I have decided to work a blackwork sampler to become more familiar with building stitches and to see how some stitches work at a fairly small scale. I’m using the same 22 count hardanger I used for the thread sampler, with one square (two threads) of the hardanger per stitch.
I did a very brief thread trial (these threads will eventually be removed but I’m leaving them there for the time being in case I want to change threads for emphasis and/or outlines). From left: Gütermann S303 (30 tex / 35 wt); Signature 40 (25 tex / 40 wt); Wondefil Konfetti (20 tex / 50 wt); Gütermann natural cotton (30 tex / 35 wt); Wonderfil Efina (17 tex / 60 wt). As previously noted, tex and weight correlate to density, not diameter.
As you can see, the Wonderfil Efina is distinctly finer than the other threads, but isn’t as slippery as the Silco (which was horrible to work with). I actually bought it at the same time as the others but promptly mislaid it so it didn’t appear in the thread sampler. I’m glad I found it again, as I think the finer thread will allow more pattern details to be visible at this small scale.
The design is my own: a fairly generic fan (or shell) in art deco style. I drew the design on paper, pinned it to the fabric and tacked through the lines. Unfortunately I didn’t block the fabric beforehand. I made sure to align the design with the vertical grain, but the horizontal grain is slightly off-true — I tugged it straight when I pinned it to the design but there was some slippage, and you can see that the horizontal lines are not on grain. I’ll correct this on the fly for the base and the centre blade of the fan, but the rest of it can remain as is. I’ll block it once it’s all done (memo to self: organise some sort of base for blocking embroidery).
I’ve made a small start on the central blade, and I’m noticing the same tendency to slide under the hardanger threads exhibited by the 100-wt Kimono and 60-wt Silco. I guess I should have expected it when I opted for the finer thread, but it’s still annoying. I shall have to make the effort and seek out even-weave linen in cream or white for any future work at this scale. I don’t expect the same issue when I start working at doll scale because that will be on plain-weave batiste or voile and I’ll be working over two threads at least.