Most embroiderers will agree that when we’re not satisfied with our stitching, we’re prone to react certain ways towards our projects. Me? I go two ways, depending on my frame of mind: 1. If I’m feeling determined and curious about the project, I’ll correct the problem right away, no matter how much time or trouble is involved; or 2. If I’m not wholly “into” the project and I’m already looking ahead to the greener pastures of another project, I’ll usually turf it, or at least relegate the project to a shelf – maybe to resurrect later, maybe not.
The Floral Glove project is one that I’m rather ferociously determined about, so the idea of doing a little picking didn’t bother me at all. In fact, in such circumstances, picking out stitches is always a good thing!
Although the project is not meant to be symmetrical, I could not find happiness in the look of this flower, which, as you can see, is somewhat sloppily stitched. You can see little bits of white between the layers, for example. I knew there would be some gold in there, but still – I just wasn’t satisfied with the look of it! At the same time, as I approached adding the gold Elizabethan twist around each layer of the flower, my mind boggled at how I would add the gold around the outside layer without plunging on both sides of every outside petal. I really didn’t want to do that.
The only thing for it, then, was to pick out the flower and start over with it.
The stitched flower here is very small – maybe an inch total in diameter. I had plenty of Soie de Paris to stitch another one, because the kit came with full spools of this magnificent thread, and this is really the only element that uses the color, except for a little bit of the red around the outside of the roundels at the base of the project. So, anyway, I had plenty of thread.
Like all Au Ver a Soie products, Soie de Paris is great. I’ve used the thread before in little applications, but never in needlepainting (long and short stitch) techniques or with satin stitch. It’s dreamy stuff! It’s filament silk, twisted. Some day, I’d like to do a silk project that predominantly features this thread! It reminds me of the silks used at the turn of the last century (1800’s-1900’s) on church vestments – a beautiful sheen, a fine thread, a soft twist. And, because of that twist, it’s a much easier-to-use filament silk than “flat” silks. And (yes, there’s more!), because of the twist, it catches the light a different way. It’s splendid. And it just. feels. good.
I started the stitch-picking by slashing carefully through the satin stitches on each petal of the flower, on the front and on the back.
Then, I took out my tweezers (which no embroiderer’s workbasket should be without), and I started picking away.
There is always something satisfactory in picking out faulty embroidery stitches. I know, I know!! We tend to think that “frogging” (rip-it, rip-it) is a horrid hassle, and to go through it is a nightmare. But really, the satisfaction of knowing you’re going to put something to rights and love your embroidery all over again makes picking out stitches a wondrous thing!
It actually makes me happy when I get to this point – when I’ve made the decision to pick the stuff out, and I can’t turn back.
And here we are – back at the original. See, that wasn’t too painful, was it? The fabric withstood the picking just fine.
In the instructions, there’s a line drawing that shows what thread is used where with what stitches on the project. So I cut out the flower from the line drawing. The flower on the right above is the original. It was too small to cover entirely the original flower on the fabric, so I blew it up by photocopying the little thing at 110%. This worked great. The flower on the left (above) is the slightly larger flower.
I sat down with a black fine tipped marker and some white-out, and touched up the flower, to get it ready to trace.
Then, lining up the flower on the back of the fabric while holding the frame up in front of a light, I situated the paper where I wanted and taped it to the back of the fabric. Still holding the piece in front of a light, I carefully traced the larger flower over the area on the fabric with the original flower was.
I used a .005 Sakura Micron Pigma pen in brown, so that I could distinguish which lines were which with relative ease. And now that the flower looks the way I prefer it, I think I’ll do a better job stitching it, and I think it will turn out a little better than my first attempt.
So what do you think about ripping out stitches? Does it bother you to do it? Do you ever feel elated once you’ve done it, happy to be on the right track again? Or is it a grumbly thing for you? Do you think I’m being a bit over-persnickity on my stitching on this piece? Would you have left it, or would you have attempted a correction? Leave a comment and let me know!