The very, very few of you that have been reading for a while might remember that back in – oh dear – October, I introduced a new long-term project I’d be working on: the antique Sajou sampler. As predicted, Christmas ate everything in its path like The Langoliers, and then I went on an unexpected knitting binge. Now things have sort of normalized, craft-wise, and I’ve finally gotten into this one properly. (Click through to see bigger versions on Flickr, if desired.)
It’s so weird that I love this project so much, because I’m really not a lace-and-tiny-flowers kind of girl. But sometimes I find it’s the things that really aren’t your style that end up being your favorite. I have always disliked red as a color, especially on me, but my favorite nail polish lately is a flaming 40s-y bright red. Go figure. Anyhow, here’s B and C — only 24 letters to go! Oy. I do love a large project to really get into though. I suspect I’ll go through phases, like now, where I get really obsessed with it and stitch, say, 5 letters or so. Then I’ll get sick of it and put it away for a month or two. Just a prediction based on past behavior.
In the true spirit of a sampler, I’m trying to make sure I do something different with each letter, with the end goal of expanding and exhibiting my needlework skillz. I did the B quite delicately – a lot of satin stitch, some outlined in split stitch, and a wee touch of french knot fill in the leaves. I love the texture contrast between the french knots and satin stitch – very touchable. Normally satin stitch and french knots are stitches I really struggle with doing well, so I was careful and slow with this one and I’m very pleased with the result. The whole point of a sampler was to practice and improve, after all.
I kept the C a little simpler, so it wasn’t too much next to the detail of the B, especially since it’s quite a large letter. Just simple chain stitch (maybe my favorite stitch, it’s very pleasing to work) in two shades of pink.
I couldn’t quite picture how I wanted to stitch the D, so I skipped ahead to the E. Not much done there yet, just a touch of split stitch again for the thin lines, and my colors for this letter picked out. I think the feature stitch, for lack of a better term, in this one will be lazy daisy stitch, another one I tend to have trouble with. All those little petals and leaves are just demanding it, dontcha think?
And, in the most perfect timing ever, something happened yesterday that allowed me to open this beautiful, charming little box. Little Dorrit & Co. sold an embroidery pattern! Our very first sale! (Was it you? If so, thank you!) It was crazy exciting. So I took this box off the shelf, where it had been sitting for about 6 months, wrapped in tissue paper.
My very generous brother bought this Sajou embroidery knife for me as a surprise no-reason gift when we visited Loop in London last summer. I’d already mentally chosen this knife as the treat I’d buy myself if my hobby became, as I’d been hoping it would, officially more than a hobby. The Brother bought it for me ahead of time, but I saved it for our first sale anyway. Waiting to use it somehow makes it even more beautiful. Thanks, Brother, you rock.