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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

WIP: Plum Blossoms (by Margaret Kinsey)

Today's featured WIP is Plum Blossoms, an EGA Correspondence Course designed by Margaret Kinsey.

Technique/Materials:  This is a Japanese technique called Rozashi. This technique involves all vertical stitches on Ro fabric, which is a unique weave consisting of approximately 40 holes to the inch horizontally and 13 holes to the inch vertically. Most of the threads are twisted silks, but one is a silk twisted with a metallic thread, and one is gold metallic. In a very brief search, I found one website with a brief overview of Rozashi. The ANG website has an article with even more information.

Background:  I believe I started this three or four years ago as a course with the CyberStitchers chapter of EGA. The kit came with the fabric pasted very tautly (using a traditional rice paste) to the stretcher bars.

Why it's not done:  This is going to sound like the dumbest excuse in the book. I've already mentioned the tautness of the fabric. The kit also came with a handmade Japanese needle, which has a round eye designed to work really well with the twisted silks. As with any embroidery technique, the purpose of the needle is to open up the holes in the fabric to minimize abrasion on the thread. Well, when you combine really taut fabric with a needle that's a tiny bit bigger than the holes in that fabric, you end up with a pretty loud squeak every time the needle is passed through the fabric. It drove DH nuts. I ended up working on this when he went to his weekly dart league. When the dart season ended that year, Plum Blossoms faded into obscurity. (See? I told you it was dumb! Feel free to post your dumbest WIP excuse in the comments so we can all have a laugh and I can feel better.)

What's left to do:  The only thing left is the background! The first piece of good news is that I've again signed up for this course through CyberStitchers, so I have a second chance to submit the project for evaluation next year. This is good incentive! The second bit of good news is that we're in the middle of another dart season. Hmm... perhaps Wednesday evenings will find another WIP in the mix!

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