I’ve made a wee bit of progress on the Royal Persian Blossom crewel embroidery project from Talliaferro. I started a Royal Persian Blossom stitch-along over in Ask & Share, and since I’m the one who started it, I was beginning to feel rather guilty about not making much progress!
Well, I still haven’t made much progress, but it’s something, anyway.
In the really over-exposed photo above (!!), you can see that I’ve finished the top of this blossom-type something-or-other. I ended up using too many shades of the brownish-grays, I think. I’m pretty sure the instructions call for fewer, but I used practically the whole range, and the thing ended up looking pretty dark indeed. In the instructions, it says to shade from darker at the base to lighter at the top and then to work in some of the very lightest blue along the edge. I find, when working long and short stitch, that it’s easier to work from the larger part of the design and reduce to the narrower part, rather than starting narrow and getting larger, so I started at the top edge and worked down to the narrower point.
That little “bite” there at the base is a wee bit jagged, but filling the next section will help take care of that. There was some definite confusion when I transferred the design – there’s a mistake in the transfer on the right, so I’m going to try to work through that as I go, in order to salvage the area.
The Blue Thing (at the base of the Other Thing) presents another slight difficulty in shading, as you have to work from three directions, curving around those outside little swishes, and working into the middle. We’ll see if I can pull it off.
It’s been interesting working on this piece in the evenings, after working on a different (much smaller) crewel piece during the day, using different threads. The Royal Persian Blossom designs call for Appleton, so that’s been my thread choice in the evenings, but in the daylight hours, I’ve been working with Fine D’Aubusson, which is a fine French wool. How to describe the difference? Well, have you ever stitched with twine? I’d say the difference between stitching with the Fine D’Aubusson and stitching with Appleton is something like the difference between stitching with silk and stitching with raw twine.
If you’re having trouble with Appleton while you’re stitching (if your thread is pilling, or the plies are shredding and bunching), then the solution is to Change Your Needle! With Appleton, try a chenille needle in a larger size – like an 18 (or a 22). As a friend said, it’s like stitching with a railway spike! But it can make all the difference in how your wool behaves. If you’re using a crewel needle, a #5 or a #7 will work. If you’ve been frustrated with your thread, try the larger sizes (the #18 or the #5) and see if that helps you out a bit.
Questions, comments, suggestions? That’s what the space below is for – feel free!
Enjoy your day!