About a week ago one of the members of the Petitpoint group that I belong to posted a photo of a counting device that she had found. It was such an interesting idea that I decided to make my own. It is made up of either two or three needles that were secured on a long piece of thread and held together with some cute beads. I decided to make mine with 3 needles because I wanted the first needle to stay in the first line of squares on my gauze. In this way I could tell where I started counting.
To make it I used some number 28 tapestry needles then cut some floss double the finished length that I wished. I used 3 strands of each color and threaded them through each of the 3 needles until the needles were at the halfway point of the thread. Once I had all 3 needles threaded, I then folded the threads in half, tied them all together with a small knot and threaded them through some beads. Once I had the beads threaded, I secured them with another knot.
I use it to count 10 squares at a time and "leap-frog" the 2 needles across the gauze, first to determine the count of the gauze if I am unsure, and second to count across to see where the second corner of my rug will be. In the past I had to keep re-counting to make sure I had the right number of stitches so I think this will make my life easier. I can also use it to count the stitches I have done already or mark the correct number of stitches that I need to make before changing to another color in a row that I am stitching.
As I prepared for my trip to Antigua, I wanted to take along a project that was small enough to fit into my purse yet would give me an easy way to see my stitching well. I couldn't take along my magnifying light visor so I tried to think of other things that would give me the best magnification and light.
I found a pair of magnification glasses at the dollar store that worked well to bring my canvas and stitches into sharp focus when put on over my regular glasses. I also found this wonderful little light at my local grocery store that clips onto my project perfectly. The light is an LED light by Energizer and folded up very small to fit into my travel box easily.
I must say, that this little light did a wonderful job of lighting up my project when the surrounding light wasn't good enough. I often wake up hours before my husband, when it is still dark out. I would take my stitching out onto the balcony so that I wouldn't disturb him and would turn on the light. The light showed up my canvas in the dark very well and I was able to stitch perfectly without strain on my eyes.
When I stitch my rugs, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I like to mount them on some foam core. I have always stitched using one hand but the owner of a local stitching store told me she always sits at a table and leans the frame on the table to stitch with two hands. She told me this way of stitching was much faster.
Later, I read on the petitpoint website I belong to, about stitch frames that could be used while sitting in a chair that will hold the stitching piece for you so that you can stitch with two hands. I liked this idea and asked if someone could post a picture of one for me. They happily obliged and I set about making a frame for myself. Here is the result. It does a wonderful job of holding my stitching so that it frees up both of my hands to stitch. It took me awhile to get used to stitching this way but I often do this now.
While working on the rug for the Colorful Amalgam competition, I decided to stitch a small rug that I had designed earlier. The Isobel Rose rug was designed in the Aubusson style and was the perfect size for a roombox that I had.
As you can likely see in the photo, I now am using a frame that is thicker than I used before. The frame is made up of two layers of foam core glued together. This is because I use thumb tacks to hold the gauze fabric in place. Also, I have mounted the fabric on the back and stitch inside the frame. This method was suggested to me on my petitpoint group because it is much easier to start or finish off a thread without the frame getting in the way.
This rug didn't take long to finish and was soon gracing the floor of the roombox that I planned it for. It was a great little project to fill the time while I was waiting for the next installment to be posted for the competition rug.
My name is Yvette, and I will be writing this blog to tell you about the creative process that has gone into the creation of my Petitpoint patterns along with showing the stitching I have done of some of the rugs.
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