So I’m having my first to-be-for-sale knitting pattern tested, by three lovely and generous knitters, and, to be totally honest, it’s all a little weird! I mean, I spent months poking away at the design, when I had a spare evening here and there, working out the details to create a pattern people could and would want to repeat, and now … nothing. My testers are knitting away, quietly, and there’s not really much for me for to do. It’s like they say about candidates and their staff on election day – all that work and then you just have to sit back and let it take care of itself for a bit. It’s a simple little design, nothing too crazy, but I’m quite fond of it and I hope you will be too. But until it’s ready, there’s nothing to do but wait.
While I do that, I’ve started poking at a new knitting design (which is going freakishly well so far, it’s kind of unnerving) — and I finally figured out how I wanted to play with those antique Sajou monogram letters from the Pattern Maker Charts (etc) blog. I mentioned a little while ago that I’d wanted to stitch one on something, just for funsies, but I couldn’t decide what. Then I had an idea, but it was way too big, too ambitious, and there’s no way I’d have time to do it. But … it was such a good idea! And once you think up a good idea, it’s too late – it’s not like you can unthink it.
So for a few days, I pretended like I might save the idea for another time, but even I knew I was going to do it. Here it is, the beginnings of my antique Sajou sampler …
… I’m introducing it with a flourish because I suspect you’ll get to know it quite well over what will probably be years. This is not a project I can do in a few weeks, more like a big project done one mini-project at a time. I couldn’t decide on just one alphabet, they’re all so lovely, and I thought, ‘wouldn’t it be nice to have time to do letters from all of them, like a sampler?’. Duh. So I’ve gone through all of the Sajou alphabets and picked a list of my favorites, and will semi-randomly pick letters out and stitch them when I have some time here and there.
40cm x 50cm seemed like a goodly size, so I worked backwards to work out the size of each letter and marked it out with one of those aqua trick markers (with just a few calculating / measuring mistakes, whoops – luckily those pens really do wash out with just a dab of water). It’ll be quite a bit larger than a normal sampler, but I wanted it to be pretty big for two reasons: 1.) Needlework is so often small because to cover a big space is, simply, a crap-ton of work. But that tendency makes large needlework pieces unusual and even a little bit incongruous, as if needlework must be tiny and dainty. I love really large needlework and I’ve always wanted to do something bigger – this won’t be as big as I daydream about (one day though, one day I’ll do something massive) but a nice medium-large size will do for now. 2.) A lot of those Sajou letters have tons of wonderful, tiny detail and I didn’t want my letters to get so small that I couldn’t reasonably stitch them. Bigger letters will make it a little easier to get that lovely detail stitched.
My color palette was the last thing to decide on, but I had this kind of dusty purple color in stuck in my head and couldn’t see around it. That sounds like a lovely color, but I’m not really a soft, dainty girl, and I wanted these letters to be antique designs, but pop in a more modern way. Then I saw this amazing dress on Pinterest (pinned by GreenRobynBird before me, others before her) …
… and it was so perfect in every way that I actually gasped out loud. I knew those were the perfect colors for my sampler: vintage, antique-y, very French in a Marie Antoinette kind of way, pretty but not soft. They pop. Just like the colors on this tiny (about 1.5″ tall) perfume bottle thing of my mother’s:
(which, as an aside just because it’s adorable and lovely, looks like this inside …
… so precious!)
And by a happy embroidery coincidence, I happened to have the exact colors already ready, set aside for a different project that didn’t work out as planned. These are also the colors in my bedroom, so there’s a place it’ll look nice hanging in.
I’m not sure how much I’ll really get to work on this for a while, I’m just about to get stuck into Christmas gift crafting in a big way, but I like that there’s 26+ bite-size projects waiting for me to stitch them up!