Last weekend I cracked open the embroidery supplies and tried my hand at some traditional "loyesaum" - Norwegian embroidery.
Here's what I did:
1. baste so-called "waste canvas" onto the wool fabric and lay down the basic triangles.
[step 1: baste down waste canvas and embroider first triangles]
Then, you can fill in more shapes. Here I've used KnitPicks "palette" fingering for the green and Kroy sock yarn (3-ply, old stuff) for the blue - the embroidery shop was out of these 2 colours. The Palette works well and could easily be used for this type of embroidery, but I find that the sock yarn is too tightly plied and doesn't behave well when you embroider with it. I wouldn't recommend using tightly plied sock yarn for this type of embroidery.
The other thing I quickly realized is that the waste canvas is really, really stiff, and is a total pain to pick out over large areas. So, if you are doing edges, like I'm practising here, then it's probably a good idea to just use a narrow strip of the canvas and not a whole sheet.
As you can see from the photo below, I ended up cutting the canvas to make it easier to remove from the embroidery...Also, don't embroider too much over it. Just the basic design. Otherwise it really is hard to remove.
[just use narrow strips of waste canvas and keep embroidery to a minimum before removing it.]
Finally you can stitch in details. Here I detailed black diagonal lines over the coloured shapes and am doing little "fleurs-de-lys" over them.
I can tell this is going to take some more practise on my part before I'm happy enough with the results to try it on the "real thing". I'm not yet happy with:
1. the way the fabric puckers (try steaming lightly after embroidery??)
2. my design skills (my next try will be to copy exactly an existing design rather than freewheeling like I did here)
3. the overall size of the result. It seems a little small to me.
4. the openness of the stitches. There's too much black showing in the coloured triangles/diamonds.
5. the thread used for the details - I will try with thinner stuff (embroidery cotton) next time.
Practise makes perfect!!