My name is Roland, and my girlfriend Karen and I have just moved from New Zealand to the UK. We were both in the SCA in NZ, and have now joined the Shire of Thamesreach. In the SCA we are known as Peregrine Flamstead and Emayn de Whytacre. We went to the Drachenwald midwinter coronation in Germany earlier this month, and had a great time meeting the wonderful people of this kingdom. Jahanara invited us to join this blog, so that we can see the brilliant work being done in this kingdom, and to also share our own projects.
I am currently working on a 14thC embroidered hat. While I have done some simple embroidery before, mainly stem-stitch, applique and simple wool couching, I have never done split-stitch. So this project is my first foray into split-stitch. I have a felt hat blank, which I will be covering in fabric. The split-stitch embroidery will be around the lower rim of the hat. It is being done with silk thread from the excellent handweavers studio here in London. The fabric is a medium weight silk tabby, with a light linen backing. All of the embroidery has been done with a hand made brass needle that I made myself. The upper part of the hat will be covered in a red silk velvet, scattered with pearls.
I have now completed almost all of the embroidery. The next stage will involve couching gold thread onto the design. While Karen has used gold thread before numerous times, it has only ever been the 'fake' gold thread (Japan Thread). As this project will use very little gold thread, I am considering using 'real' gold thread. And so my question to the expertise of the group, is if anybody knows where to source real gold thread from? I have looked around a bit on the internet, but to no avail. I have heard several people say it is available from somewhere. Any help or information would be greatly appreciated.
I have attached a few photos of the current state of my embroidery. As you can see, it is not finished yet! All of the animals and birds have been taken directly out of the 'Romance of Alexander', a 14thC illuminated manuscript. The gold thread will be used as the interconnecting vines, that can be seen in pencil. At Jahanara's request, I have also included a few pictures of Karen's work. The sleeves are from a dress she made a few years ago. They are embroidered with silk split-stitch, gold couching and pearls. The design of the embroidery was inspired by the background pattern of Geoffrey Luttrell's shield in the Luttrell Psalter. The completed pouch she just finished recently, and the in-progress project is an embroidered pouch done in the style of a 14thC 'lovers pouch'. All of her projects shown are silk thread on silk fabric. The two pouches have been done with brass needles.
And in case anyone is interested, I have a gallery and documentation of my other work here. We really look forward to being involved in the A&S community here and hope to see you all at some stage!