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Tell me again, why do I need one of these things?

Still with the anxiety/guilt posting thing. Lord alone knows how…

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hugh house
Still with the anxiety/guilt posting thing. Lord alone knows how many people still read this or even use livejournal any more.

In other news:

In the two-plus weeks I have been away from the keyboard, I have spent a lot of my time working on a Secret Project.

Tame American is getting married! Since Tame American is strictly speaking
Tame Cretan American, I went with the idea of a traditional wedding sampler with a Cretan touch. And with that came the Research. Oh boy. I spent the best part of two weeks with my nose stuck to a computer screen looking very closely at Greek textiles and copying them down on graph paper. When I say copying, think retro-engineering. That is really difficult because you're trying to find information that you can't see in the photographs. Hard to explain but trying to do it is even harder.

I have learnt many many things:
* My research photography from my 2010 trip to Crete and the ethnographic museum at Rethymnon would have been so much better if somebody else had taken them. Courtesy of my left arm nearly everything was too blurred and what I did get wasn't relevant - traditional weaving patterns do not translate.
* There is no sampler-making culture or tradition anywhere in Greece.
* Oh shit
* I did manage to find Cretan dowry towels - that's a start, well, it's weddings, right?
* Most of the other textiles I did find (mostly in various museum collections) tend to show that mostly embroidery was used to decorate household objects or skirts. These things do not have a great survival rate.

I also experienced many other useful experiences:
* I should buy shares in a graph-paper factory.
* Yes, that means I did the entire thing manularly on paper.
* Trying to retro-engineer patterns from little pictures on the screen is very very difficult and often leads to intense frustration
* Stitch counting on screens is ungood, when you can't see the individual stitches even after blowing the whole thing up in MS Paint it's worse
* I spent a lot of time counting the stitches on other objects to try and get measurements to try and catch the flipping motif I wanted.

Thankfully all my favourite East Med motifs made it in there. I know a scary amount about the subject already. So we have:

a) the Tree Of Life - here it looks like a bottle brush but it's universal
b) Rectangular Flowers - make for great borders
c) Carnations (from -everywhere- they turn up in 10th century China for god's sake)
d) Birds - on everything especially topping ToLs and filling in any space.
e) Peacocks just because they look pretty as far as I can tell - I have tons of demented peacock motifs and I want to stitch all of them!
f) Pomegranate borders - fertility symbol - all those little seeds signify baby making

All new to me:
g) the sideways-antlered deer - imagine an ancient Egyptian painting a reindeer displaying both antlers at the same time

Other stuff I researched and was awesome will (hopefully) get another embroidery-nerd post.
  • Sounds like you've been really busy!! I love embroidery and cross stitch, but I haven't done it in a while. I'm teaching myself knitting instead lately.

    • Knitting scares me. Anything involving two-hand co-ordination is not my friend.
      • I'll admit that knitting hasn't come easily for me. I've been crocheting since I was a child, but I've only been knitting for a little while, learning from YouTube. I do enjoy it. I find it very relaxing. I don't do super complicated patterns yet, just scarves, hats, fingerless gloves, small blankets. Still haven't managed cables or lace.

        I love cross stitch, but my eyes aren't as good as they used to be so I find it far more difficult than it used to be.
  • I am still in LJ and reading your posts. *g*
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