This year I decided to take an embroidery kit on holiday instead of a book, it’s much lighter to pack and it’s nice to have a bit of quiet time, even on holiday!
I chose one I bought last year at the Knitting and Stitching show, it’s designed by Jane Greenoff and I bought it as a bit of a trial; I’ve not done any counted thread embroidery before and I’ve admired the mini strawberry sampler book for a couple of years, it’s gorgeous, but for once I was sensible and decided to try one of the simpler kits first. Heather Hemstitch and Hardanger is a lovely band sampler, all in my favourite heathery colours. There’s a nice mix of stitches, cross-stitch, drawn thread, embroidery stitches and hardanger. To give you an idea of size it’s designed to be either made into a needlecase or framed as a picture.
What ever the instructions say I still can’t bring myself to measure down and start at the top, so I started in the middle with the cross-stitch flower, well within my comfort zone!! I then stitched upwards towards the drawn-thread. When I first read the instructions I wasn’t sure about it, but they are the sort of instructions that make complete sense once you actually start following them. Having said that, they do presume a certain level of knowledge about embroidery stitches so I couldn’t recommend the kit for a complete beginner, for example there are no instructions about couching or buttonhole bars and only a drawing of hemstitch which is where I hesitated as I wasn’t sure if stitches had to be done in a certain order, I just did it like backstitch. That was the one time I really missed internet on holiday!!
The hardanger heart was interesting to do, the outer squares are stitched first, then threads are cut and pulled out to leave a grid, these are then stitched using needle weaving. The heart was embroidered in a lovely variegated perle thread, with a thinner version for the needle weaving.
The diagrams of the hemstitch and somerset stitch didn’t print that clearly on my copy, so I’m glad to be home with google before I start the somerset stitch band!
I’m about 2/3rds of the way through the sampler now and I’m really pleased with it, I like doing band samplers as there’s just enough to get the hang of a new stitch without getting bored!! I still haven’t decided if I’m just going to do the band or if I’m going to hem it too, it’s going to be framed whatever.