Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Elizabethan Twist on the Flower


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Elizabethan twist is a real metal thread used in goldwork embroidery. It’s very fine, and it’s made out of two even finer gold threads lightly twisted together. This is the stuff that is outlining most of the embroidered elements on the floral glove project. I love Elizabethan twist – it’s delicate, pretty, and adds just the right amount of gold sparkle around the edges of the silk embroidery. I finally managed to finish outlining the central flower on the project, so I thought I’d show you some progress!

Floral Glove Needle Case in silk and gold

Thanks for all the feedback on the flower fix, by the way! I appreciate all the different opinions on it, and while I agree that what it boils down to is what I like, since it’s my project, I still like to hear what other folks have to say about it. The one thing, I think, that really makes me happy with the flower as it is now is that it looks fairly identical to the one in the instructions, so I don’t feel like I’ve missed the boat, somehow, on the way the flower was supposed to come out. And now that the gold’s on it, I like it even better!

Floral Glove Needle Case in silk and gold

I’m a fan of side shots when working with silk and gold. The lighting isn’t the best here, but it at least allows a pretty good idea of the magnificent sheen of the Soie de Paris. This is going to end up being my new favorite thread, methinks! It’s a filament silk, lightly twisted, and it’s just gorgeous. But I went on about it last time, so I’ll spare you the ramblings again!!

Floral Glove Needle Case in silk and gold

This is where I am right now, and I’m hoping to put in some time today and get the gold onto the medallions on the lower part of the design.

The calix on the flower on the right is a bit sloppy, compared to the one on the left, which is (in my opinion) too symmetrical. But you know what? Neither of these bother me that much! They’re ok. The metal thread used on the calix is actually an olive-colored purl. At first, I thought it was silk purl, but in fact, it’s not. And that’s ok! I’ll show you this stuff up close later on, and talk a bit about handling it. Purl is a paradoxical metal thread – your fingernails can be your best friend or your worst enemy when working with the stuff!

So that’s where this project is. The blackwork fish is still hanging about, too, waiting to be finished up this week. At the end of this last week, all my family visiting from far away places left for home, and now Summer vacation is underway. I’m pretty sure it’ll be a good one! I’ll be on the road for a while in a couple weeks, but I’ll be keeping up with the blog while traveling. I hope to be able to show you some relevant “gems” along my vacation route! I’ll be stopping in at Winterthur at some point to see the Plimoth Jacket, which will be a real treat, and there are a few other places I’m hankering to visit that I hope will be of interest.

On that note, I’m still open for guest contributors for Needle ‘n Thread, if you’d like to read about the details. I’ve had a good response, but there’s still a few spaces left, so if you’re interested, don’t hesitate to contact me!

Enjoy the end of the weekend, and stay tuned this coming week for a fun give-away!


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(15) Comments

  1. I know my eyesight is not the greatest but how did you attach the gold? It’s not done in stitches. But I can’t see couching threads either. I know – you glued it on. LOL

  2. Now that you have completed the gold work on the flower, it is evident that your decision to restart and reshape the flower was definitely the way to go. It looks terrific!

  3. It’s looking good. I’m glad you adjusted the centre flower. I think it was worth the effort.

    What do you think of Soie de Paris as compared to Eterna mini-twist?

    1. Hi, All – Thanks for your comments!

      Irene – the gold is couched on, with little couching stitches. They pretty much blend in with the gold, but up close, they’re visible. There are different ways of couching on gold twist – I might cover that in a subsequent post. Nope, no glue on this one! LOL!

      Margaret – between the soie de paris and the eterna mini-twist, um….. how to put it? there’s a reason there’s a price difference, aside from the fact that the eterna mini-twist is made in China. Comparing the two is like comparing a “jalopy” to a Rolls Royce. For uniformity, quality of silk, ease of stitching with, and beauty, I think the Soie de Paris wins by a long shot. This doesn’t mean I wouldn’t use the mini-twist – it’s affordability makes it good for “casual” projects, trials, and petering about with the needle. But when it comes to making something extraordinary, that time and money are going to be invested in and that I want to be really fine embroidery, I’d definitely choose Soie de Paris over the mini-twist.

  4. Beautiful Mary, I just love the side shot! The threads have a beautiful sheen and it looks so nice! The couching of the gold thread is also so perfect!!!

  5. Wonderful embroidery. I love the side shot for pointing up the glow of the thread. The gleam was the first thing to hit my eye.

  6. The flower is absolutely lovely! Your fixes and the gold thread make it just perfect! I’m really enjoying watching your journey on this project!

  7. G’day Mary,

    This whole thing is looking sweet.

    The Elizabethan Twist is of good interest. I’m not really one for lots of gold. My appreciation has grown heaps though, thank you! The Twist appeals for the lighter touch.

    And I like that olive Purl. The side shot shows it up nicely.
    The word purl always makes me think of Auntie Pearl. A visiting lady brought scones and Uncle,thinking they were his wife’s, made the comment “These scones are not up to your usual standard Pearly” !!!

    That can’t be said said about this glove though. Give yourself a sticker or three.

    Cheers, Kath

  8. This is looking Great !!! My favorite flower is that middle flower, specially because of that lovely red and how it shines. Love how the Elizabethan Twist looks, just as you mentioned: “…itโ€™s delicate, pretty, and adds just the right amount of gold sparkle…”.

  9. I entirely concur with your comment about the purl – my fingernails more than once damaged a piece I’d intended to use, and it isn’t even as though I keep them particularly long – I’m a stitcher, after all!

  10. It looks great…and makes me feel guilty because I started the couching weeks ago and haven’t picked up the piece since. I’m afraid I find this part of it tedious, and I can never get my hands smooth enough not to snag the silk.

    I hope you’ll tell us more about your projected trip. Is it based on visiting particular needlework-related sites?

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