Sorry there isn’t much step by step photography in this one – last weekend was a total stitch fest and I didn’t pause much…so here’s the before shot:
When I did the transfer outline for this one, I pressed a bit too hard on the fresh ink so I got quite a coarse line. I was worried it would show through, but having done my two skulls I was totally into split stitch-shading everything so used this with some more variegated silk thread to hug the line really tightly. 3.5 hours later…
I totally love him, and his little french knot suckers. I know I’ll be doing him in loads of different colours to come.
But 2 hours later…
See, I had real struggles with his eyes. So much of a creature’s character is in the eyes and when you’re working small embroideries it is really hard to capture that. I don’t want him to look cartoony. I don’t really want him to look cute either. I just want him to look like an octopus. Arguably it doesn’t look that much better having picked all the little black thread fibres out of it and stabbed it, stabbed myself and generally had a frustrating evening. Even more annoying is that the eyes in the original sketch were pretty much perfect.
I basically went back to the greeny silk and split stitch again, finished off with little pale grey french knots.
But I know what to do next time.
So much learnt!
Here’s a brief summary:
Dyed the Salamanca fabric in tea and backed it with cotton
Raised stem stitch band in cotton (twice)
Bullion knots in cotton
Needlelace (Single Brussels stitch) in cotton
Padded felt slip in wool viscose and cotton padding
Brick stitch in Crewel wool
Detached woven picot in cotton
Couching in cotton
French knots in cotton
Lettering in backstitch and skull in padded satin stitch in cotton.