Issue 75 of Stitch magazine, was one called Perfect Petals, a very clever crewel sampler by Tracy A. Franklin using the shape of a 12-petalled flower. I remembered that amongst the spare Raffal scarves I bought last year was one in a green wool that was not going to lend itself to the Australian flora theme for which they were intended, so I dug it out.
At the Embroiderer's Guild I heard the sad news that Christina's on Prospect Road was closing its doors at the end of February, so I paid Monika, Rosemarie and Gunter a visit to wish them well in their move to online only, and to find some thread for this project. As always, they were very helpful and I do hope their business adjusts.
I came away with silk, rather than wool thread - Gumnut stars in light and dark purple and Gumnut buds in light and dark pink.
Unfortunately, the screws holding the hoop to my seat frame have come adrift and I am struggling to repair it, so I used a hand-held hoop - not good on my wrist.
The stitches, however, are terrific.
I struggled a bit with a stem stitch made up of bullions - but the effect is still quite good.
There is room to improvise and create your own textures.
It really is a lot of fun. There are endless possibilities using different colours and threads.
This is the first flower finished and I was happy to press on with another on the other end. I'm beginning to think about tassels - will I have the patience to make them for this scarf?
The other end was easier still because I was carrying the pattern on the finished end! I made a few changes, like running the couched lines along rather than across the leaf, and the colour sequences are different.
After talking to a friend in Melbourne, I decided to try a little bit of beading on the tied-off fringe, rather than tassels.
I used 3-4 seed beads on each fringe tie, in the colour range of the embroidery plus green. I like the result. It gives a little flash of colour without taking the eye from the embroidery.
I think the sampler pattern worked well on this scarf, but it would have plenty of other applications. I might use it again some day.