I finally did it. I decided it was time to just knuckle down and finish the damn napkin already, and by golly I did it.
The project started before Double Wars two years ago, in 2012, when I was asked to be on the team of Countess Cecilia for a special tourney/fund raiser thing at Double Wars.
I was her artisan, tasked with making something, anything using the design of a rose with a dragon on top. I decided to make a quick little item, a square linen napkin. I hemstitched it all around prettily and then transferred the design to the fabric and started embroidering. The only problem was I chose to do the rose rather big - about 6 inches in diameter.
The thread is a 30/2 silk bought at the Handweavers Studio and Gallery
in London and all outlines are chain stitch, while the rest of the bulk of the stitching is split stitch. I had my colours, but the rose was designed with a fade from red to yellow, which I thought I might do in long and short stitch. I tried it first on one petal but it was awful so I unpicked it and decided on just doing semi-circles with progressively less yellow and more red until I had made the transition from all yellow to all red.
My pattern-seeing brain needs to know where the stitches go and when, so the pattern is
7 yellow stitches, then 1 red, repeated to the end of the semicircle.
Then 6 yellow, 1 red,
then 5 and 1, then 4 and 1, then 3 and 1, then 2 and 1
then either 2 and 2, or 1 and 1
then 1 yellow and 2 red
then 1 and 3, then 1 and 4, then 1 and 5, then 1 and 6, then 1 and 7 and finally all red.
It worked very well where I had an uninterrupted field to stitch on, the problems began with the three petals which were not clear of Dragon limbs. One petal has a little too little red in it, but in all, I'm fairly pleased, and when I revealed it on facebook the winner of this item seemed pleased as well.
Yeah, the napkin was won in a raffle at Double Wars 2012, and it was there to be displayed, but I took it back with me to finish. It's been one of those little niggling projects that I really should have finished long ago, but when I didn't manage to do it by the deadline (on account of choosing such a large size!) it sort of got left behind.
Anyway, here are the pics:
Slanted front, shows the silk shading better:
The back of the work looking a little messy:
A close-up of one of the nicer petals with shading: