Working on gold Italian silk, using soie d’alger by Au Ver a Soie, this stole is an on-going project that someday I hope to finish! The stole is approximately 40 inches (on each side) of satin stitching, with stem stitch also used as a filler. I drew the pattern on graph paper, inspired by a very old vestment that was falling apart. I’ve completed one whole side of the stole (shown here), and I’m halfway up the other side, which is identical.
This is the base of the stole. I am not particularly pleased with the stark contrast in the red and pink, although it is harsher in the photo than in real life. I tried to stick as much with the original color scheme on a very old vestment as I could, and the contrast between the reds and the “pinks” was rather stark. My sister says this reminds her of something out of “Little Shop of Horrors,” a comment which I didn’t entirely appreciate, but I can certainly see where she’s coming from! The rays off the cross are stem stitched, and then I added a touch of blending filament. All the satin stitch thoughout the stole is padded – with two threads of soie d’alger. The satin stitching itself is done with one thread. (I’m firmly convinced you can only get a smooth stitch in satin stitch using one thread – unless you’re supremely careful and employ a laying tool.)
This is the first flower just above the cross. Although I really like the stylized flower / pomegranite-ish look, I am not so keen on the soft colors. Again, it was a matter of sticking as close to possible to the color scheme in the antique vestment. Overall, it looks ok, but I would have chosen deeper colors, personally. Working the flowers was fun. The “branch” of the vine (the gold scrolly stuff) was fun, too, but it got a little monotonous.
This is the next flower up. I like the red and the green, and the cross-hatching in the middle of the flower. This was my favorite flower to work, but I wish I had worked the dark red “arms” sticking out there in satin stitch, as opposed to stem stitch.
The next flower up. Violet and green are two of my favorite color combinations, and I like it even better when red and gold are thrown in. (Think daffodils, irises, and red roses.) Here, I would have liked to have done something more “dimensional” with the pale green undersides of the side “petals.”
The next little fellow up – and something weird and warbley going on over there on the right. I should have been a little more careful there. At this point, I was racing against the clock to finish the whole stole (and that was a couple years ago! The other half is taking me forever!)
Now we’re getting up towards the tip of the stole. These two little guys are much smaller than they appear here. The cross hatching wasn’t done with super precision – but it’s really not noticeable except when looking really closely. The pink thing is a bud.
This is working right towards the tip. On the original vestment, where these little bleeding hearts are, there were other flowers – clusters of five round balls, each a differnt pastel-like color. I wanted to keep the deeper red traveling through the whole stole, so I substituted these guys. This looks larger in the photo than it really is.
Forty inches later – The End!
Now, if I could only arrive at that point on the second half!