Weren't we here last week? Beautiful sunrises and sick children. Well, we're re-living the experience.
I am feeling slightly caged beast-ish, but on the plus side, even if I haven't been able to head out to get anything done in the big wide world, I have at least been cracking on with a few projects at home which I wanted to finish. Two, I can't show you, but this one, I can.
For some years now, I have been slightly obsessed with Debbie Smyth. I saw her work with pins and thread in an embroidery magazine first, then in the flesh, and at the Knit and Stitch show this year, she was installing a piece, so I got to watch her in action and was captivated. I think it taps into some childhood memory of string art pictures and I have been meaning to have a go at my own version for a long time.
There's nothing like being confined to home to get me going. Some foam core, straight pins, thread tweezers, masking tape and computer word art print outs and all was good to go.
I printed out my chosen words using an outlined dotted line on my chosen font, which made it easier to space the pins evenly. The paper templates got masking taped to some foam core and I got stuck in with pinning. This takes a lot of pins - pretty much a whole tub for six letters. Surprisingly, it didn't take as much thread as I thought. But it is a great project if you have a load of not very good quality thread. Because a bit of bunching, knotting and textural fuzz all adds to the overall look of things.
The thread wrapping part was my favourite bit - a little bit random, not too neat. Meditative crafting at its best. The tweezers really helped with the fiddly bits too. A word of advice - if you have a shape within the letter (the holes in my g, for example), it is much easier to pin and wrap the inner shape, then place the pins for the outer shape. Gives you a little more space to work.
And when the whole thing was done, I thought I could just tear away the paper and be good to go. Well, yes, in theory. But in practice, it seems standard copy paper is much tougher than it looks and it took a long time and a great deal of care to get rid of the paper without dislodging the pins.
Chanelling my inner nordic self, turned out to be a much better idea than going for the 14 letter extravaganza that is Merry Christmas.
I love the way it looks and would really like to make more - different threads, playing with colours, being more spontaneous with how I place the pins. There are so many things that would be fun to explore. If my current run of luck continues, I might just have the opportunity too!