The second stitch for the TAST embroidery challenge for 2017 (stitch 70 overall) was fancy herringbone stitch. Whilst I quite like some of my samples, I found it to be a rather annoying and over complicated stitch to work.

Variations of fancy herringbone stitch on spotted rayon and vintage satin ribbon.

I quickly discovered I had chosen a fabric that was far too busy, so I added a couple of strips of vintage satin ribbon to cover up the background.

I tried zig-zags, different scales in height and width and several different materials.

I think the two most successful lines are the bottom line on the top row of ribbon, and the top row of stitching on the bottom row of ribbon. The yellow crewel wool has lots of springiness to it that makes it fill out the circles of threading well, whilst the tiny scale of the other row helps keep it much neater as well.

I may use this stitch in the future but probably only in a very small scale.

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Multi coloured chain stitch embroidery on felt

Magic chain was the very first stitch for the TAST embroidery challenge in 2017.  Stitch number 69, can you believe it?!?

I decided to work my sampler on felt backed with calico, which was really difficult to stitch through to be honest. I experimented with colour, using different textured threads together and thick and thin threads.

I think my favourites are the licorice allsorts coloured border, and the two rows that use a bulky knitting yarn and fine cotton thread together.

The white thread on the bottom row and the right hand border is more of my very first handspun cotton. More on that in the future!

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This is my last TAST embroidery sampler to revisit old stitches for now.

When I first stitched fern stitch I was busy trying to catch up and didn’t really explore it as much as had wanted to. So I drew a few leaves and a spiral on a vintage serviette and had another go.

Fern stitch leaves and spirals embroidered on a vintage linen serviette.

The large central fern leaf and the small leaf on the upper left are worked in stranded embroidery floss. I used 3 strands for the pale green and light apricot on the larger leaf, and two strands of dark apricot on the ends. For the small leaf in the upper right I used 2 strands of pale blue and one strand of aqua held together throughout.

The darker blue leaf on the top right is a mohair/silk embroidery thread.

The spiral on the bottom right is again, 3 strand of embroidery floss and the leaf on the bottom left is knitting yarn.

This is one of my absolute favourite pages so far. I’m really glad I took the time to have another go.

Next up: the first new stitch for 2017!

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Continuing on my TAST embroidery adventure, it took me a long time, but I finally figured out how to work fancy bobbin edging.

Vintage linen with fancy bobbin edging

I just couldn’t get Sharon’s instructions to work for me, so I ended up using some that I found in a 19th century book called The Ladies’ Work Table Book. Apparently my brain is just seriously old school.

Instructions for working fancy boobin edging

In the centre of my sampler, I worked fancy bobbin edging over the hem on the yellow fabric before stitching it down. Then I appliquéd the heart in place.

I worked it flat in the centre, then around the edges, working two rows of UK double crochet (US single crochet) into the lavender sides.

Next up: my final revisit of an old stitch, before beginning the new ones for this year!

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