The long train journeys yesterday gave me the luxurious opportunity to actually spend some time stitching, so I started working on the canvas work (/needlepoint) adaptation of my Noro knitting wool oak leaf design (see earlier entry for pic). This time I used 18ct canvas and Carrie’s Threads 6-ply cotton, which has given me a little more flexibility with the design, in terms of both colours and stitches.
I’m really pleased with the ‘knobbly’ effect of the acorn cups, and I think the purples work well as a contrasting background colour to the autumnal greens. I’m stitching the background area in freeform bargello. By this I mean that instead of following a fixed, charted (or standard) bargello pattern, I have actually used the base lines of the oak leaves as the starting bargello line, so that the background complements the foreground & emphasises its natural contours, rather than detracts with an entirely independent pattern. In terms of bargello, I am ignoring the acorns, and just following the contours of the leaves to avoid unnecessary complication in the pattern.
It’s a very relaxing form to work, as once the central design has been stitched (which in itself doesn’t take an incredible amount of reference to the chart given its 4-way repeat) there’s no need to refer to a chart at all – you literally just stitch the bargello around the outer edge of the leaves. I stopped after 2 rows, as I need to work out the placement of the border before I continue – but it was an ideal project to work on while travelling.
I must confess I am a little annoyed with myself, as I got married earlier this year, and the theme of our wedding stationery was oak leaves (based on a verse about the oak and the cypress from Kahlil Gibran that we used in our vows). I had wanted to stitch a design to use, but at the time – with all the other wedding organisation pressures – I just didn’t have the time or inspiration. In the end, I drew a design, instead, which is – actually, essentially, anyway – a freeform bargello design, and we used the coloured ink drawing onthe stationery, instead. I’m annoyed now, because I seem to have oak leaf stitch patterns practically dripping from my fingers – I just couldn’t do it at the time when it would have been quite appropriate. Still, it doesn’t mean I can’t go back to the wedding stationery design and re-interpret it for stitch now, and I hadn’t thought about that until I began writing this, but I think, actually, I will. That’s that settled, then!