Sunday was NOT a good stitching day. The sun did shine for about 12 minutes and I had good light for doing blackwork and then, wham! in came the clouds again. Even my wonderful magnifying daylight lamp didn’t prevent me from making a huge mess of things.

Here is the pattern I was using to fill the first tulip shape. It’s from the blog String or Nothing. I like the patterns and how clear each diagram is. You can find this pattern on the String or Nothing web site right here.

After studying the pattern and working out in my head the way I would stitch it, I started stitching, unaware that threads of different thickness in the linen itself were about to ambush me!

Look closely at the photograph: see where everything was OK for a while? In the bottom right hand corner of the photo there are 4 holes in the middle of each square. Everything is as it should be. In the middle, by the second red arrow, you can see that something has happened – there are now 6 holes in the middle and the square has become a rectangle. Now, look carefully at the yellow arrow – can you see that one huge, thick, fat thread next to the teeny, tiny, thin one?  That’s where I went wrong. I just didn’t see that I’d gone over two threads – in fact, I didn’t see it for quite a long time. I blissfully stitched along and then decided to sit back and look at what I’d accomplished. That’s when the sound of frustration filled the house. Aarrgghh!

These are small stitches on high count linen. It is NOT easy to take small stitches out of  high count linen. Fortunately, my trusty magnifying lamp is as good for removing stitches as it is for putting them in. With the magnifying lamp I could see exactly where I was putting the tip of my very sharp scissors.

I could also see where to pull the teeny bits of thread out with my tweezers.

It’s all pulled out now and ready for me to go on – later. Aaaahhhh. Much better.

10 thoughts on “Aarrgghh!

  1. At the upper left, I see ‘wrong’ spacing …

    Frogging is fun, isn’t it?? I do it a lot, no matter in which needle form — crochet, knitting, ccs, etc. It’s part of the overall plan. 😉

    If I had that fabric I’d probably (Ha!) do running stitches to make sure that the blackwork design made a square.

    Having made my living as a statistical typist, columns and spacing had to be exact … for me; few others cared — as long as the numbers added up.

  2. They say a good embroider unpicks 3 times as much as she sews ( on this assumption i must be very good).

    Just looking at it made my eyes go dizzy, so I can appreciate your challanges when stitching.

    Your will be so proud of your self when you complete your work and your stitching is beautiful.

  3. Grrrrr. How maddening for you! Sometimes you really need not just the right light, but the right eyes as well. When I’m tired I often don’t pick up on this sort of thing as early as I might!

  4. Yup. Good tweezers and a pair of sharp embroidery scissors. The counted thread stitcher’s best friends.

    There are also some fillings that are calculated to drive one nuts. In my series Plates 10:59, 6:34, 11:65, and 2:10, and 15:89 spring to mind. I find any design that uses an eccentric “knight’s move” repeat rather than full symmetry poses special problems, as does any pattern that employs a long run of straight stitches across an otherwise bare area, especially on the diagonal.

    I believe that period stitchers were similarly challenged by straight stitch runs and this is one of the reasons why little hatching stitches or hairs sprouting off those lines are common on really large historical double running type designs. They’re much easier to count than an unadorned run.

    In any case, I congratulate you on your bravery in doing these fillings over 1×1 on the ground cloth. I usually stitch over 2×2 for stability, and to even out the distortions caused by the occasional thick/thin thread in the weave.


  5. we’ve all been there no matter what form of art we work in, right! nice to see that you can make a mistake as well! Your work is always so perfect and beautiful!! Thanks for sharing this with us!

  6. I am so glad I’m not the only one having to rip what mistakes I’ve made. As for other stitchers, I doubt there are few, if not none, that do not have these problems, after all we are human.

  7. I remember unpicking one leaf 15 times and the fabric nearly gave way. But we all come at the other side better for our mistakes.

  8. Looking at this again … it reminded me that when frogging and there are remnants of thread fuzz, I use ‘scotch’ tape to remove those fuzzies.

    Sometimes I have used a threaded needle to go back into the ‘hole’ and that, too, will take along and out an unwanted fuzzy.

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