Thursday, April 30, 2015

Houndstooth mitten with Turkey Work fur trim...done!

And here is how it turned out:
I love that I saved a project and turned it into something I like much better.  And how wonderful that I didn't have to draw the pattern.  I think it covered well enough except for the edges where a tiny bit of orange paint is exposed but that should be taken care of in the finishing process.  In extreme close-up, you can see that it's orange underneath.  But really now, who is going to pick up my little ornament and give it that close of an inspection, right?
Usually, I trim as best I can and then give it a little shape-up again after it's returned from finishing.  Seems you can't get every straggler or get it just perfectly smooth until after it's finished. 
I generally do what I call "Top-Down Turkey Work" which has a horizontal locking stitch.  I like that technique and am comfortable with it since I've been doing it that way for ten years.  I've heard a few folks rave about "Jump Through the Loop Turkey Work" that I decided to try it out.  I've experimented on smaller areas but this one was just big enough to get the hang of it and see how it compared.  This version has a vertical locking stitch.  Here is a diagram:
It seems to take up less space in the area you are stitching...meaning it's not so crowded.  I like that part of it and I like that stitches smoothly and quickly.  The only tricky part is maneuvering through the loop you've created to go back into canvas on the other side where you've already stitched. You don't want to split the loop threads and you don't want to stab into a previously placed stitch/loop.  I was using 4-ply of Burmilana so I had to be careful about keeping the strands separated while jumping back through the loop.  But once you get the groove, it's pretty groovy.  hehe
Here are a snapshot of what it looked like while stitching:

Since I am teaching a class in June that includes Turkey Work, I will be including both diagrams and stitching options but I'm hoping that folks might want to learn this "newer" technique.    I'm really excited about teaching this awesome Santa piece.  Check out my teaching schedule or let your LNS that you might like to see me come teach in your area - it would be super fun!
This houndstooth pattern is so enjoyable to stitch.  I recommend you try it out.  I attempted to draw a very small cone tree shape and used cream and red Burmilana in the Houndstooth pattern.  Actually, my plan was to do it in cream and bright white, but the stash thread I had didn't have enough distinction to really see the pattern when I tried it so I changed the white to red.  I used Vineyard Silk on that one and it also worked really well.  I can't imagine using a plied thread that I would have to lay for this stitch.  The only hiccup was that I don't think I got the cone shape exactly right.  Seriously, it seems that I should have pursued and engineering degree instead of psychology.  I finished the piece and think that it can be straightened out in finishing.  I hope so. 

Click here for a printable PDF version of the Houndstooth diagram/stitching notes:
Houndstooth Diagrams -  Stitching Plan by Suzanne HUGS & STITCHES
At least I'm still stitching my stash!

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