I've been busy again, working on an apron for myself. It is a very basic rectangle, and white, and I thought it was a little boring so I wanted to do some rows of embroidery near the bottom of it in either drawn thread technique, or assissi cross stitch technique in the planning stage.
Going beyond planning, I went to the On-Line Digital Archive of Documents on Weaving and Related Topics, particularly the Italian listing, where I knew a number of period pattern books were to be found. In the pattern book published in 1561 by Giovanni Ostaus I found what I was looking for, a pattern that would look good done in a cross stitch along the bottom of my apron.
I have not gotten very far, as yet, but I did complete the first row in time for Nordmark's Civil War event. The stitch I am using is called long-armed cross stitch, (simple stitch diagram) or tvistsom stitch (tvistsöm in Swedish). In period it was often used to entirely cover a surface, to make pillow covers and such items, but it was also common to find bands of red work embroidered with this technique. The thread I had at hand was a skein of madder dyed silk, given to me in January this year. I did not know what to do with it until now - and it is a treat to work with. I only hope it lasts to the end of my pattern!
Well, enough preamble, I expect you'd like to see the progress I have made, and I can't wait to show it off to you all :) The image below is clickable, and will take you to my flickr site, where you can view a larger version of the photo. As yet I have done the first row, and started on the middle one. The top row will be the same height as the first one at an equal distance above the wider middle band.
So, what have you been working at?
/Lia de Thornegge