Friday, 11 March 2011

Counted Work - Brick Stitch

I've finished one pattern bit in the counted work technique now, using the "versetzter gerader Gobelinstich", as they call it in the book. It's really easy - you go over the linen for four threads, then one to the side and two down. And that's it. Repeat ad nauseam or until you can't see anything anymore because your eyes water... because, as I said before (and I'll say it again): medieval embroidery is tiny. T-i-n-y. Minute. Exiguous. Puny little stitches. Exquisitely small. Very diminutive stitch-wise. Tiny. And very, very small on the stitch part - though they did work really large pieces in these techniques. Those Freaks. I'm sure they all did it just to make me sweat over doing it too.
So here's what the test scrap now looks like from the front, medieval brick stitch worked to scale, on the appropriate linen fabric, with the appropriate plant-dyed untwisted silk yarn:

Yes. Did I mention it's tiny? I'm seriously short-sighted, and I work it without my glasses on, which does help a lot.
I also made a closer-up of it:

It's not perfect coverage everywhere, but my impression is that the threads will "spread" a bit more after a while in comparison to when they've just been worked, so it might cover completely after a rinse to relax the threads in their new position. However, it does come pretty close to the look of the original already.

And for those of you who are now feeling that itch in your fingers to flip it over, here's the backside (click the pics in this whole post to make them larger):

And that also is pretty close to how the originals look (sans the unclipped threads that still hang from my work of course). So I'm quite content with this little sampler. One more linen now to test for its suitability as ground fabric for counted work, and then that part of work will be done.

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