I went to India for a week, returned 3 days ago. I am working on Beyond TAST challenge now.
Mirror work will start on this embroidered border. Open chain stitch is worked in white thread and the chain stitch outline in silver thread.

This stitch is a combination of twisted chain stitch and shell chain stitch. The working of the stitch on Queenie’s blog.
The sampler is started with basic twisted shell chain stitch. The same stitch is worked in a curve in the second sample. Shorter twisted chains are worked in the next sample. The twisted chains is extended in the fourth sample. The twisted chains are worked on both sides in the last sample.
In the first sample, the twisted shell chains are alternatively worked with shell chain stitches. The zigzag twisted shell chain stitch is worked in the next sample. The twisted chains are worked on one colour and the shells are worked in lighter colour in the third sample. The twisted shell chain stitch is worked in two colours in the next sample. In the last sample, after working two rows of twisted shell chain stitches, the shell part was whipped with another thread.
An interesting stitch which combines twisted chain and shell chain. I liked working the samples with 6 strands of cotton skein. The sampler.
SSS.58.Twisted shell chain stitch sampler

We are back in Muscat slowly flowing into routine. I am better now.
The SSS challenge and TAST challenge both have new stitches to work. The upright cross stitch is an easy one. I hoping to start on it tomorrow. After that I have to work on beaded oyster stitch on TAST challenge.
Before returning to Muscat, I managed to work on my friend’s saree. A kutch work line along the width of the saree, which could be more than 40 inches.
The detail of the embroidery.
The kutchwork line in two colours was worked on the sleeves of the blouse also.
Nothing else was done other than this project and packing in Chennai, India. I have unpacked the fabrics bought in Chennai. Phew!! Some or most of them would require embroidery, which would be looked into during the next week. Lots of work to do.

I am two days late in posting the works in progress. It is hard to remember the days in Chennai. After completing the Q stitch on SSS challenge, a project on silk blouse was done during this week. This blouse fabric had a wide gold border. My neighbour wanted some simple embroidery with stones and beads. Started the embroidery work with chain stitch in green silk thread.
Another chain stitch row with gold thread.
The saree is also the same peach silk with gold border. We could get dark red stone, the medium red stones did not match well with the richness of the silk fabric. Therefore chain stitches in red silk thread was worked on the semi circles created by green chain stitch row. The dark red stones were to be stitched here. I was hoping to subdue the colour of the stone to match with the fabric.
A small motif in gold was scattered here and there on the saree. I tried work a motif in gold thread and beads. After working the red stones and gold beads.
My friend who was sewing this blouse for her sister, wanted white stones on this project. I started with the white stones hoping it would go well with the beads, red stones and embroidery.
Embroidery completed on both the sleeves of this peach silk blouse.
WIPW128-peach blouse
Another blouse is also there which needs to be embroidered.
Before starting the work on this blouse, I want to work whipped spoke stitch sampler for TAST challenge.

I am in Chennai, India for vacation. Embroidery is not part of this routine. Still some small assignments are worked in between other work. This tunic was worked in the summer of 2016.
After working two tunics in lemon green and white combination some pieces of lemon green fabric was lying around. A kutchwork embroidery seemed like a good idea. There was this tunic fabric in half white cotton block printed with the same colour.
I wanted to add another colour to this white. A medium majenta thread was chosen.
Drawing diagonal kutchwork on 2mm graph paper gives a dainty look. The border pattern-
The pattern below the neck-
I started with the first sleeve border.
Making the anchoring stiches was not so difficult. Care was required to work the stitch at the precise point and moving over or under the thread had to be accurate. The interlacing was not so easy, because of the daintiness of the pattern.
This is the same story in the second part of the journey, still it was better to work the outer squares.
Instead of looking for another colour, the single line kutch border was worked in green. An idea of working this border in white was considered and rejected.
I moved on to the yoke at this point. The kutch work in green thread.
The basic kutch squares worked in majenta.
Worked the border in majenta and the back stitch outline was worked in white. This piece was completed.
The border on another sleeve was worked.
The embroidered pieces and the tunic fabric was given for sewing.

white green majenta kutch tunic
The detail.
white green majenta kutch tunic-det
After a while, a cotton fabric with same lemon colour tones was bought for salwar [ Indian  pants].
white green majenta kutch tunic-salwar
I wore this tunic set last week. It was cool.

This weekend was a stitch free one, we drove to Dubai. I had thought of working on the way home, but eyes were too tired. The edges this week are quite interesting especially the 23rd edge. The free graphs for these edges are here.



The kutchwork border samples are skipped this week.

For some reason I was unable to post on my blog for the past two days

I have always had a fascination of Indian embroideries. This led me to buy a book-Ethnic embroidery of India by Usha Shrikant. Expensive and also very informative.
There was this kashmiri couching stitch.I had seen tunics with this embroidery,it is done in monocolour with thick thread.
Following the instructions from the book, I made some trials on a sampler.Itching to do it on a project[ what else but, a tunic?],I worked this stitch on neck and sleeves of this tunic-

Kashmiri couching on tunic-1kashmiri couching on tunic-2

First row is version of chain stitch variation[ I don’t remember which one] in dark blue
After that a row of simple couching in light blue.
The third row is one of the kashmiri couching stitches-

kashmiri couching on tunic-neck&sleeves

The embroidery was done after the tunic was sewn, the beige piece looked neglected, and invited me to try some thing there.I was cautious , just drew three lines and worked these three stitches. Actually the tunic [blue ikat weave , mercerized cotton] looked fabulous even without this embroidery.This was an opportunity to try something new.

The inspiration for this came,while looking at Wills India fashion week last year.Maybe it was a printed pattern, it was not very clear,it reminded me of old greek or roman borders on vases. Instead of using mono colour, I adapted  a pink and green combination, It looked like this-

pink and green border

The green was not technically green because, it has a line of blue in it.Sofar so good, then to enhance the effect I added some cream and gold. Now-

yoke border

I got it attached to a printed tunic with another cloth[I was very stubborn on this because, the pattern was made for this purpose] 

finished tunic

After seeing the overall effect, all I can say is I’ll  be open for changes in future.
I did not leave it at that, I custom made a patiala salwar for this, I wonder why?
One smart thing was I left this tunic set in Madras, when I went for my 25th school reunion.

This tunic is a light blue hand printed fabric. It is  a very fine cotton,ideal for summer wear. The color was perfect for jeans .but later on ,this also took the avatar of salwar top[Indian tunic].I made a  square pattern around  the mirror and repeated it as  a border design.-

Light blue cotton tunicFor the central motif, I just extended the basic pattern. the sleeve border design-sleeves of blue tunic

Just a touch of light green and very light blue for colour coordination. The tunic is done and resting in India, for the summer.