This week’s stitch for the TAST Challenge 2012 is the French Knot. I know I will never finish what I started—not in time for the round up on Sunday, anyway—so here is my sample, in all its half-assed, slacked-out glory:
An old doyenne of the great unfinished project, I’ve actually got a few stitch samples that I never posted on here because I didn’t finish them in time.
I gave up on Satin Stitch, because I messed up the background fabric, tried to ‘fix’ it with white gesso, which made things worse. I took this shot, then destroyed it, because it pissed me off...
There was Herringbone Stitch, which was going along okay until the “permanent marker” I used to draw the letters ran. And I didn’t manage to get the black to slowly blend into brown the way I’d hoped. Shame because I adore this stitch, which is also known as “Witch’s Stitch” (the German word for herringbone stitch is ‘hexenstich’ – literally, ‘witches stitch’) and is used for casting spells and sealing magic into clothing. Variations of Herringbone are in the almond shapes, and the two white triangles on either side of the word ‘bone’ are (left) Crow’s Foot and (right) Sprat’s Head. I was very disappointed in myself when I didn’t finish this one in time and the paints bled. This one I kept, out of respect.
From way, way back, this is Cretan Stitch, which I did a lot of work on, then ran out of red thread. There wasn’t a single bit of red thread left on the boat, this pig of a stitch gobbled it all up. I tried using other, reddish threads (more like orange) and it looked awful, awful! I think I was leaving for Malaysia around this time, so I just abandoned it. Looking at it again, I decided I would never finish it, and didn’t like the way it was headed, so I threw it out.
According to Sharon B., Week 15 marked an ending of the basic stitches, and stepping onto the threshold of stitches that become “more complex or less well known”. So it is time for me to decide whether I am going to continue the way I have been or not. Obviously I am not keeping up; that for me is a sign that I have once again ignored the huge discrepancies between what I want to do, and what I am capable of. The typography + stitch thing has not always been a great combination…some stitches, like the Whipped Wheels of week 11, while not impossible to work as letters, looked pretty damn ugly as letters. Seemed to defeat the purpose. I am defeated.
I have to also take into consideration the amount of time that these samples take up…last month saw me bitterly, bitterly broke. I should be making journals and stuff that I can take to the craft markets which are starting up in town now that the good weather of winter is moving in…I need the embroidery project to function as more than a solipsism.
I’m marking an end of my own—not to TAST, which I will keep doing because there really are a lot of stitches I haven’t tried my hand at yet—but to the stitches + typography samples. I’ll be trying now to use the weekly stitch to both learn and embellish my bookbinding and other projects. While I love the idea of a personal book of stitch samples, it is a luxury and a fanciful project for someone in my position. I don’t really need one (especially not of stitches that I have long been familiar with, which so far is what we’ve covered in TAST) and can’t afford the time to be making such a thing; the projects I spend time on must serve some second, more practical, purpose.
And did you sign up for TAST this year? How are you doing? I really do hope you are faring better than I!
- Week 3 ✂ Feather stitch (TAST) (smallestforest.net)
- Kantha see I’m busy? Week 10 ✂ Running Stitch (TAST) (smallestforest.net)
- Week 9 ✂ Couched and laid threads (TAST) (smallestforest.net)