It's not boredom as I associate that with large, monotone backgrounds and things like that. I haven't gone off either of them design-wise and there is motivation to finish them as they're both for other people and the WIP Weds posting idea also helps to have something ready to post each week. So, I'm left with them being hard.
This is how far I've got on the Sunshine and Flowers sampler:
As some of you might remember from previous postings on the subject, I was doing quite well and then it suddenly seemed to get stalled. Admittedly, there were other 'due soon' projects, such as wedding things, that intervened, but apart from the frame being too large and unwieldy as I mentioned last time, there is one other problem: The chart is exceptionally hard to follow. I find I have to read and re-read sections each time just to find out where I am and then I'm still puzzled. There are two permutations and sometimes the chart instructions don't specify where there are differences and you can lose time working out that it's the other version that has 'four large flowers' whereas the version I'm doing has five etc.
Another thing that gets me is that it seems to assume that you know what the designer has in mind without you having to be told. Section 5c says: 'Begin the Fly stitch center with a single Backstitch.' Now, quite apart from the fact that stitch names do not need to be (and should be) written with initial caps, what fly stitch centre? There's no indication on the graphic chart that any part is done in fly stitch (there's no key, apart from the usual symbols for cross stitch colours), either of this flower centre or anywhere else. It just looks like small satin stitches there and it's only by looking through 3 different parts of the chart that you can just about work out what on Earth is required! Frustrating, time consuming and puzzling. That's why it's got neglected. And these are relatively simple parts. I dread to think what's it's going to be like when I get to the large, cutwork gate section!
The second WISP I'm moving slowly forward on is this Brazilian piece:
So, what's holding this one up? Cynthia and 'Bunny' both asked about the thread last time. It's rayon thread, specially made for Brazilian work (Edmar Lola, colour 007, variegated lilac), and is the world's number pain in the neck to work with. Bullion knots are not my favourite things to work as I can't manage it without puckering the fabric to save my life (tips welcome!), but this thread is just beastly. I can hardly describe why, but it seems to object to being wrapped and the part that hasn't gone around the needle then starts to try and twist the other way, thus making it a real challenge to get the needle and thread back through the fabric and the knot completed. The thread looks gorgeous, but it's a real headache to work with. The last two stitching sessions have been started with a rose and a half and then I moved on to the sampler, (frying pan to fire??).
So, I'm trying, bit by bit, to get on with these pieces and am looking forward to when I can a) follow the Cross'N'Patch chart without wanting to burn it; and b) get the bullions finished on the rose piece and can move on to the greenery!
Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2012