Monday, 24 May 2010

Spirograph III - one and a bit spirals

I've completed the first of the spirals on the Spirograph III hanging, and am about half way through the second.  Here's the first one, all done:

The first of the spirals was more of a challenge than I'd been anticipating, I must admit.  I mentioned last time that I went wrong somewhere and needed to unpick what I'd done and start again; when I was almost finished, I realised that I'd gone wrong again, but this time I was so far on I just carried on and hoped no-one would notice.  I don't honestly think it's too obvious - or I hope not, anyway! - but it is wrong.  What's more, when I was working on the second one, I very nearly did exactly the same thing again, though at least I realised in time, and have worked out just what's going on.  I'll try and explain with the partially-worked second spiral:

When tacking through from the back, I decided to do this in sections, to stop the network of little stitches to be oversewn getting too confusing.  I did about a third of the spiral in this way, then turned the frame over and couched over the running stitches with the gold passing thread.  No problem so far.  Now, I tend to work in a clockwise direction; no particular reason, I just do.  So, all the running stitches on the back went clockwise round and round the loops, and then so did the couched thread on the front.  The trouble is, what's clockwise on the back, looks to be anti-clockwise from the front, so when I came to stitch over the second section, it was going the wrong way and the threads were crossing the wrong way round.

I'm sorry if this doesn't make much sense - it didn't to me either at first, and it took me a while to realise just why one of the three sections I'd worked the first spiral in (the first one) was heading one way and the two others were going in the opposite direction.  It was only when I realised that the second section of the second was also crossing over the wrong way too did I make sense of it.

Yes, my head hurts too!

Anyway, the upshot of this is I tacked over the rest of the design, and am couching the remaining two-thirds of it all in one go.  For the subsequent spirals, I'm not sure whether to still try and do it in three batches and remember to tack the design through from the back anti-clockwise (aaaugh!!), or do it in just two sections, or even all in one go, and hope I don't get too lost.  I think I'm going to have to experiment a bit.


  1. Your work is beautiful, I have been over your site and the blog and it is so intricate yet simple at the same time. I love the Hare two posts down.
    This post reminds me of doing celtic knotwork, keeping the unders and overs going the right direction was a head spin sometimes!

  2. Thanks! I haven't done any knotwork designs in years, having got more interested in spirals, but I do remember that trying to keep them right was a real challenge!