Saturday, June 4, 2011

Another project! And a plethora of pictures.

This is the embroidery that was the antidote to the math embroidery. I started it Monday and sewed the last few beads on Friday! It has to be a record. (Blue linen, DMC embroidery floss and beads, 2 1/2 x 3 3/8 inches.)

I've been kind of hankering to do an owl for a while, and a week ago I realized it would be now. I didn't actually expect this particular owl, but that's what happens sometimes.

Speaking of birds, I've been watching the heron family in the park next to where I work. I have a bunch of pictures - the nest pictures aren't really much to look at, but a few times I've been lucky to find a heron parent hunting. This one is from yesterday.

I continued my walk, and hit the avian jackpot - for I was passing the heron tree just as a heron parent swooped in for a landing: feeding time! It was a prolonged and raucous affair. The youngsters truly sounded like dinosaurs as they clamored and squabbled and jostled and flapped. (They used to sound like hoarse geese.) (Horse goose? That must be worse than a pig dog.)

Then when I got home, the light was just right to inspire a quick bit of photography. I made these a few years ago, and I still enjoy them. They consist of birch twigs, abaca paper (handmade by me!) and linen thread.

To completely round out this post, a nap kitty photo. (She's still grounded, and she is way calmer. I may allow bathtub again soon.)

I could have titled this post "The Owl and the Pussycat!"

Friday, June 3, 2011

Math + Embroidery =

SP (my Special Person) told me this was his favorite math formula. I instantly thought it would be perfect for a cross stitch embroidery. And I harbored this idea in secret.

SP cleverly used the formula as a decorative illustration in my birthday card. This was fortuitous because I had naturally instantly forgotten it, and now I had it and I didn't have to ask and risk spoiling the surprise.

Now, cross stitch is not really my thing, but it does have its applications. I've done a tiny bit of cross stitch. If you've done any serious cross stitch you would probably realize that I should have done some math. I knew I wanted this to be small, so I had to graph very minimal numbers otherwise it would be too big. Experimentation revealed that stitching a single strand of DMC over individual threads of 28-count linen would do the trick.

The equation went pretty fast, especially the second time. (The first time I did the "1" last and that is what demonstrated that two strands of DMC was too much - definite distortion of the fabric.) Then, background. Piece of cake; it would go along speedily, one stitch over and over, no counting.

Actually, instead of counting I should have multiplied. After taking approximately half an eon to do the first few rows of background, I did finally multiply.

Just over 2.5 inches square at 28 stitches per inch tallies out at just over 5,000 stitches.

At that point I didn't work on it for a few weeks.

Eventually I got back into gear; my cross stitch technique (and speed) improved. By the end I think I could do at least two rows an hour...this is an estimate based on my soundtrack - I never worked with a clock in sight!