The other day when I showed you my failed attempt at the gold lattice work on the blue silk fabric on the Mission Rose project, most of you guessed pretty quickly that I’d fall back on vermicelli goldwork over the blue silk. And I did!
Vermicelli is an appropriate name for this meandering, worm-like technique involving a fine couched thread. I used it extensively in the Marian Medallion Project as a background for the whole medallion. It served really well in that project for securing the flat silk used in the background. I almost regret not using flat silk in the corners on the Mission Rose.
But the technique works equally as well over fabric, too. And so, I opted for it – much better than the lattice work, methinks.
But did I ever show you the goldwork treatment on the smaller leaves on the rose part of the design? Here it is!
It’s smooth gold passing thread (size 5), couched double along the stems and then, right at the base of the leaf, it splits into single lines, wraps up the sides of the leaf, and the thread ends are taken to the back at the tip of the leaf.
And here’s the top of the design, with the first corner of vermicelli worked. It was a cloudy, dark day, so the gold isn’t gleaming at its best in this shot, but the gold does gleam quite a bit!
Here, you can see the vermicelli meandering along. I’m using a thread called Elizabethan twist, which is a very fine, two-ply slightly twisted goldwork thread, and I’m couching it with YLI 100 wt silk sewing thread that’s been run through beeswax.
Elizabethan twist takes the curves in this kind of work really well. This vermicelli technique is not limited to goldwork, though. You can work this technique with any type of thread that you want to couch in squiggly lines. The idea is that the thread keeps turning and meandering around itself, filling in an area without ever overlapping or running back into itself.
If you’re wondering about the frames – the marquise-shaped central frame and the outer rectangle – they will be worked in different types of couched gold, completely covering the felt. I have a few ideas brewing, but I need to test them before I’m absolutely certain about which gold thread I’ll use. Soon as I know, you’ll know!
But first thing’s first – must finish all four corners. Fingers crossed for this weekend! I’m dying to get to the frames!
I really appreciated all your input and good ideas expressed in the last article on the failed lattice! If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions here, I’m all ears, too! Have your say below!