I bought a book called “Crewel Twists” by Hazel Blomkamps. I just leafed through it while at JoAnn’s and decided to buy it on a whim. OMG! It has become my favorite book. And, I bought some of the fabric that she based her projects on. (As well as her DVD which illustrates Needle Lace techniques used in the projects.) I’ve been patiently waiting until my Christmas Projects were done before beginning. But the wait is Over!
I picked, what I thought, was the least complicated project to get myself “into the grove” again and learn some new techniques. So I started with “Jacobean Tangle”. Got to set it up on my new frame and started with the first flower.
Of course, after the “easy” stuff was done (ie, satin stitch which I’m still trying to perfect), I then had to start my adventure into Needle Lace. After the first 5 or 6 attempts at it on another linen with larger thread, I realized it isn’t something that I can perfect in one sitting. (Ha-ha, Joke’s on me.) So I reminded myself that the whole purpose of this was to 1) make something lovely, 2) learn a new technique, and 3) enjoy the process! Therefore, with trepidation (and stitch picker in hand), I just jumped in and started.
You can see which one was the first. It’s the bottom petal. Tension is a factor and it does take completing one whole petal to realize what the correct tension is. As well as ensuring you don’t lose your count! But I like counted thread work so this really is “right up my alley”. I think the second petal is where it’s starting to come together.
I still need to add the twisted couching to the petals and the two outer bands above then petals. Then, the beads. I’m thinking I’ll add beads after all thread work is done. Just because I know (from my CQ Tins projects!) that once you add beads, your thread can become entangled on them while you are working on other areas of the project.
Part of the twisted couching process is to separate DMC thread into individual strands 1 yard in length and then twist two of these together. Once they have the right amount of twist, fold in half and twist the two halves together. So the end result is 4 strands of thread twisted together and then couched down with one strand of matching DMC thread.
I decided to do as Hazel recommends and buy a Spinner to do the thread twisting. There is a lot of this technique in the this project. So it just makes sense. I like the dimensional look it gives so I’m thinking I might use this more frequently than I originally intended. (Boy! I just love to rational and justify my purchases. ha-ha)