I filled in the bottom half with corded double Brussels, and I'm really happy with how it looks. Since I'm going to join the bell at the edges, I want the stitches to look alike. I'm learning there are lots of ways to vary the same stitch. It's not like knitting, where if I use the same yarn and same size needle, I'll usually get something similar enough to call a pair.
I can inadvertantly vary stitch spacing, depth of rows, or number of rows, and the area looks as though it's been filled with a different stitch. One of the beautiful, intriguing things about needle lace, but not something I wanted to explore this time.
So I was careful and started each section with the same number of paired stitches, and tried my best to make it look the same.
I'm not sure how I'm going to fill the middle section, I have plenty of options rolling around in my head. I thought I should do something different, and actually sample some stitches before I started this last filling.
I got the idea for this sampler from Lorelei Halley's website
. In the middle of this page, she shows a sampler, and I thought that was a good idea, and set out to make one for myself.
Four hours later, I'm still couching the trace thread! I quit last night when my eyes were watering so bad I swallowed tears when I yawned, and yawned and yawned.
I have a few squares outlined, that's enough for now. I tried a technique described by Elizabeth Ligeti in the Fall 2009 IOLI Bulletin. She gives patterns for 3 Christmas ornaments, and uses metallic thread. In two of them she doubles the metallic thread with the cotton, but in the candle, she uses a "two needle" method. Basically, you make your buttonhole stitches with the cotton, and the metallic for the cord.
This is a pretty good close up of my little sample. I started with single corded Brussels, then switched to double corded Brussels for comparison.
I'm still not sure if I'll be able to see any sparkle on my little bell, and I may sample another stitch or two before I decide which stitch I want to use.
The graph paper was originally 8 squares to the inch, but Open Office crunched it down to 9 squares per inch. That's the reality check for this post.
Labels: needle lace, ornament, sampler