Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Moving forward

I'm gradually moving my current project forward and finding my sense of direction with it.

After having worked the FME sample in the last post I spent quite a lot of time trying to perfect a couple of needle lace stitches, Hollie stitch and Brussels stitch, so that I could incorporate them in the sample. They're not easy stitches to master but my skill level is improving and I'm pleased with the accent they've given so far.

The circular pattern is a spider's web, with added points taken from a Punto in Aria lace pattern which you can just see in the first image here

And here are these troublesome stitches in situ.

Spider's web stitch

Brussels stitch
Here is a link to a great video tutorial

Hollie stitch

There is a certain amount of comfort in knowing that I've been here before with these stitches and know that given time I can master them.

Another aspect of my continued journey, post course, is that I can head off potential designing problems before they happen, as I now have the experience of knowing how difficult it is to get out of trouble when you move a project on too quickly. It was my DH that reminded me that maybe I should start thinking about the end result for this piece now before I went any further, and resolve any construction difficulties before making the embellishment.

So the next step was to decide on the desired finished article. So I thought it would be a nice idea to make a small decorative light piece in a spherical form.

My inspiration came from a strange place, a tent in a tree, which I'd seen recently on George Clark's Amazing Spaces on Chanel 4. You can see information on the spherical tent here

The ribs for the tent are made from steam bent ash wood and I was intrigued to see if I could do something similar for my frame. So I set about doing some sketches of the tent frame to get some ideas moving.

I soon found that I needed something in 3D to sketch from so made a very crude model with 10 ribs as in the tent sphere with a token side on each rib to represent the thickness of the ribs.

As you can see from the notes in my sketchbook, I've been following Kevin McCloud's shed build too and I just love the curved shape of his cabin and his amazing use of hand made materials. You can see his blog here, it's well worth a look.

So that's all from the think tank so far.

I have to say that I was dreading finishing the course in some ways as I thought I'd have so much trouble getting into a new project on my own. But I'm really enjoying the challenge and can only say that the processes I learnt on it are definitely paying dividends. So, many thanks go to Sian for the strength and breadth of her teaching and commitment to her students. 


  1. Oh those stitches look tough! but they are beautiful. :) good luck with your project.

  2. I love how you make the little mock ups...it must help. The stitches look very p!! Think I will stick to bullion knots.

  3. I am in awe of people who can do FME! I had a look at the links and can see we're talking round lines and organic. But what is it going to be...? A round light shade to suspend from the ceiling? Or is it a secret at this stage? Very impressed, anyway. And yes, after deadlines and having to move the project on to someone else's timetable, I imagine the luxury of time is most enjoyable!