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Monday, January 24, 2011

S is for SAL

I hope that everyone had a really nice weekend.  I slept for hours, snuggled with parrots, dragged a very reluctant DH out for a walk in the winter landscape, and stitched like obsessed on the Richmond sampler.

The Richmond sampler is an interesting stitching experience..  I love the sampler, the motifs, the colors, the feel of the silk on the stitch covered areas.  I also love to see how all the silk lengths disappear from the thread holders while a sampler is born.  (Isn't that one of the wonders with stitching; you look at all the floss hanks and at the "blank" linen and you know that a picture will grow from it all.  Amazing, I think!)
The over-two ares stitch up fairly quickly and are a true joy to work on.  The over-ones - not so much.  I am way too detail fixated to be able to deal with charts, over-one diagrams and photos of the sampler that are not in agreement!  When I stitch a sampler, I want the sampler to look as it did on the photo or model on the cover.  That is what I fell for and that is why I got the sampler in the first place.  I also think that stitches out of order in an over-one section can really create problems.  So, to cut this story short, I have also done a great deal of ripping out over-one stitching that did not follow the detail photos.  It will all be worth it in the end, so it can take the time it needs.  Just need to be more careful with looking at the photo before I read the chart....
Here is a progress photo.  Sorry about the less than flat linen... I am an in-hand stitcher and this is how most my samplers look while in the process.

I also had a thought while stitching this sampler.  It has to do with the well-known video to Sledgehammer, the song by Peter Gabriel.  If you have never seen it before (my jaw dropped when I realized that both DH and P.Snickety at work are too young to remember seeing this classic!) hurry up and watch!  I remember that this was the coolest thing I had ever seen - it was truly the height of technology and art mixed together back in 1986!  I showed this video to both DH and P.Snickety and both of them looked at me and said "I don't get it!".  Sigh!!!  (For the more sensitive readers; excuse the female and male "cells" in the beginning of the video below - I don't remember seeing those on MTV, so that section was likely never shown on TV.)
 I got so obsessed that I even researched the song & video on the internet.  Plus I listened to Sledgehammer about 15 times in one evening - I don't think that I have listened to the same song over and over for ... .. well months!
Anyway, I thought that there were some really interesting things to learn about this video. :
-  This video was widely popular and influential, using claymation, pixilation, and stop motion animation that gave life to images in the song
-  Peter Gabriel was filmed under a glass table - it took 16 hrs to complete all the pictures of his face that were stitched together to make the video
-  Won nine MTV Video Music Awards in 1987, a record which still stands as of 2010.
-  Ranked at number four on MTV's 100 Greatest Music Videos Ever Made (1999). MTV later announced that "Sledgehammer" is the most played music video in the history of the station.
-  The portion of the song featuring the synthesized flute solo was realized in the video by first one and then two oven-ready turkeys, headless and featherless, animated using stop-motion. These were animated by Nick Park (of Wallace and Gromit fame) who, at that time was refining his work in plasticine animation.  (I love Wallace and Gromit - have all the movies at home!!!)

So why am I writing about this?  Because, the thought struck me that it would be so cool to make a stop motion video of a sampler in the making!  Yes, I know that I am a nerd, but really - how cool would that be!?!?  :-D

Other than that, I have pulled myself together and decided that I cannot ignore my SALs any longer.  Tonight, I finally started on part 7 for the Drawn Thread Alphabet sampler, and I have the S section complete!  The T section is pretty large while the U part is itty-bitty.  The hardest part is to drag this piece back out of the stitching room and start stitching on it, but once that hurdle has been climbed, I enjoy most of the stitches - even though in today's section, the "square boss" stitch looks pretty much identical to a rice-stitch to me (both the finished stitch itself and the way to get there...).

After the DT SAL is completed for this time, I need to get to the Moss Creek piece.  It will be hard - I am already missing the Richmond sampler.  Sniffle.  We spent so much time together this weekend that I am going through withdrawal right now.  Not good.

I also pointed out a gorgeous sampler, that is new to me, for DH today.  He didn't really get the hint...  Even though he did do a double take when I told him the prices for the silks packs that Attic Needlework offer (the sampler was their "sampler of the month" back on Feb-2010).  The trick is to read the most expensive floss first and everything else sounds almost reasonable after that...  Anyway, here is a link to a beautiful version of the Ann Rayner sampler charted by Threads Through Time.  This link will take you to photos of the original sampler and some background information by Nancy Sturgeon of TTT.
Finally, I have been updating all my WIPs to the right, so that you don't think that I ran out of unfinished projects earlier this month.  Nope, there is an almost never ending well to scoop from...  The list to the right isn't even close to complete!
Happy stitching and talk with you in a bit,


  1. Beautiful Sampler you are working on Jenny !! Love Sledge hammer video too!!!

  2. I think it's a great idea to have a vid of your sampler from start to finish. :D Looking forward to that one.

  3. Wow! You have some serious WIP's! The Richmond Sampler looks really great!