Do you have an embroidery wish list? Those things you want to do, that keep adding up in a long, never-ending list of Stitching Adventures?
I do. If I look at it as a whole, I realize that life is probably too short to fit it all in. So I like to break it down a bit.
Before January struck and the year turned over, I made a list of Embroidery (and other needlework-related) Adventures for 2016.
In the last few weeks, I’ve mapped out my Plan of Attack for 2016. Now that I’ve done that, I can share with you my official 2016 list with greater confidence that we might actually see most of it!
The funny thing is, even my yearly list is a bit much. In reality, I know I won’t complete everything on it, but I’ll at least get it started.
I figure if I aim high, then when I land at the end of the year, I’ll be further along than otherwise.
Just so you know, this article contains affiliate links for a couple Craftsy classes that are available to help you with different techniques I mention below. This means I get a small kickback from Craftsy if anyone signs up for a class using my link.
So, here’s my round-up of things I want to accomplish and things I want to play with in 2016. They’re in no particular order of importance. Taken as a whole, they’ll give you an idea of at least some of the topics we’ll delve into this year.
1. Goldwork and silk – bespoke work
I’ve been asked to take on a couple small pieces of bespoke work (commissions) this year, and I have to admit, it was such an honor to be asked, that I couldn’t say no! I’ve been given a lot of leeway in the design and execution and a very flexible deadline.
At least one of these pieces will be in goldwork and silk.
Although ecclesiastical in design, the techniques apply to any design style, so I’ll be sharing my adventures with both pieces as the year progresses. I’m really looking forward to getting them underway.
If you want to follow along with them and learn, but you’ve never done goldwork before, I highly recommend Lucy Barter’s Goldwork class on Craftsy. You can read my full review of it here.
I’ll be using many of the techniques that she covers in that class. The class is So Worth It, even if you’re already pretty proficient in goldwork. If you haven’t delved into the marvels of goldwork yet, but you’re intrigued, now’s a good time to get in on this class, as it’s on sale for less than $20.
2. Pattern development
Speaking of goldwork and silk and ecclesiastical stuff, I have a folio of full sized ecclesiastical patterns from 1900 that needs my attention.
I plan to clean up some of those patterns and adapt some of the designs for secular use. It has some great borders in it! I’ll be sharing some of those patterns with you throughout this year.
Not necessarily figures like this doll I made last year, but similar in size!
I’ve been playing with some little things embroidered on felt. I want to perfect them, and then write up some tutorials and the like.
Felt is fun and user-friendly. While it’s a great place for beginners to start with embroidery, it’s also a good reminder to proficient embroiderers that embroidery is supposed to be fun!
4. Figure embroidery
And particularly, embroidered faces. This was on my list last year, but I was never able focus on it. I plan to this year.
I’m afraid I’ve got the stumpwork bug, especially after enjoying Celeste Chalasani’s Stumpwork Essentials class on Craftsy. You can read my full review of the class here.
Remember when I reviewed the book Stumpwork Flowers a while ago? Well, I’ve been re-reading it lately, and I’ve come up with a simple little design of my own that I want to work through that this year on Needle ‘n Thread.
So, I’ll be combining techniques from Celeste’s class and from Stumpwork Flowers, but putting my own spin on it. Think of this as an experimental adventure that we can undertake together.
If want to follow along with this adventure when it starts, do take Celeste’s class! This, and the goldwork class mentioned above, are both excellent ways to advance in your knowledge of embroidery techniques.
6. Yes, Cross Stitch!
Last autumn, I set up an Extreme Cross Stitch project. It is a huge piece. I organized everything including the threads (200 colors and blends) and set up the fabric. Now it’s time to start putting some stitches in.
This is not a project that will be finished this year or next (or the next, or the next). I suspect it will be a five-year project at the least. Probably a crazy-nutty idea. It’s a challenge for me on several different levels. And we all need a personal challenge now and then!
7. OPKs – that is, Other People’s Kits
First, I want to finish Late Harvest. That’s this kit I’ve been puttering with. It’s great fun!
I also have two other kits by other designers that I’d like to get going on, but whether or not I get to both this year is another question.
8. Learning to knit?
I’m toying with the idea of learning to knit. This is totally tentative.
If I go through with it, it won’t show up here on Needle ‘n Thread, because this is solely an embroidery website. But I like the idea of knitting, I like the portability of it, and I like the fact that I could make my own knitted hats to cover my bald chemo head!
So, to that end, I’ve been toying with knitting. I know how to do the simple knit stitch, but that’s the extent of my knowledge.
Now I’m contemplating two Craftsy classes (they’re just so dang convenient and economical!) – Learn to Knit: My First Scarf, followed by Learn to Knit: My First Hat. If any of you have taken either of these classes, I’d love to know how it went and what you thought.
To tell you the truth, deep down, I’d rather jump immediately from barely knowing how to do the knit stitch, to being able to knit Fair Isle tams, lace berets, cable knit sweaters, mittens, and the like. But I suppose it doesn’t work that way.
The pros: It would be nice to know how to knit and to add it to my repertoire of needlework-related things; it could be a good side hobby, away from my hobby-work.
The cons: It could take time away from my embroidery; I don’t want to build up an extensive knitting stash; and it could end up being a whim that passes with winter.
If you knit and embroider, what are your thoughts? Worth it?
9. A little design of my own
I have one independent little goldwork and silk design – small, like this Tudor Rose from eons ago – that I want to complete this year.
10. The inaugural sampler
I’ve been brewing an idea for surface embroidery samplers for a long time, and this is the year I’m working on the inaugural sampler in a series.
I don’t want to reveal too much about it just yet, but my goal was to create something perfectly suitable for the beginner just getting into embroidery, but enticing enough for beyond-beginners. I think I’ve done it! You’ll hear more about this project later in 2016. I’m excited about it!
And, you know…the Real Work
Between all this, I still have to do the real work of Needle ‘n Thread – all the other content that shows up here, too.
It’ll all unfold as the year progresses, but now that I have my list narrowed and a plan of attack in place, I feel pretty confident we’ll get to touch on all of the points above throughout 2016, and some of them, we might even see to completion.
Don’t you just love getting your lists and calendars organized? It always gives me a great feeling of accomplishment – even when I haven’t accomplished one thing on the list yet!
Any feedback? If you have suggestions, comments, ideas, questions, I have ears to hear them! Feel free to chat below!
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