cross stitch.
This sampler started with the four sided stitches are worked over 3 holes, four holes, five holes and two holes, in that order. The sample worked over two holes is stitched with anchor cotton skein. Rest of the samples are worked in polyester thread.
Trying to familiarize with the stitch-
I changed the direction of the stitch in the first sample, worked individual stitches in the second sample, an up and down version in the third sample and the diagonal version worked horizontal in the fourth sample.
Since it is called four sided stitch and not square stitch, it became obligatory to work this stitch- as rectangles in first sample, angling the stitches to the left in the second sample and ablong diamonds in the third sample. After working these samples, fearing, working in this direction might lead to black work patterns and stopped right there.
Two versions of four sided stitches are worked together in these samples.
The four sided stitch worked over four holes is combined with four sided stitch worked over three holes in the first sample. Individual four sided stitches are worked inside four sided stitch worked over five holes in the second sample. Diagonal four sided stitches and basic four sided stitches are alternatively worked in the third sample. Individual stitches are worked inside alternative diagonal four sided stitches in the fourth sample.
Now for some stitch combinations.
Four sided stitch row worked with running stitch rows in the first sample. Double cross stitches are combined with this stitch in the second row [other isolated stitches can also be tried in this manner]. After working single long straight stitches in between these four sided stitches, sheaf stitches are used to tie and link them together in the third sample. It started with the idea of combining buttonhole stitches with four sided stitches in the fourth row, but ended up with combining cretan stitches. In the last sample, Danish knots, detached chain stitches and individual fly stitches are worked on four sided stitch row.
This after noon we went to the park [where we take a walk in the evenings] and sat on a bench. This was our view.
The stitch combinations were started at home and completed sitting on the bench. Time well spent. Very enjoyable hour. It is pleasantly cool in Muscat now.
The completed sampler-
December 14, 2016
Cyclone in Chennai
We are planning to go to Chennai, India for a week on Friday. This city was ravaged by cyclone on Monday. The electricity is yet to be restored. The mobile connections are also down. It is limping now. it will be a tough time. The next week would be free from stitching.
RPW 2016- this challenge is lagging behind. Previous week’s motifs are started and the motifs and the border can be worked in leisure without the chart now. Yet to do that on this week’s chart.
SSS- This week is a revision of the first five stitches. I am not planning to do anything this week, but will be browsing the other stitchers of this challenge.
TAST- zigzag woven chain is this week’s stitch on this challenge. The link to the samples worked earlier was posted on FB group page yesterday. This is the last stitch for this year. Sharon has hinted that after 100 stitches there might be some change.
This is the only project I am working on this embroidery. This needs to be completed before it goes to the tailor.
Two projects are awaiting to be designed on this subject. One is the orange tunic with chanderi patch and another is a white linen fabric. A basic idea of the design is ready for the white linen, it is yet to be drawn and traced on to white silk cotton piece, when the time permits! The design has to be created for the orange tunic.
I picked up this tunic from the tailor yesterday. The black borders will be worked with mirrors, someday I think! At least the tunic and the idea are ready.
String bag 
After tracing the design on to the linen fabric, initial stitches are made in stem stitch. Three strands of three different threads are used. Expectation was more to see the effect of three colours mixed together. It is less than I expected, still happy with it. Will see this after coming back from India.
Wishing for some really small projects to complete faster. All small projects are on sewn tunics. These days my interests in tunic designs seem bigger and bigger. Lots of time has to be invested for these works. Being bigger the designing also takes time. Too many choices and it is hard to draw a line. It appears the RPW challenge might extend way into 2017. That can be the excuse not to join next year’s RPW challenge.
December 10, 2016
This week’s stitch on Sunday Stitch School is Ermine stitch. The working is on Queenie’s blog. I have come across this so many times on embroidery stitch books and always thought this has to be tried one day, which never came till now. A very simple stitch, can also be cross stitch with three stitches
This stitch is worked with two strands of perle cotton [I think] on queenie’s blog. Continuing with that- the first row is the basic ermine stitch. The straight stitch in the centre is worked with another thread in the second row. In the third row the individual stitches are worked continuously to make this a linear stitch.
In these three rows the height of the three stitches are varied and explored.
In this part of the sampler, two ermine stitches are worked together-
the ermine stitch and its mirror image are worked in a line in the first sample. A long straight stitch is made in the second row, and two ermine stitches are worked one below the other. The ermine stitches are worked in opposite directions in the third row. The fourth row is the long and short version of the ermine stitches worked alternatively and this row should have been in the second part of the sampler, the idea came later. Two ermine stitches worked in opposite directions in the fifth row. The ermine stitch and its opposite version in another thread is worked beside it. the same treatment is continued on the last row.
Since this stitch is formed of a straight stitch and two crossed stitches, an idea of working these crosses over other stitches which have straight stitches. The four stitches chosen are –
Cretan stitch in the first row, buttonhole variation in the second row, pistil and long tailed detached chain in the third row.
The ermine stitches worked over them
I enjoyed working on this stitch sampler. The stitch gives room for many possibilities. Sometimes it can be used for filling wide spaces, creating shapes, securing long straight stitches, sometimes as a couching stitch too. After working on this stitch for some time, a rhythm is achieved, which can be used for working on plain fabric.