Carolyn Pearce Home Sweet Home workbox 10: finishing the side panels and practicing Knotted Pearl Stitch

Now that the Gingerbread Stitching House is finished, I’m back to working on the spoolholder again.

Here is the side wall of the spoolholder from Carolyn Pearce’s Home Sweet Home Workbox book, with my embroidery completed. I found some tiny brass bee charms on Ebay (12 for £1.99), which were smaller than the ones suggested in the book, but more in scale for such a small item, I think, so I am very pleased with those.

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Having finished the side wall, and having previously stitched the top and base, I now needed to assemble the whole thing. The instructions Carolyn Pearce gives in her book call for a decorative edging stitch around the top and bottom of the cylindrical spoolholder, called Knotted Pearl Stitch. I hadn’t come across this stitch before, so I practiced it first.

I worked the stitch much larger than I would use it on the spoolholder itself, to get the rhythm correct, and the spacing – then it would be easy to just ‘close up’ the distances between the stitches when I did it ‘for real’.

Coming up in the middle between two pencilled lines, I took a stitch from the top line to the bottom one, vertically.

 

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Then, without piercing the fabric, I slipped the needle under the first small stitch, from right to left, making sure the end of the thread was under the needle.

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Then I made that movement again, still making sure that the thread was under the needle.

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When the thread was pulled snugly taut, it made a knot in the centre between the two pencilled lines. I then moved an eighth of an inch to the left, and took a stitch from the top pencilled line to the bottom one.

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The small stitch just made became the starting point for the two wrapped loops to be made around it, constructing the second knot. Here is the first loop stitch:

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And here is the second one:

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Once you get a rhythm going, it is quite simple to do, and makes a nice raised band of knotted stitches.

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On the spoolholder itself, I won’t need to draw two pencilled lines – I will just make sure that the top end of the vertical stitch is on one panel (e.g. the top round part) and the bottom end of the stitch is on the side wall each time, covering the seam. The ‘legs’ of the stitches will be made much shorter, so that really it will just look like a row of knots, more like Palestrina stitch.

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Carolyn Pearce Home Sweet Home workbox 9: daisies and forget-me-nots on the spoolholder

The flowers around the sides of the spoolholder that I am making from Carolyn Pearce’s ‘Home Sweet Home Workbox’ book are coming along nicely now. These daisies are stitched by working three lazy daisy stitches in a group, all starting from roughly the same point. The centre of each is a French knot, made with two strands and two wraps around a milliners needle.

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The forget-me-nots are worked by stitching four granitos stitches, leaving a tiny space in the centre for another French knot.

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Lastly, these little blue flowers are worked by stitching five French knots in a circle, and then filling the centre of the circle with a butter-coloured Mill Hill size 11 seed bead. In Carolyn’s book, she suggested using blue flower beads for these flowers. For one thing, I have found it impossible to buy anything remotely like the beads that Carolyn used. Also, I prefer the softer look of these flowers worked mainly in French knots, to possibly chunky-looking beads.

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The strange green thing on the left of the image above is the back end of the caterpillar!

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