Lately, I’ve been stitching small stuff. Very small stuff.
I find small stitching to be engrossing and mesmerizing. There are a number of reasons why, I suppose.
Here’s a little sneak peek of what I’m working on at the moment. It might be a bit crazy, but it’s also crazy fun! I’m enjoying the design process, the stitching process, and even the re-stitching process!
The projects I’m working on are anywhere from 1.25″ – 1.5″ in size. It depends on the ground fabric, you see. I’m working on silk gauze, and I’ve designed the pieces for 48 count gauze (that’s 48 holes per inch). But they can also be worked on 40 count, which increases their finished size a wee bit.
And even though the projects are somewhat small, they pack in a lot of color – 15 colors of glorious silk, to be exact. You can see some of them above. At the point I took that photo, I was testing some reds. Some of the final color selections are missing: brighter greens, blues, yellows…
I do love color! And I do love silk!
Here’s one piece in progress. He isn’t quite there yet, but he’s coming along. I was making some thread decisions at this point, I think.
Incidentally, I’ve called this particular piece Dog.
I’m very good at naming things, am I not?
I like to play peekaboo with Dog and my pinkie finger. As you can see, Dog is quite small.
Unless, of course, my pinkie finger is huge – which it isn’t. It’s just average.
This little bit here is Cat.
This rendition of Cat had a few mistakes and needed to be re-stitched. I cut the preliminary sample out of the silk gauze, because I was sure I could find something fun to do with Cat.
But then I lost Cat. I’m pretty sure she ended up in the vacuum cleaner.
Mesmerizing & Engrossing Stitching
I always find this type of counted work very engrossing and somewhat mesmerizing.
One of the reasons is because I’m using a variety of color – there’s a lot packed into these little designs! And when the design is this small, the colors provide constant variety.
Another reason is that the little design elements unfold relatively quickly. I love to see all the little bits in the design coming to life!
And yet another reason I become very engrossed while stitching these little things has to do with my eyesight. I don’t use a magnifier, even when working this small.
Instead, I take off my regular glasses (I’m quite near sighted), and I bring my embroidery frame fairly close to my face. My work is much clearer this way, compared to when I use a magnifier. So everything beyond my embroidery fades away. My world becomes very focused on a small space.
When it’s stitching time, I turn on a good audiobook and it feels like I can go on forever in my tiny world!
That said, this type of work is not all that difficult to see. Keep in mind that silk gauze is not the same as, for example, linen or other fabric used for cross stitch. It’s like needlepoint canvas – the holes are relatively large, compared to the fibers making up the cloth.
So, although it might be hard for you to see the holes in 48 count linen when it comes to counted work, 48 count silk gauze is a different story altogether. Depending on your eyesight, good lighting might do the trick on its own – or simple magnification, if you already use a magnifier for detail work.
Stitching and re-stitching has rendered my pile of orts magnificently grown. I stuff these into a jar. You can see my jar here along with my Ode to Orts, which I think of every time I gather a pile and stuff another clump in.
So that’s one of the projects I’m working on these days. I’ll show it to you in greater detail soon, once I work all the kinks out.
What are you working on? Chime in below and tell us! I’d love to hear!