Last October I did a Goldwork workshop with the Royal School of Needlework (RSN) at the Knitting & Stitching show at Alexandra Palace. Even though you can’t compare a 1,5hr workshop with a day class at the RSN, let alone one of their certificate course I learned quite a lot of techniques in that short amount of time. I completed the lovely feather design when I got home (check out the picture in my gallery) and I felt eager to try another metalwork design.
I didn’t spot a design I liked until Inspirations Magazine 93 dropped on my doormat. It features a very colourful pheasant design design by Jenny Adin-Christie inspired by ancient Roman mosaics. Even though it is a very different style to what I have made before, I fell in love with it and just had to make it. I photocopied the requirements list and took it with me to Australia intending to pick up the supplies. Even though I visited some lovely and well-stocked embroidery shops the required threads were even too specialist for them! All of the shops advised me to order the kit directly from Inspirations Magazine.
On our return I ordered the kit. Since the kit includes metal threads, the kit is quite expensive compared to the other kits they sell. When it arrived I immediately decided it was definitely worth the money, and wondered why I never ordered their kits before and always went to trouble of sourcing the threads myself! The kit features the fabric and felt with the pre-printed designs. The fabric is even zigzagged and attached to the calico so you are immediately ready to start stitching. The threads are divided in different little bags so you know which threads are for which part. All in all, the kit is very well thought out and put together.
The design starts with the beak, which is stitched with gold tambour thread. I did frog my first attempt as I found it quite difficult to get the threads laying side by side. I am much happier with my second try.
The next step is to stab stitch the different layers of felt in place to provide the pheasant design with some padding. Once the felt is in place you need to backstitch it to create contours.
The step I am currently working on is couching the threads for the border and creating the or nué pattern. The light which fits my stitchmaster floorstand, which I use when stitching large cross stitch designs also features a magnifier. I have never used it, because I really just wanted a light, and magnifiers are just for older people. How wrong I was! Working the couching and the or nué patterns is so much easier using with a magnifier. It is still quite tiring on the eyes but so much less than when stitching without! I am even already considering getting a larger magnifier.
I have really just started this project and it does take some time to create all of the different stitches. I will keep you updated on my progress! I expect I will be using the ‘pasunjoursanscreer2017’ hashtag on Instagram quite a lot!
Next week I am actually off to London for a day class at the RSN at Hampton Court, which I am really looking forward to. The course will be on silk shading and we will be stitching an English Rose design. More about the course in my next post! I will be taking my goldwork kit with me though as I hopefully will be able to do some stitching in the evening.
I am actually staying near Hampton Court. In my next post I will include a review of my accommodation as some of you who are taking a course at the RSN might be looking for some accommodation nearby too, and I hope the one I have found is nice enough to be able to recommend.