Stitch challenges
The stitch explorations on stitch challenges have not yet become part of the routine. I have to work on two stitches on TAST challenge. The TAST is over with 100 stitches this time around. It will be restarted in Jan “18 and SharonB has also mentioned that there will be another option called ‘ beyond TAST’ for people who have worked the earlier challenges. More details on Pintangle.
Few of the SSS stitches have to be worked. Some are used on projects- open chain stitch, outline stitch, Chinese knots. How to work  the latest stitch is the thought now, while working on these projects.
Projects
Blue shirt
After working the outline stitch, the flowers are worked in oyster stitches, the flower centre is worked in Chinese knots. These knots are quite easy to work with. Two challenge stitches are worked in this project. When I started learning embroidery, the new stitches were learnt and practiced on tunics and blouses. Brings back memories.
WIPW148-blush-2
Blue jute cotton
This project is keeping me totally occupied. The last step in the motif is the stem stitch. It is being worked again and again. Hoping to complete the front tomorrow and start with the first sleeve.
WIPW148-blujutet-4
There is always a thought that mind is held captive by big projects that are marked by the tailor.
Time factor- it has to be completed within reasonable time. Whether the tailor would do a good job and not letting other ideas intrude during the duration of the project and a tiredness which creeps in towards nearing the end. Worries looking at fabrics waiting to be designed. These thoughts are always there in the mind. And mind needs to be fresh to learn and work new stitches.

 

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Though the challenge stitches are not worked as band samplers, the outline stitch on SSS challenge was used on a blue shirt project. This is a work in progress.
WIPW147-blush-1
The blue jute was marked and the embroidery is consuming most of my time. Simple stitches worked over and over again. This week, I started with knots inside the fly stitches.
WIPW147-blujutet-3
Some wooden beads were worked in a pattern on the copper printed tunic also.
WIPW147-copoffst-2
Focus will be on blue jute cotton tunic during the week, because it has to go to the tailor. If possible, the work on blue shirt can be squeezed in between. Working on the copper tunic and blue shirt is stimulating. Small projects take less time to complete. And working on sewn clothing is satisfying too, they become ready to wear after the completion of the embroidery.

For the past few weeks, this challenge was kept aside to work on some tunic projects. The 35th week outline stitch of SSS challenge was worked on a blue striped shirt. The working of the stitch is on Queenie’s blog.
SSS.35.outline stitch
The outline stitch was worked in six strands of cotton skein.

The next step of working the flowers in oyster stitch has been started on this project.

.It was a long weekend for Eid in Muscat and it ended with two Indian festivals. The first one is Onam which celebrates the harvest in the state of Kerala, the second one is a religious one which was today. Our friend from Kerala gave us sumptuous lunch and today I prepared some special dishes.
Stitch challenge samplers were set aside this week.
Projects
Red striped tunic
Open chain stitch of SSS challenge is used on this project. This stitch is often used on ethnic Gujarati and Rajasthani embroideries along with other stitches. Sometimes a whole project is worked in this stitch. In this project, the flower petals [filling] and the lines worked in red variegated thread are open chain stitches. Practicing the stitch is also part of the project. I am learning to maintain uniform working of the stitch through this project.
WIPW146-redstrt-3
After getting the blue jute cotton tunic fabric from the tailor, the tedious job of marking the places to work the embroidery motifs started. 1 inch lines are marked all over the front and sleeves. I have started working fly stitches in darker shade of the same blue. Lot more to go.
WIPW146-blujutet-2
An idea to work wood beads on copper tunic needs to be implemented.
Once these projects become comfortable routine, I might take a break and work on stitch challenges. Till then it is hard to relax to work on samples.

Stitch challenges
This week I could work on one stitch sampler on SSS challenge- Chinese cross stitch. Three more stitches to be tackled on this five stitch session- braid stitch, Chinese knot and Japanese stitch.
There was a combination of feather and chain stitch on TAST challenge last week which I have been too busy to work.
There was no progress on kasuti sampler.
Projects
A pattern was drawn for the red striped tunic. The embroidery will be around the arm hole in the front starting from the shoulders. After drawing and tracing the pattern on red fabric, chain stitch borders were started with dark violet thread.
WIPW145-redstrt-2
This fabric is jute cotton. Yet to gather information about this. It is not too pricey, bought in Chennai, India, have seen this fabric in outlets like FABINDIA. But the durability and comfort factor needs to be seen.  Implementing an idea to have embroidery in the front and sleeves, the fabric is with the tailor to be marked.
WIPW145-blujutet-1
Now I have tunics made of two fabrics. The first one is a combo of plain brown and black block printed fabric.
WIPW145-broblacomt-1
The second tunic is a combination of two printed fabrics.
WIPW145-copoffst-1
How to embellish these two tunics is the next thing in the agenda.

The working of the stitch is on Queenie’s blog. After coming across this stitch many times over the years, there was never a thought, that this could be a stitch by itself. It looked like a filling or unfinished filling stitch. After seeing this on SSS challenge, I thought the braid stitch can be learnt later and started with this stitch sampler.
The sampler starts with individual Chinese cross stitches. Two crosses are worked together in the second sample. The crosses are worked continuously in a row in the third sample. It started with two rows of Chinese cross stitches in the fourth sample, but realized it has to be varied to get a flowing pattern.
SSS.32.chicrosst-1
The variation was made in the first sample in this part of the sampler. This will make nice filling pattern. Two rows of Chinese cross stitches are worked with space between them. This way other stitches can be incorporated along with this stitch to make a nice border. Upright Chinese crosses are worked in the third sample. The Chinese crosses and upright Chinese crosses are worked together to form a border in the fourth sample. Three Chinese crosses are used as border in the last sample.
SSS.32.chicrosst-2
Individual Chinese crosses and upright crosses are worked in the first sample. Two rows of upright crosses are worked in the second sample. Working the Chinese crosses in two colours are tried in the last two samples.
SSS.32.chicrosst-3
The completed sampler –
SSS.32. Chinese cross stitch sampler
This Chinese cross can be used for filling and border patterns. Easy to work stitch. This stitch can be used to add texture to otherwise plain fabric too, like Sashiko embroidery. Just pondering over some ideas.

We had family visiting from India. They left on Tuesday last week. I was never near the needles or thread or computer during that time to post progress.
The stitches on SSS challenge of the last three weeks are yet to be tackled. The braid stitch is a stitch to be learnt, this might be worked on a string bag. The design is yet to be drawn. Hoping to start the Chinese cross stitch samples today. The method of working the Chinese knots will have to be considered after this.
The TAST challenge has to be visited on Pintangle.
A few borders in Kasuti embroidery was worked on the sampler cloth. This will be a separate post from now on.
WIPW144-Kasuti-sam
Projects
The embroidery with green thread on black fabric for green blouse was completed. The zardosi work on pink fabric for violet matka silk was also completed.
The kutchwork border designs were drawn on cream / half white cotton fabric. This will be long project, so the progress may not be regular. It started with working near the edge.
WIPW144- cream tkutch-1
We had open chain stitch on SSS challenge. This stitch is often used in some Indian ethnic embroidery. To work this stitch for this red striped tunic, is the next project idea.
WIPW144-redstrt-1
Another project idea is also there, which will be shared on next work in progress Wednesday post.