On Monday, I showed you the little reticello sampler I’m dabbling with. It’s an exploratory thing, just for my own information at this point. Many of you have asked if this will be in the Stitch Snippets series this year. No – no no. Oh no. Nope! That’s not to say it won’t develop into something else, but the Snippets for this year are pretty much planned out already.
This piece is really just for my own information, learning, trials and errors, and so forth.
I have a question I want to ask you about it, though, so I’ll do that at the end of today’s article.
My sister asked the other day how my Easter Windows are coming along, and that name has stuck on this project. It’s not intended to be any particular theme, though. I’m only using colored threads so that I can clearly see the interaction of the thread and the fabric as I piddle about. If I were doing this in earnest, I’d be using a thread that matches the ground fabric for this part of the work.
Overall, I’m having fun! I’ve made some good mistakes, which keeps the whole process realistic.
I like making mistakes when I start to delve into this kind of exploration. It helps me get the hang of the whole technique much better. Once you’ve had to work your way out of a mistake and do some troubleshooting, you end up knowing the process so much better.
By the way, reticella (with an “a”) and reticello (with an “o”) are used interchangeably for this type of cutwork lace. If you want to know more about this type of Italian cutwork lace, you can read about it here. There are loads of resources online – look up either “reticella” or “reticello” and the world of Italian needle laces will open up before you!
Here’s a typical mistake in this type of cut thread work. I cut the thread. Unfortunately, it was the wrong thread.
This is the type of mistake that intimidates a lot of stitchers. Whenever cutwork or drawn thread or something similar comes up, I often hear statements like, “I could never do that. What if I cut the wrong thread?”
Well… it really is just a thread. Cutting it is not going to end the world. It can be repaired – and pretty easily, too.
To repair this, I removed the cut thread entirely, up to the edge of the motif.
Then, I took a thread from the edge of the fabric – one that runs parallel to the thread I just removed – and I anchored it in the back of the stitches on the sides of the window by running it under the backs of several stitches and hitching it around the final stitch, to make sure it was good and secure.
Then, I brought it out on the edge exactly where the original thread should have been.
Consulting the thread below to make sure I had the right sequence (in this case, under-over, not over-under), I wove the new fabric thread in place…
…and anchored the thread on the opposite side, where the original thread had ended.
Depending on the type of drawn thread work you’re doing, and how you manage your cut threads in the work, there are different ways of making such repairs. This is one of the easiest, and it takes barely any time at all.
See? Nothing to be intimidated by!
I really do enjoy this type of work, but I don’t do it very often. I’m happy to be able to enjoy it again for a little while!
To put things, size-wise, in perspective, I should mention that the little purple window that I just fixed is small. The opening is less than an inch square. The whole window, frame and all, is not quite 1.125″ square (one and one-eighth inch). The fabric is about 37 threads per inch.
I’d like to know if you would be interested in some excellent Italian books on this technique. I’m considering bringing some in. I’m all ears, if you’re keen on the idea! You can drop me a line, or you can chime in below.