My next project is Blue Peacock – Jesse Arms Botke. I can’t tell you how nice it is to be stitching with colored floss again! This is my progress after about 10 weeks of stitching (maybe about 70 hours):
I’m just getting into the peacock feathers, at the boundary of pages 2 and 3. This piece is very confettifried so I’m doing much more parking than ever before. Which is good in a way because I have learned some things that are not required, but desirable to do if you’re parking as a way of life. I’ll be sharing those tips with you after I have a chance to collect my thoughts on the subject.
I had several pieces that I was considering when I made my panic trip to Hobby Lobby to get fabric. I showed them all to MRA and he was strongly in favor of this one. After I had worked on it for a couple of days, he asked if he could have it for his office when it’s finished. (This is the most interest he has ever shown in any of my needlework.) I said, “Sure, if you haven’t retired by then.”
I’m stitching on 22-count aida to keep it a little smaller. That has also been interesting. Size 24 needles are too big, so I’m using 26s which I don’t usually like since they’re harder to thread. The stitches are so dense that it really is a very bad idea to leave any holes, which is part of the reason for all the parking. Even if you don’t skip stitches, it’s tricky to make stitches without splitting the thread in an adjacent stitch. This becomes a major problem if you need to rip anything out. (My mistakes have been due, not to the parking, but to putting floss back onto the wrong bobbin.) The other thing is that I’ve noticed that one or two threads in the fabric are broken. I have a tendency to stick needles I’m not using at the moment into the fabric wherever, and in the past this hasn’t been a problem, but this fabric has just 2 fairly fine threads each way, and I think it can’t take even minor abuse. So now I’m being careful to put my needles outside the area to be stitched, and through holes, not into threads.
Even though the stitching is going very, very slowly, I’m thrilled with the way it looks so far.