This and That

Random bits of my life

The First Stitch

Posted by Avital Pinnick on November 24, 2009

First stitch of the Lady with Unicorn: Sense of Hearing.

I pressed the fabric and stretched it in the scroll frame. Then I worked the first stitch in the upper left corner.

Looks pretty lonely, doesn’t it? (You might not be able to see it in this photo view. It’s just barely visible.)

First stitch

Every one of those squares is 100 stitches.

The first stitches were absolute misery because my frame holder is not large enough or sturdy enough to hold a 23″ wide scroll frame. Now I wonder how I managed the Teresa Wentzler “English Garden Sampler.” The pegs sticking out of the bottom aren’t long enough to support a frame with a lot of fabric wound around the bottom bar and the arms don’t extend wide enough to allow free access to the back, which is essential. (For you non-stitchers, one hand is held behind the fabric at all times and other is held in front.)

Table stand

I improvised a frame holder with two thick dictionaries and a couple book stands. It’s unwieldy but it will do the job until I can figure out a more practical solution. Shipping a frame holder from the US or the UK would be very expensive and I don’t know enough about their design to try drafting a plan and taking it to a professional wood-worker. (If you can offer any suggestions, please help me!)

Improvised frame holder

Here are my efforts for the first day — about 150 stitches. Only 130,230 to go! You can stop laughing now…

I really like the colour combinations (very fall-like), so this project is better suited for me than the White Lilies I just finished. White Lilies’ background had too many brown/purple stitch combos for my taste and I had a tough time distinguishing between the browns in poor light.

Day 1



4 Responses to “The First Stitch”

  1. Debbie said

    I’m not laughing! Looking good, so far. I may have a stand you could use. Give me a ring.
    Have you tried searching online for instructions on building a frame?

    • apinnick said

      Someone did send me some instructions but I realise that I don’t have the tools or experience to do this myself. I am thinking of buying a clamp-type table stand from the UK. With shipping, it will cost about 25 pounds sterling.

  2. Karen R said

    WooHoo!!! Great start!! Doesn’t that first lone stitch look sad until you get it surrounded? LOL

  3. worksofhands said

    I like what you did. I had almost the same experience looking for the frame holder or frame stand that will work for me. Most of the makers do not stitch, and most stitchers do not design devices for themselves. I have developed my own design, and I have been satisfied since then. I later on found out, that another stitcher has earlier came up with a stand that functions and looks the same as mine. 🙂
    here is a picture of that easy-to-make frame stand/holder:

    It is important for me that the frame is tilted about 45°, the hands are free to move below the frame, and I could adjust the length to the size of the frame. And they can be easily disassembled for travel. I made a newer version, with fewer pieces of wood, so it is lighter that the first version. 🙂

    It is almost the same as your improvised book stands. I hope my design will help you come up with a design that is best for you. If you have any questions how to make it, drop me a note.

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