I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who has ever run into a rather major problem right in the middle of an embroidery project.
This problem is entirely of my own making – it’s one of underestimating (or perhaps of being overly optimistic? I can’t decide!)
In any case, I have a dilemma, and I’m totally open to your suggestions on how to solve it!
A while ago, I shared the beginning of this round goldwork frame that I’m working on right now. I’ll include the links at the end of this article, so you can see the backstory and how the project has developed step-by-step.
But in the meantime, let’s just launch into my little problem…
I’ve managed a bit of the filling on the frame, using couched pairs of gold passing thread.
I was going to say, “I’ve managed quite a bit of the filling,” but when you look at the photos, it doesn’t look like much at all.
Believe me, going around and around that area, couching tiny stitches over a pair of relatively tiny thread, it is a lot.
Now, my couching is not perfect, and I know it. But that’s not the dilemma or the mistake I’m talking about.
I would never pick out this kind of work just because I have the occasional not-perfectly-perpendicular couching stitch.
And the spacing with the couching stitches is not perfect, either.
Again…no! I wouldn’t consider that a dilemma. Occasionally, there are spacing discrepancies. When I noticed I had shifted my spacing, I did my best to get on track, but I wouldn’t beat myself up over it.
And there’s no way on this good earth that I’d pick it out!
So, nope. That’s not the problem, either.
Here, you can see that I’ve ended the passing thread. Now we’re getting to the problem!
To end the passing thread, incidentally, I staggered the two threads, ending the inside one first and taking the outside of the pair a little farther, to create a smoother end and to bring it into alignment with the complete circle.
And, even though it might not look “perfect” up close, once the frame is finished, it won’t draw the eye, which is the point. I’m satisfied with the end – so, in itself, the technique of ending the thread and how well (or not well) it was executed isn’t even the problem!
Here’s the whole frame so far.
And while you can’t exactly see the problem within the goldwork already stitched, there is definitely a problem!
And here it is:
I Grossly Underestimated the amount of passing thread I’d need, and I’m all out.
And you might think I could remedy that by getting more, but in fact, I can’t.
And let me tell you why: I used a spool of passing thread that I’ve had (wrapped in acid free tissue in a drawer) for about 6 years.
Purchasing a new spool at this point to continue with the filling will result, without a doubt, in two tones of gold passing thread, because this type of thread changes slightly in color over time.
Now, that’s the problem.
My dilemma is how to remedy the problem!
At this point, do I …
1. Split the frame in thirds, adding a new “break” with a heavier thread (like pearl purl, a twist, or something similar) and then fill the remainder with a different type of thread – say, a check thread or rococo, with a little wiggle in it?
2. Do I start all over again, using something like a gold Japanese thread (I have a huge hank of it) to fill this area in the same manner?
3. Do I start all over again, purchasing an adequate amount of the same type of gold passing thread?
Choice #1 leads me to question whether or not the frame will look pieced and really choppy.
Choice #2 makes me a little wary, because Japanese thread is so shiny, and this frame is being paired up with some antique embroidery that doesn’t have that kind of gleam to it.
Choice #3 … well, first, I’d have to find someone who would supply me with gold passing, uncut, with about twice the amount usually sold on a spool; and I’d have to buy it (my budget’s inordinately stretched at the moment); and I’d have to wait for it.
I’m Leaning Toward…
I’m leaning pretty heavily towards choice #1. But I want to know what you think!
Will the frame look like it’s been broken up in too many sections?
Will it look like I made a mistake and I’m trying to cover it, or will it look intentional as part of the original concept?
What do you think? Feel free to weigh in below – I’m all ears, and I’m eager to have some sound input from our little community!
Previous Articles on the Goldwork Frame
In chronological order, here are the previous articles on this project:
Salvaging Figure Embroidery: Combining Old and New
Slate Frame Adventures: Setting up for Goldwork
Selecting Goldwork & Silk Threads
Linen, Felt Padding, Silk, and Gold
Goldwork Frame: Small Progress
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