Guys, I’m calling it. Me and this drawn thread sampler just aren’t going to make it. I hate to give up on something so quickly, but seriously people, my sanity depends on it.
Oh, how I loathe this craft! Which I’m pretty sure I’ve never, ever said before! Most of you know that I do not shy away from tedious or very fine needlework. I’m learning bobbin lace, for crap’s sake! But this drawn thread business, it’s too much for me! The picking of the threads and lining all the edges and, oy vey – it’s not difficult at all, it’s just so very slow and boring.
I was sitting there this weekend, working on this tiny area (only the second bit I’ve done on it), wondering how on earth I’ll muster up the will to get through this one. When I thought, huh. Do I have to?! The goal of my Year of Samplers Project to sample 12 techniques, not end up with 12 pieces of textile art. And you know what? I sampled drawn thread, I’m out. There are just too many awesome projects out there to be spending time on something I hate doing.
Of course it’s always possible that this is just not the right time for drawn thread and me to be friends. I once hid (literally) a project at the bottom of my knitting basket because I hated it so much, only to fall in love with it a few months later. But whatever the case, I’m bailing on this technique for now. Onwards and upwards, friends!
If you had hoped to learn more about drawn thread as I went on, my apologies – there’s some good information via the links in my previous post, so please check them out!
I admit I haven’t gotten very far, but it’s a first attempt at drawing thread. (For the record: I’m using a fairly coarse Ikea linen fabric and a size 12 DMC perle cotton – my research said to use a thread around the same size as the threads in the fabric.) I’ve done only the very basic first steps: I snipped the threads with some teensy scissors and learned how to secure the threads on the sides — which I’m pretty sure I’ve done wrong, actually. (Maybe. It seems to depend on who you ask?)
This is definitely a needlecraft worth consulting the vintage books for. There’s not a lot of information on it in modern books or online. I worked with a few of my books from around the 1930s, but if you’re interested in giving it a try, this post from Mary Corbet’s Needle ‘n Thread seems like a good place to start. There’s some good photos and a bunch of links to further information at the end.
I’ve learned how to secure and do a basic wrap, gathering the remaining strands in the fabric. I’m already unsure how I feel about this craft. Although I generally like a little bit of fussiness in my needlework, and I’m not put off by the tedious aspects, this already feels like it might be a little too rigid for me. Once you cut threads in a fabric, you kind of have to follow the rules, you know?
I guess I don’t see an immediate way to modernize this craft – I mean, I’m sure it’s there if you’re creative! But my gut says it all feels a little too fiddly and old-fashioned for me. Though I did think wrapping those stitches was pretty fun. Let’s see how I’ll feel as I continue!
Ok, so I missed June. Shuddup. I have to tell you, the trickiest part about these samplers is the preparation! Way back when, my brother hosted a local radio show. He used to say that the show, one 3-hour slot every week, was so fun, but all the preparation – making playlists (pre-iTunes), finding funny tidbits to share, checking the charts, etc – was a crazy amount of work! These samplers are similar: doing the initial research, planning out a design, and trying to pick a topic that works well with that month’s schedule – it’s so much more work than I expected it to be, and if the beginning on the month sneaks up on me, it’s kind of a lost cause.
So I missed another month – meh, so what. I’m still working my way through the 12 samplers, even if my ‘year’ turned out to be a little iffy.
For July, I’m going to try a little bit of drawn thread work. I don’t have a photo of materials, because I believe we (if you’re stitching along) will just need some linen fabric, a pair of small, sharp scissors, and white threads of various types. I say ‘various types’ because I think we might try different threads and see how they work out – so maybe a fine perle cotton and some sewing thread, maybe linen thread if you have any. I think it might also depend on your linen fabric – mine is fairly coarse (from Ikea, the same as the fabric I used for my pattern darning sampler) so I might need a heavier thread than you will.
I so enjoyed just winging it on my canvaswork sampler that I’m going to take the same approach this time. I’ve got my antique books to help me along and I’ll just start and go. There’s a lot of fun stuff coming up in July (I’ll tell you more tomorrow!) so I’ll keep this one pretty simple, probably just 4 or 5 stitches to try the basics of the technique out. I’ve created a Drawn Thread Pinterest board for inspiration and I’ll be back with some some stitches and progress next Monday!