‘Struth! I have got to get this blackwork fish FINished! And with that in mind, here and there over the past week – 15 minutes here, 10 minutes there, even an hour hither and yon, I set about to make some progress.
Actually, I set about to finish it, but I didn’t make it that far!
When last we left the blackwork fish, he was just barely afloat, looking like this:
Really, it doesn’t look like that much stitching to do, does it? But those fins are lots of random-sized backstitches made with a tiny thread. And for some reason, they take ages to do. It’s almost embarrassing to admit, but I even fell asleep a couple times while stitching on this. On the upside, I didn’t drool on the piece… on the downside, this might be why it’s taking me so long.
After working on the fins off and on over the last week, yesterday I found myself at this point. And I said to myself, “Today, I WILL finish the fins.”
The lower fin area, though, still needs some touches. I worked a bit of extra stitching in the lines on the front fin, so I think I’ll do the same on the back fin. Eventually.
The little lines add a bit of shading to the fin, and I think it looks kind of funny that the front fin has that shading but the back one doesn’t. You can see along the belly of the fish – towards the top right of the photo – how I added some slanted lines there? That’s probably how I’ll handle that back fin – just some simple straight stitches that won’t take any time at all, really.
When I finished the top fin, my original plan was not to stitch any vertical lines on that fin. But once I finished filling in the top fin, I got to thinking that the stitching alone doesn’t define the shape of the sections of the fin.
Looking at the fish from this angle, you can see that the stitched lines are somewhat scalloped, very “wobbly” – that’s on purpose, actually, but from here, it just looks like sloppy stitching! – and fairly undefined.
So I decided to go back in and stitch some vertical lines with a fine thread. I like it better. There’s that one little area in the middle where things are a bit bunched up, but I’m not fretting over that!
Just to give some perspective, here’s the frame sitting on the sofa with supplies and so forth. The stretcher bars are 14″ wide. So he isn’t exactly “huge,” but he sure has taken a looooong time to stitch!
As the school year approaches, I’m leaning more towards the fish on the outer pocket of a tote bag. You can never have too many tote bags when you teach! The bag I envision would be black on the outside, lined with a black and white print on the inside, and maybe some contrasting details outside, too, though I don’t know about that. I don’t want to put the fish up next to anything white-white, though, since the ground fabric behind the fish is not a “bright white.” It would have to be a very tailored looking tote, though, methinks. I’m not really a tote-maker, so I may have to find someone out there who has good finishing skills and likes making bags!
Well, I suppose we’ll see. In the meantime, there’s the fish! Bubbles next, then finishing touches!