Stitch challenges
SSS challenge does not have any new stitch this week. Queenie is using last five weeks stitches on a project. At present I am not planning to do anything this week. But eager to see how all these stitches are used by Queenie.
Last week’s TAST challenge stitch sampler was completed and the link was posted. This week’s stitch is alternating up and down buttonhole stitch. The samples were worked during earlier TAST challenge. The link to the post was posted on FB group page yesterday.
The other challenges are yet to be part of weekly routine.
Zardosi
The embroidery on cream raw silk was completed and the tunic fabric along with the embroidered piece is given to the tailor. The silk fabrics with lining are ideal for cool weather. I had bought some silk fabrics in India on my earlier trips. They are brought out now to be embroidered. Though a general idea was there when these fabrics were bought, it is only at the time of making them into a project the ideas are coming into shape. Another dark green fabric is in queue for zardosi embroidery.
Cross stitch
Some progress was made on the sleeves of the navy blue polyester linen tunic.
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After working on current project during the day, the evenings are spent browsing the net for ideas. Focus is on zardosi embroidery. The zardosi beads look grand on silk fabrics. Most of the designs involve all over embroidery or heavy work on sarees and blouses. Not suitable for my requirement. Still looking around. yesterday some browsing was done on Parsi embroidery too. The idea of parsi embroidery was implemented on a few tunics some years ago. It was trial error at that time. may be it is time to try it again.

We have a new decorative stitch on TAST challenge. The working is explained by SharonB here. It is nice to be learning new applications of stitches on this challenge.
I started with the basic fancy herringbone stitch as shown by Sharon in the first sample. It is easy to see how the stitch is worked from this sample, but felt it didn’t look neat, so decided to decrease the height and width of the herringbone stitch row in the second sample. It looked like a braid. Tried increasing the height in the third sample.
1-70-fanh-bonest-1
Worked closed herringbone stitch and worked the interlacing on that in the first sample. In the second sample, a version of double herringbone stitch was worked and the interlacing is done only on the shorter herringbone stitches.
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In this sample the upright crosses are worked slightly closer to the centre and the interlacing is done on the inner vertical stitches.
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After working double herringbone stitch rows, the interlacing is done continuously around the crosses in the first sample. After working upright crosses on one side of the herringbone stitch row, individual fly stitches are worked on that side. And the interlacing is done around the crosses and fly stitches. This way so many other stitches can be used like- detached chain, wheat ear, pistil, Danish knot -to name a few. Even other linear stitches can be worked alongside and interlacing can be worked on them. Fancy stitches open so many possibilities.
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The sampler-

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The last five rows before starting fancy interlacing.1-70-fanh-bonest-b

Challenges
On SSS challenge there is a new stitch- Japanese darning stitch. A sampler was worked yesterday.
On TAST 2017 also has a new stitch this week, fancy herringbone stitch, which was not part of earlier TAST challenges. Hoping to start this stitch sampler today or tomorrow.
The NESSAL and RPW2016 were not started or touched this week.
Zardsosi
After working the stem and arrowhead stitches, green zardosi beads are used for filling the paisleys and the space between the arrowhead stitches. I have started working the beads on the last outline, but yet to take the picture.
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Cross stitch
The sleeves of a navy blue polyester linen tunic will have cross stitch borders on them. Two borders were chosen from files downloaded on the internet.
After securing the edges of the Aida with buttonhole stitches, the borders were started. Three shades of blue and one dark red are to be used on this project. Work on this project will be after the completion of the zardosi embroidery.

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This Japanese darning stitch is the tenth stitch on Sunday stitch school challenge by Queenie. The working of the stitch is on her blog. This is the first time I have seen or heard of this stitch. SSS challenge is a very good idea. So many new stitches to learn and explore.
Started the sampler with the basic stitch. Queenie had worked this stitch in two colours to explain the working of the stitch. The treatment was tried in the second sample.
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The samples in this part of the sampler are worked with two rows of running stitch instead of three. First is the simple version. In the second sample, the running [?] stitches on the second row are worked in different heights. In the third sample, after skipping every second stitch on the bottom row, the running stitches are worked short and long alternatively. It was easier to work this sample than to write about it.
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The Japanese darning stitch with three rows of running stitches sandwiched between the two rows of running stitch version in the first sample. The Japanese darning stitch is worked as filling stitch in the last two samples, last one is an attempt to work the stitch diagonally. The last two were worked in stranded cotton and the rest of the sampler was worked with polyester thread.
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The whole sampler.
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Japanese darning stitch and its half version will lend themselves to lots of seam options. Browsing for this stitch led to Sashiko embroidery. That goes to To Do list. This stitch is used mostly to repair or embellish textiles.
This challenge is giving an opportunity to open new doors in embroidery.

Interlaced running stitch is this week’s stitch study on Queenie’s Sunday stitch school challenge. The working is there on her blog.
TAST challenge has been running for ten years now. Running stitch was explored twice on it. First time the running stitch samples were simple and some samples  were taken after the idea of pattern darning. Second time around the running stitches were used on Kantha embroidery. Interlacing did not feature both times. I had bought this book some time ago, which had some options and project for interlaced and whipped running stitches. And Queenie was kind enough to include this stitch on SSS challenge.
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The explorations
The sampler started with simple interlaced running stitch and a row of simple whipped running stitch[ the decision to whip the running stitches just came on its own!] the rest of the samples are variations of interlaced running stitches.
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After working the running stitches in rows, this part of the sampler has running stitches worked to handle interlacing in different ways.
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In the first sample the running [?] stitches are worked vertically. The next two rows are interlaced and whipped running stitch combination.
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These samples are worked following the book mentioned above.
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With these samples this sampler was completed.

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Challenges
On Sunday stitch school challenge last week’s heavy chain stitch was worked on folk design in red thread. This week’s stitch is interlaced running stitch. Expecting to start the sampler today.
TAST challenge continues from today. This week’s stitch is magic chain or checkered chain. The link to the earlier worked sampler was posted on FB group page.
No progress at all on RPW 2016 challenge. Another challenge for 2017 has started on their blog last week.
Never ending sampler SAL is still in stage of  browsing the other people’s work.
Zardosi
Started with green threads on this piece. Some more progress has been made on the curves with a lighter green thread on the curves. The picture will be taken after completing this treatment. Content with the progress on this project this week. It was slightly boring to work the chain stitches. Now working on stem stitch.
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If a change is required, a different project has to be worked, which will take time from this project.

This tunic was worked in 2013. The fabric is mangalagiri cotton. We call this colour as sandalwood colour. This fabric was fairly thin for it to be used for chikan work embroidery.
Though generally,  the chikan work embroidery being shadow work, the closed herringbone stitches are worked on the wrong side of the fabric. There are many exceptions to this.
I wanted to work closed herringbone stitches on both sides of the fabric.
The tunic.
sandal-chikan-tunic
The tailor had marked the sleeves and the front of the tunic. The yoke pattern
sanchik-yokepat
The yoke and the sleeve embroidery patterns were traced on to the fabric.
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The threads used were-
sanchik-threads
Starting with darkest colour, the closed herringbone stitches were worked.
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The next colour was also worked in the same manner.
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The third colour which was very light compared to the other two was worked on the right side of the fabric. This time it was fish bone stitch.
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Cream colour thread was used for outlines and french knots.
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The sleeves were worked in the same manner.
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The detail of the tunic.
sandal-chikan-tunic-det
Early 2013, my computer had some problem, and I lost most of the images of the details of the embroidery projects worked after june 2012. This kept me discouraged for quite some time. So there is a backlog of project details from 2013. I am hoping to post these whenever time permits.