Hello all,

I've started my next project!  It is a rooster (cock or cockerel to some, but as I live in a house with a toddler, I must call it rooster to avoid teaching the wee one a word which might embarrass her parents later).  I picked up the pattern here, and modified it only a little. 

Since I plan to experiment a bit and learn new techniques, I'm starting this discussion so I can ask questions and advice all in one spot, and be able to find the answers without too much hunting later.  Of course feel free to comment on the photos individually, too.  I've posted a few head pictures in my rooster album

My goals for this project: work with different weight threads (thanks, Teri!), learn new filling stitches, enliven the corded Brussels stitch in some ways, do something with a laid grid background, and practice picots. 

So far, my first attempt at enlivening corded Brussels is not working.  In the comb, I tried to do a gradient by starting next to the head with very closely worked stitches, and then getting looser as I got farther away.  I think the method has promise, but in a bigger space.  The comb is too small a space to really show a whole gradient, so it just looks like I started tight and got lazy.  I shall pick it out and start anew.  Any ideas?  Maybe I'll do a looser version of the stitch following the contours of the comb, instead of working across in neat rows. 

Speaking of corded Brussels, can anyone point me to good directions for how to make the little holes in that ground (holes which themselves make patterns)?  Like a flower petal done in corded Brussels, but with a row of holes that suggest a vein?  I see it all the time in lace, and so far haven't figured out how it's done. 

My laid grid on the rooster's breast was partially inspired by the original pattern, and partially inspired by Catherine Barley's California Poppies background, which I like.  I tried to replicate it, and learned along the way how to reliably knot the intersections so they wouldn't slide around, but I couldn't get her cute buttonholed rings with picots.  Instead, I did a woven wheel stitch which worked out well.  I'll try gridwork again later in the design. 

And finally, to soften the line between head and breast, I overlaid some lighter-weight thread in a whipped Brussels stitch.  That is something I see often in Mia Dvorak's work, and I think it's cool.  I worked my overlay in all-purpose thread, since that's what I have.

Can you tell I'm excited to be starting a new project! :)   

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Karen, wow, so much accomplished in so short a time and already it's looking stunningly effective,especially the breast work, love the way you've used the two types of thread, gives a very feathery effect.

You are concerned about the corded Brussels, I think you are correct in a directional change for this stitch, it will soften the effect perhaps and draw ones eye down?

What method are you using for the cordonanay -fil de trace or traditional?

Your work is an inspiration to us beginners!
Karen,whilst I remember. Am I correct in thinking you have found a short cut for measuring the amount of thread needed for the cordonnay? We are taught to roughly measure, leave sufficient extra, double up, and lay the folded half point at the requisite starting point. Can you please enlighten me further. Txt.
As regards corded Brussels with holes in, these are a Venetian Gros point filling and good instructions are in Cathy Barleys book, both written by herself and one with Ninia Lovesey but also in the contemporary book by Ros Hills and Gibson. If you don't have either of these books, I will explain how to do it but am not good with diagrams although Lorelei is. An exciting project.

Hi Maureen!  Sorry, I don't have either of those books.  Other than open source books I've downloaded, which show a variety of basic stitches by not the finer points (not one of them tells you how to start or finish a thread, for instance, and they almost all assume you're working with tape, not cordonnet), I have only one lace book, which is Pat Earnshaw's Identification of Lace.  However, if you're not good with diagrams, I'm pretty good at figuring things out from a close up picture of a stitch, especially if a little instruction goes with! 

Teri, I use the traditional couching, not fil de trace.  I've never tried fil de trace, but from the diagrams I've seen, I think it works best for patterns with sharp corners and geometric designs, where the largeness of the couching stitches doesn't matter because the outline thread is going to be pulling taut against one side of them.  (Does that make sense?)  For curvier designs, I think small couching stitches and the traditional method are better suited. 

As for my cordonnet, I'm no expert.  For my Damask Flower, I was using a larger thread for cordonnet than for the rest of the lace, so I didn't double up.  I started by couching down one end of the thread while the other end was still wound up in its ball.  I outlined an element of the design, taking a route that left no intersections unlinked to each other. When I neared the end, I cut the thread just long enough to overlap its start.  However, the Damask flower was actually pretty simple to outline because it was made of detached silhouettes: a leaf here, a petal there.  Few intersections. 

