I made a bit of progress on my Dropcloth* sampler today. The design is printed on the fabric, but the choices about which stitches to use and which colours go where are left entirely up to the stitcher – a fun exercise in not-quite-random crafting. I'm enjoying doing a little bit at a time, usually with a podcast playing in the background. (My current favourite: No Such Thing as a Fish.)
In the interest of making this into a portable craft, I dug out a little tin that I had hanging around. It's the perfect size to fit my floss, hoop, scissors and the tiniest crochet hook I own – just the thing for when my embroiderer's brinksmanship has left me with too short an end to tie a knot. I also like that it will keep everything (relatively) neat and tidy – and keep me from getting a handful of needles when I reach into my bag.
Thus organized, I can now take my embroidery with me just as I would a knitting project – though I doubt I'll work on it on the subway. (A short-lived experiment with TTC-based English paper piecing a few years ago left me ready for first-aid and a stiff drink after just two stops, an experience I'm not eager to repeat.) On the other hand, an hour on a park bench with an iced tea and my embroidery sounds like a pretty good way to spend a summer afternoon.
In non-embroidering embroidery news, I also spent a bit of time poking around for embroidery resources today. These piqued my interest:
- Addison Embroidery at the Vicarage – Fascinating insights on embroidery and craft, beautiful stitching, plus biscuit recipes for the after-church crowd and enough behind-the-scenes peeks at English village life to satisfy my inner BBC drama fan.
- Nancy Nicholson – Modern embroidery designs and insights on running a small business in England. She also has an online shop. There are only 6 months till my birthday, so you should probably just order me one of everything now.
- The Subversive Stitch seems like a book I need to read. I'll give it pride of place on my bookshelf, right next to my copy of The Subversive Copy Editor.
- Oh! And the Metropolitan Mueseum of Art has the occasional "Tapestry Tuesday" post on its blog. (This is where we discuss the fact that the Bayeux Tapestry is actually an embroidery, and so on.) Either way – fascinating.
- *Speaking of Dropcloth, it looks like Rebecca Ringquist is having a sale! Which is brilliant news if you're in the mood to up needle and thread. Details.