Saturday, 4 July 2015

My new best mate

Isn't this description irresistible? I love word formation like hand-holdable! A 50% discount doesn't make matters worse either.

So, what prompted me to go hunting for a magnifier lamp? Well, the past few weeks I haven't felt like knitting much, which happens once in a while. Fortunately - as I need to keep my fingers busy anyway - I had applied for a three-week embroidery course at HV, which is where I spent most of June testing various stitches and learning about pattern and technique traditions. Pure luxury!

Above is a sample where I started testing blackwork and ended up with four variations. It was satisfying in a way similar to knitting swatches. Working the small one, first every second stitch with a single strand of yellow silk and then the rest with a strand of light green silk, is probably what made me decide I'd get a lamp to use at home!

I enjoyed techniques where you count threads best, like whitework where you work with pulled and drawn threads

pulled threads (hopdragssömmar)

drawn threads (utdragssömmar)

but it was also fun (but difficult!) to try to create pictures in the woolly horror vacui tradition of southern Sweden. Many old patterns show horses, which gave me the idea to make a needle case with seahorses (far more to my taste) which in turn led to other ocean-related shapes. A great way to test different stitches!

The seagrass on the cover was actually a last-moment solution to cover shell outlines where I failed miserably. They looked like skulls or mushrooms!

Seahorses may not have toothy grins, but there was some space that I couldn't resist making use of:

And the whole thing looks like this:

Looking at my needle case makes me wonder if I'm five years old, but a quick glance at the magnifier lamp box reminds me I'm not. So be it - as long as I don't have to stitch her project design.


christinelaennec said...

How very interesting. My eyesight is now such that all I need to do achieve magnification is to take out my contact lenses or take off my glasses. Great for close-up handwork, not so good for seeing anything 6 inches past my nose! So something like this could come in handy...

One of my very best pals is my daylight lamp, especially in winter. Well, it's actually just a daylight light bulb in an ordinary standing lamp. From the outside, it makes our living room look like a supermarket aisle with its blue glow, which I rather regret for the neighbours' sakes. But it makes knitting (etc.) so very much easier. So I close the curtains early in the winter...

mathomhouse said...

I love blackwork. Strangely, I've not yet tried it in any color other than black. -- Best, Jeanne

ron huber said...

Everything you turn your hand to turns out beautifully. My mother used to do cut work which seems to be almost the same as what you call drawn threads. I feel peaceful just looking at your lovely needle case. I hope to see more work in this line.
Ron in Mexico