I thought I’d kick of my delve into the files with a basic. Something which is so worthwhile and yet so easy to completely forget about. Exploring with One Stitch.
Are you like me, have the stitch dictionaries on the shelf, and yes even get them out and look to use a stitch not tried before or remind myself of how to create a stitch – but after 30 minutes wading through the book, back on the shelf it goes and I slip back into the familiar.
I have favourites – Seeding, Cretan, French Knots and Raised Chain Band.
There’s a wealth of stitches available to create the look we are after, but each individual stitch can have multiple applications if we just think about experimenting with it. It can be hard to push the boundaries, particularly if you were disciplined into making it perfectly as per the given standard.
I remember back in the day having to produce a small square sample of Chain Stitch and all its variations (or Lazy Daisy).
Some time after that we were given a class project of stitching a ‘picture’ in one single stitch. I used Straight Stitch, a landscape of a cornfield, with trees in the distance and a barbed wire fence at the front. It was amazing to see how just one stitch could create all of these elements.
I’ve since seen other pieces of work made using one stitch and it can be very creative and usually provokes, is that really just the one stitch?
Work an individual stitch – big, small, make a cluster, a line, a circle, work spaced out, close together, work on top of itself, vary the threads used.
A couple of things have stuck with me from the early days, Texture and Contrast. You won’t see the textures created if they are against similar. Put the lumpy and crunchy against something smooth. And don’t think the Contrast always has to be about stitch – the blank space is invaluable.
So, even if you stay within your comfort zone, using the same favourite stitch, try to mix it up and see what happens. The bonus of experimentation is that no-one can offer criticism for it not being a perfect text book stitch.