12 Little Needle Cases

September: Reticella, the finished piece

This needlework piece is part of my ongoing exploration of different medieval embroidery styles. A full explanation of the project can be found here.

A blog describing how I chose this pattern and some historical background on reticella can be found here.

These last few months have been difficult on a personal level. I lost one of my biggest patrons due to illness, one of my best friend received devastating health related news, and the plague continues on despite all of our efforts to deter it.

But, in that time, I was still able to devote a little time to making art. And that art was a frustrating reticella piece in linen thread.

I ended up cutting out and removing the top most triangle and the button hole stitches on the bars because I did not like my tension.

This was an incredibly difficult piece. I started by drawing the threads for all the panes. This took a long time. Then, when I started my button hole stitches, they were of bad tension and I cut them out, several times. And as this month was difficult, I put this piece down and picked it up again much later, I often had to tear out my stitches because the tension was bad.

But it is done! If I could do this again, I would use a more uniform sized thread which was smoother or more heavily waxed. I would also try to work on it more consistently in order to have better and more consistent tension. I also realized pretty early on that my pattern was very crowded and I reduced some of the elements I included. I think this would be remediated by using a smaller thread.

I am heartily at work on getting my last three months prepared so that I may take them to Yule and present them for the Arts and Science championship there.

Future Months:

October: I will be skipping October at this time as I have had enough of tiny white linen threads for now.

November: Padded work. I intend to make a very hungry Elizabethan caterpillar. She will be stitched on white linen with 0/20 silk and the gold passing thread I used for my goldwork project.

December: Smocking, requires only pleated linen fabric and 0/20 silk thread, so that will be that. I will be using a pattern darning technique and I hope (fingers crossed!) that it will stitch up quickly!


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