In the rooster, I am using the same size thread for cordonnet as for the stitches, so I am doubling up.  What I did was probably not the easiest way... I started the same as last time, treating it as a puzzle to see what route would hit all the right points, twice, without tripling threads.  Eventually, though it became impossible to proceed without cutting, since I came to a point where I had to double back at an intersection instead of crossing it.  So I cut a very long piece and threaded it under the existing threads (to secure the intersection) before looping back.  I overestimated how much I'd need to finish, and ended up with a lot of extra, but that was okay because I'm using the same thread for the lace. 

So no, alas, no shortcut for pre-measuring the cordonnet.  I wonder now, though, if it would be possible to do the whole cordonnet without cutting until the very end.  When we get to the places where we have to double back and leave an intersection unlinked, could we tie them together on top of the trace, with a few knots of all-purpose thread?  That would hold the intersection together, and I don't think it would be too bulky once it was all done and covered up. 

So, in this rough sketch, 1 is no good, 2 and 3 are good, but what about 4? 

Hi Karen. Am just about to start a lace class. I will write you some instructions and download a piece of stitch rye in the morning if that is ok, unless someone does it first. Might even be able to do you a diagram in the morning.

Thank you!  I appreciate your time and effort! 

hi Karen one starts with doubled thread securely positioned.

Dashes:

represents single thread, slip under the 'u ' and brought back to 'u'and always threaded underneath.

When ending threads, take each thread back on itself and couch down.

The end should be the beginning...

Hope this helps.

Stitch with a slit - if you know the name, I may be able to find you a copy.
Karen, am bit concerned about copyright infringement etc so Best for Maureen to help you. I was a bit unlucky book wise today, which was dedicated to pea variation 2. I checked out the Encyclopedia, found what I wanted but couldn't understand the lasts row, so followed the picture. Ploughing through the background, feeling really chuffed, though had nagging doubt it was not right but put down to thread being different. double checked picture, then realised the text was for the correct stitch but photo was for fourth stitch! Hey ho, liked the effect anyway so it's staying. Think I need HRT cake recipe.

My understanding is the the cordonnet/outline threads are always done doubled, to make the connections easier.

Look here for all the photos used in my LEAF 10 tutorial. The photos on a pink background show how I laid the cordonnet and linked it, and how I made the holes and such in the corded Brussels parts of the leaf.

There are lots of ways to make a vein. One way is to work twisted Brussels stitches (instead of single Brussels), skipping a stitch in the previous row.

 

 

Hi  Lorelei has covered the cordonnet so there is no need for me to comment.    As regards holes in corded Brussels,  This is for individual holes, will deal with vein separately.   1.   Decide where you are putting your hole by marking your pattern either in pen (if you decide before putting sticky backed film on or by pricking a hole where you want it) and work ordinary single corded Brussels to where you have marked the place for your hole.  2. Work a row of single Brussels stitch.  3  Lay cord thread back to other side but whip once into the stitch where you want your hole.  4.  Work another row of single Brussels but leave out the stitch you have whipped into, thus leaving a space.  5.  Lay cord thread back to other side but whip one into the space you have left.  6.  Work a full row of single Brussels stitch but work 2 stitches into the space (this will keep the number of stitches correct).   Then continue on until you reach the next place where you want a hole.   By whipping into the stitch where you want to create a hole, it then leaves it tidy and doesn't leave a thread going across an empty space.    Try looking at the photo I have just put on of the twisted edge point de gaze petal.   Let me know if this makes sense and how you get on.  Will do the veins in next message.

Hi  In corded Brussels stitch veins are slightly different.    1.  Decide where your vein will be.  2.   Work a row of single Brussels stitch.  2.  Lay cord back to where you want to start the vein and whip into every other stitch.  3.  For the veins work a twisted Brussels stitch, i.e., it has an extra twist on, is called Point d'Espagne also known as Hollie stitch or English stitch in every other stitch, i.e., the one you have not whipped into.  To work this stitch this pass the needle under the cord and hole and take  the thread from the eye of the needle and wrap it under the needle from left to tight and under the working thread from the previous stitch. Pull this up gently.   This is assuming that you are working with your needle pointing towards you.  4.  Take Cord thread back to the other side and whip into every space created.  5.  Work 2 single Brussels stitches into every space.  6.  Take Cord thread back as normal.  Again I hope this makes sense but let me know.  I will try and put a diagram on, once I have worked out how to scan as something other than a pdf (which our printer defaults to).    You might be able to find something online, or maybe Lorelei will have something.    If you decide to do a diagram yourself please let me see if and I will be able to comment.    Good luck.

What a wealth of information!  Thank you all.  I've got Lorelei's sample and Maureen's twisted edge point de gaze petal up so I can examine them.  I think it's the whipping-in step I was missing...  I will experiment with your instructions, Maureen, and post pictures.  :D

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