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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Hi Teri! 

This guy?  Very nice!  It's interesting to see the texture difference between needlelace and bobbin lace.  Bobbin lace always looks smooth to me.  Like when you're in an airplane: the difference between the bumpy appearance of cities and mountains, versus the smoothness of farmland and suburbs.  I like the bobbin lace rooster's feet, and his wide open mouth.  He was mid-crow! 

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