Musings and eyelets

Possibly musings over eyelets as I am pretty confident that the eyelet rounds on my fian flag are going to take forever. Possibly two or three forevers at this rate. At that’s just for the border.

It’s been a while since I posted, because there hasn’t been a lot of A&S going on. A lot of service, a bit of events, some life (good and bad) and the ever present eyelets. But white on white are seriously dull photos.

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See? Seriously dull photos. Not the most exciting embroidery I’ve ever done either. Wheee. How dare the slow and fussy stuff actually look good? The nerve of it!

Anyhow, at the last two events (more details on each forthcoming, I promise!) We’ve spent the mornings in the kitchen, and the afternoons goofing off. It’s been really really good. My feet disagree (note to self, need better shoes that don’t look silly with the garb), but the camaraderie and the work makes the sitting around later feel all the sweeter. I understand now why those who end up in the kitchen often end up in the kitchen often.

Measuring is for suckers.

So far in doing A&S in the last year, I have learned that I cannot, even with a ruler, cut a straight line. (Thank you bookbinding for teaching me that.) Today, I learned that even with measuring 18 thousand times and remeasuring, and calculating and then measuring again, I still can’t get it right.

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This is the current state of the fan. (Yes, so far behind I’m first in my own race, but we’ll ignore that minor detail for the moment.) The right hand side is a print out of my inspiration fake, I mean fan, that I’m aiming to follow along with. The left hand side is my stitched outer border and the start of the inner border, the ones surrounding the eyelets in the picture. Notice something? Say like the fact that I’m a good half inch off? Say like I’m far closer to those being inner borders than outer borders? What? And I’ve already pulled thread guides so I can’t just /declare/ them to be inner borders?

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Insult to injury, I got it right on the sides, just not top and bottom.

So the question became, as I put the project in a momentary time out of indecision. Am I utterly devoted to making an exact textile replica of a non textile item? Or am I looking at this and going ‘ah ha! I am going to make lace in the style that this was trying to fake.’

I think I’m pretty comfortable aiming for the later. I CAN’T make an exact replica, textiles and non textiles don’t work the same. So mine will be longer and narrower than the original. Alright then. The only real change is that the middle section won’t be quite as wide. That’s fine, I haven’t decided what’s going there yet anyhow.

It’s a trap!

I do wonder how many of you read that title and immediately thought of Admiral Ackbar? Just me? Never mind. 0ff2ac98d64c91b6fa1017b61f332dd0

Anyhow! What’s actually a trap, or more accurately a fake is the fan I was using as inspiration for the Fian challenge. Whoops. I spent the first chunk of my fian time working on getting my needle skills back up to snuff and then finally sat down to do my design work. Emailed the museum where it’s at to ask, as the info about it is sparse, and found out ‘oh that? Yeah. Glued together cut parchment and silk strips.’ (I may be paraphrasing the far more professional answer the lovely curator sent to me.)

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Say what!? Not lace at all? A good fake? Well. Damn.

I had a bit of a think, and a bit more obsessive staring at portraits and I think I’ve come up with a plan b (which looks very much like plan a, honestly). Clearly, its trying to fake up lace. I mean CLEARLY. While there’s no real evidence for flag fans being entirely made of lace, there’s plenty of evidence for lace edges and embroidered middles. The jump from an embroidered middle to an embroidered middle with some cutwork embroidery is a gentle one, so I’m just going to keep on keeping on.

What I’m not going to keep doing, is using this as a ‘I want it to look like THIS!’ sort of guide, because needle lace on a linen ground is never going to look like this. It’s like expecting my calico to put on a sheep costume and actually look like a sheep. (Or actually wear the costume, but that’s entirely different.)

New fabric is in the mail, designs are hitting the graph paper and soon the testing and obsessive stitching can begin. I’m not sure what I want to put in that middle section, suggestions welcome!