Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Notebook Classes

Needlepointers may be familar with the concept of a notebook class, but the cross stitchers probably are not. In fact, the essence of a needlework sampler is what a notebook class is. You take a piece of canvas. You take a type of thread. You take a stitch and stitch a sample. You save your stitched piece with the information and you now have a reference.

In fact, I'm stitching 3 different notebook classes right now. And that's okay because the pieces are small and if I don't feel like stitching on a big project, stitching a square or two on one of these gives you a feeling of accomplishment. 

The first one I started last spring, but didn't get very far. The class name is Potpourri and it is designed by Suzanne Howren and Beth Robertson of SHEAR Creations. Their names might be familar to you if you have ever used the Stitches for Effects books or the Red Thread Thesarus. (Stitches for Effects, More Stitches for Effects, and Even More Stitches for Effects are wonderful needlepoint stitch reference books. The Red Thread book is a completely different type of book that details all the needlework threads that were available at the time the book was published. Its thread equivalencies are invaluable if you do substitutions like me!)

I took this class with the Shining Needle Society. Aren't familar with that? Try here:  Shining Needle Society. It is a yahoogroup and here's the basics:

Mission Statement:  To provide nurturing and inspiring opportunities for growth in the study of needlework, with the hope of continuing the legacy of embroidery art for future generations.

 About:  The SNS is a friendly, supportive group that seeks to provide connections for enthusiastic stitchers and the teachers who inspire them. We sponsor online support groups for needlework classes.

There are no dues for SNS and membership is open to interested stitchers.

If you ask to join, you'll be given access to the Home Room and can see what the current classes are. And what's coming up. SSN is always dangling something exciting in front of me.

I knew I needed to start a stitch notebook for myself and this class seemed like a good starting point. What I got: Instructions and threads and holder for my samples. I provided canvas, etc. for this class. 

My first stitch, long upright cross, was stitched with Impressions. The second one, oblique slav, uses Neon Rays. I didn't finish this one because I needed to stitch this one on a stand and use a laying tool. So I started the mosiac checker with Hyla's High Cotton.

 The information with the stitch diagrams includes what that particular stitch might be good for. And other threads that will work well with it. As you see, I get practice with different stitches. And get to work with different threads.

My next notebook class is another Suzanne and Beth class, but this one I took in person with them at Waste Knot in Arlington. I signed up for this before I started working there...

This class theme is animal stitches. I knew I needed this one. I don't have lots of experience with the wools, alpacas, etc. It's been a while since I did turkey work. We played with bunka brushes to raise the nap of the threads. In general had fun and learned a lot. 

My third notebook class is another one offered through the Shining Needle Society. Another collaborative class, this one if offered by Carole Lake and Michael Boren of StitchPlay Designs. The emphasis here is an introduction to different threads.
I'm signed up for all 6 parts of this class. And first one is using Duchess Silk by Gloriana. And I have to say "WOW!" I'm in love with this thread. It's a handdyed silk perle. Suitable for 13 ct canvas and for long stitches on 18ct canvas. It feels so good. You just want to rub it against your cheek. 

As you can see by the time I'm finished with all 3 of these classes, I'll have dozens of stitch samples stitched with various threads. What an invaluable reference tool. Much more organized than my doodles on the sides of my working canvas...


Margaret said...

Very interesting! I like the idea of the notebook.

RuthB said...

Cool. I haven't tried the Duchess silk, but now I'm going to be thinking about it all day. :)