Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tally Practice

After my last effort with tallies I decided I needed more practice as well as some help. So I tottered off for a lesson with a reputable lace teacher. I wanted to have a lesson on tallies, and not waste precious lesson time on working plaits to get to the tallies, so found another design in another book that was just about all tallies. Yippee! OK, there were two footsides and one plait but I thought that would be easy enough, so I set about making the pricking & setting up the lace ready for my lesson.

Mmm............. how did I start this piece of lace? Back to the book, no help there. OK, so author assumes only experienced lace makers want to use their books. Not so, but I still had a problem & needed to solve it. So I just "had a go" and have no idea what I did. I was OK with the footsides, but it was the tally/plait junction that had me stumped. All of a sudden I discoverd something called "6 pr crossings", now that was new! So were the picots on both sides of the plait. Now did I say this piece of lace was going to be easy?

So, my easy piece of lace that was going to give me lots of practice with tallies, also gave me lessons in other lace techniques as well. My tallies have definately improved, I have learnt that there is more than one way to do a 6 pr crossing, twisted picots on the right are worked different than twisted picots on the left (& yes I need to practice those to get rid of the "rabbit ears", I learnt about "cluny crossings" rather than traditional Bedfordshire crossings, the fact that I need to concentrate when doing footsides on both sides, and that I need to think about the start of a desgin & change it if necessary.

Ah......... so much to think about, but at the ned of the day my tallies did improve, and that was the aim of the exercise. I wonder what I will learn with the next piece.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bedfordshire Edge 2

I have been continuing on with the samples in Pamela Nottingham's "Bedfordshire Lace Making" as per my challenge 3 for 2009 which I lised here. Pattern No.2 is a continuation of the first, revising the footside, the plaits & the picots, as well as introducing the "leaf" or "petal" shaped tally. It has been quite some years since I have worked tallies, and then only a few of the square ones, so these leaf shaped ones are new to me. I was brave, and had a go all by myself. All I can say is that they definately take practice, practice, practice & still more practice. I wasn't too happy with them on the pillow, but now the lace is off the pillow I feel much happier with them, and they definately got better the more I did.

The pic above is the beginning of the sample, where I had absolutely no idea as to what I was doing. Girls on one of my on-line lace groups have given encouraging comments such as "all leaves are different in nature" & " it takes about 1000 tallies to get them right". One lady asked if my tallies looked like silverfish........................ ah, yes, at least the first couple do. I soon learnt to widen them.

This next pic is the center section of the sample and they are definately fatter than silverfish.
I read as many books as I could find, and got suggestions from a few people on-line. In the end I worked out my own method and was reasonally happy with what I ended up with. I just had trouble with them twisting. I think this might be a tension thing but I am not sure.

The last pic is the final end of the sample, definately much better than the beginning. I am not sure if I am connecting them correctly to the footside, and the outside edge of the tallies are not as smooth as I would like. So I have booked myself in for a lesson with a reputable lace teacher who only lives five minutes drive from me. So this sample is going to be repeated, maybe in a different thread.
All in all I think I did OK for a first effort by myself. My picots have definately got better as well, that is if I don't miss one. Any comments on how to improve these tallies will be greatfully recieved.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Mandy's Band Sampler

I have finished stitching on another sampler. This one is for Mandy and is part of the Counted thread Round Robin that I am participating in for the Stitching Sisters on-line group that I belong to.
Here is the sampler when it first arrived back in January. Before it arrived, I had thought that I would do some blackwork on it. But when it actually arrived in the flesh, I felt that a blackwork pattern would not quite work at the stage that the sampler was in. So I had to put my thinking cap on & let the sampler talk to me for a little while. The first thing it said to me was colour. There were lots of colours happening already and I needed to work something that would bring all the colours together. So I went through my stash of threads and picked out those that I thought would work in some way, shape or form. I then let my needle go where it felt like going.

In the end I worked eleven smaller rows of stitching, which in the end formed into two bands, one wide & one narrow. The rows were worked as follows:-
1. A row of four sided stitch in yellow ( a colour I only occasionally work in )

2. A row of four sided stitch in green, leaving four threads between the previous row & this one.

3. Removing the four threads left between the rows of four sided stitch & wrapping the remaining threads in an orange hand dyed Perle 12.

4. A row of alternating half eyelets in another green, with the gaps filled in with a third green.

5. A row of alternating half eyelets in the same green as before, with no gaps filled in.

6. A mirror immage of row 5.

7. A mirror immage of row 4.

8. A repeat of row 2.

9. A repeat of row 1.

10. A repeat of row 3.

11. A simple row of a blackwork pattern which I alternately flipped vertically. This row was worked in a deep pink to match work previously done in the sampler.

I think the colours that I have chosen have worked and I hope that Mandy loves what I have done. I know I certainly enjoyed working this sampler & could have continued working on it to the end. Unfortunately this is not how a RR works, but I am now enthused to start a sampler of my own, to work on how I want & how my mood takes me.
Below is a close-up of part of my band. It is amazing what close-up pics show, and no, it is not a mistake, just a loose thread that needs snipping (whew!). For some reason Blogger is playing nasty games & turning things sideways.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

More Bookmarks

I have finished off two more bookmarks over the last few days. They didn't take much as the stitching was already done & they just needed some backing. Both started off being samples for this piece, which I worked for the Stitchers Plus Group that I belong to. I just turned the samples into something usefull!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Inspiring Thankyou

As I usually do every day, this morning I did my blog surf and found this award sitting and waiting for me over at Laura's Lace. Well, how surprised was I ! To think that Laura thinks my blog "rocks" is just amazing, considering the beautiful Bedforshire Lace this girl produces, compared to my puny efforts.

OK, so to pass it on, I could very easilly give it back to Laura, and also to Adrianna, but considering this is from whence the award in question came, I think I might give it out to someone different. So...............

the lucky recepients are...............................

Guzzisue - Who has urged me on with my challenge into Bedforshire Lace,

MargB - Who is doing some amazing drawn thread,

Norma - Who's adventures into the world of bobbin lace inspired me to pick up my own bobbins again,

and last but not least,

Jan for finding the positive in every day.

You are all so deserving of this. Thank you all for inspiring my days.

Pulled Thread Bookmark - June TIF Challenge

Yesterday I finally finished the TIF challenge for June. Only nine months late, but who is counting.
This bookmark started purely as a sample for stitching eyelets onto this RR Sampler, then ended up being part of the TIF challenge run by Sharon B last year. The stitching has been finished for quite some time, all it needed was a backing fabric to be slip hemmed onto the back to hide the reverse side. Now it can be ticked off the list. Yippee!