Sunday, October 19, 2008

2007 TAST

Since I achieved my goal on the October TIF challenge so early in the month and since I have a couple of days vacation coming up in the next two weeks, I decided to take a walk down memory lane and post the TAST challenge I completed last year.  I am doing this partly because I am afraid if I take a hiatus from the challenge for two weeks, I won't take it up again.  Partly because I feel guilty that I didn't correspond with all the other TASTers who so openly shared their work.

In 2007, I did not have a digital camera nor was I interested in blogging.  I'm still ambivalent about both, but since one of the requirements for this year's challenge was that we blog our progress, I felt like I had to learn both if I wanted to sign on to Sharon's on-line assignments.

Anyway,  as of January last year I had recently started a full-time job and wasn't sure I'd be able to keep up with a weekly assignment.  I hadn't signed on to "Inaminuteago" in nearly a year, having stopped most of my Internet use during the move from New England to the South.  But late in December of 2006, I visited Sharon's site and after some deliberation I decided to give TAST a try and see if I could keep up.  I think only Elizabeth of "Quieter Moments" ever knew I was participating and that was when the challenge was about half over.  I managed to complete all of the stitches by the first week in January 2008.  I had two goals for myself when I joined:  1) complete each week's stitches as close to on-time as possible; and 2) keep a record of the work in a moleskine notebook.

I wasn't sure how to approach the challenge, and being practical, I didn't even consider working the stitches on waste fabric.  I guess it was my mother's voice whispering in my brain, "What are you going to do with THAT?"  So I went large and purchased some black aida cloth, lashed it to my embroidery frame, and decided to work each week's stitches in a small panel.  The size of each panel was dictated by how many variations I could think up.  The original purpose of the piece:  to serve as the cover for a knitting needle case.

The canvas measures 21" X 18 " (53 cm X 46 cm) and the embroidery is 18" X 14" (46 cm X 35 cm).  The size was dictated by the length of my knitting needles.  Here's the piece as it looked just after Christmas in 2007.

And this is a close-up of the herringbone and buttonhole stitches' panels.  The little dots are white beads I used to fill in some of the spaces.  The entire canvas is beaded here and there throughout.

I used either 2 strands of white floss or perle cotton, depending on the stitch assignment.  I started the panels at the top left of the canvas, and turned it in various directions to make embroidering each panel as easy as possible (working the middle of the canvas was a bit hard on the back, I'll admit.)  Per my usual method of operation, there was no plan for the arrangement of the panels.  The work just evolved throughout the year.

Here is a close-up (relatively speaking) of the panels as they looked about half-way through the challenge.

And here is the canvas in full at the half-way mark.  These pictures were taken with my non-digital camera and uploaded so the figures might not be as crisp as digital photos might provide.

In the coming days, I will post the finished canvas, some photos from my moleskine journal, and a "map" of the panels.  All but one of the stitch assignments made it onto the sampler.

The sampler is still on the frame.  After working two months' worth of stitches, I decided that the needle case idea was a no-go - too many delicate stitches to be rolled up and thrown in a storage bin.  Maybe blogging the work will propel me to figure out what to "do with THAT."

1 comment:

Miss 376 said...

This is spectacular. I have been participating in TAST this year, so it is really interesting to see what you have done. Look forward to the next installment and to what you finally do with the finished piece