Before I bring you up to date on my Schwalm Whitework project, I need to tell you about two fantastic articles about linen on Luzine Happel’s web site. “Linen: Embroidery Fabric from Flax Fibers – What needleworks – especially whiteworkers – should know about” discusses in great detail linen and what kinds are best to use for embroidery. The second article, “Old, handwoven linen — “Bauernleinen” – what whiteworkers should consider before buying” talks about buying old linen. Both are very interesting, complete with wonderful photos.
I’m getting good at coral knots. I no longer struggle with getting the thread in the right place to bring the needle under it to make the knot. Yep, it’s getting easier. And I’m about 15% done with all the knots I’ll be doing for my table runner. 15%! There are a LOT of coral knots in this project. Considering that in Schwalm Whitework most if not all of the shapes are outlined in coral knots it’s not that surprising (see what I did there? knots…not? )
What I’m still working on is getting those knots spaced equally from one to the next. Sometimes they’re too close together and sometimes too far apart and very once in a while, just right. (A bit like the Three Bears…) I know it will take practice. As Luzine Happel reminds her readers “they will become more even in the course of time”. I’ve not spent that long doing them so I’m reasonable happy with how it’s going so far. As you can see from the three photos, my knots have already improved with practice.
The good news is that I’m now very comfortable working on this piece “in the hand” – meaning not in a hoop and not on a frame. In fact, embroidering coral knots around curved shapes like hearts is much easier if the fabric is free from a hoop or frame. I’m constantly turning the fabric to get the right angle to put the knots in easily and evenly. Schwalm whitework is a lovely, relaxing kind of embroidery.