Kimberly Servello's Embroidery Blog

Kimberly Servello - Pattern Drawer and Embroideress

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Progress on the Enchanted Shawl

With Christmas over, it's time to get back to work on the Enchanted Castle of Marvels Shawl...

I decided to work the buds in Trellis on the diagonal, which allowed me to gradate the colors the way I wanted to.  I have chosen to use Soie Perlee for the main motifs.  Colors used for the bud are:
325 dk green
199 lt green
499 red

Unfortunately, the brown linen doesn't photograph very well.  It's actually a beautiful dark-chocolate brown, darker than it appears here.  There's a bit of rayon in the linen and in addition to that causing me problems with stretching on the frame, I think it adds a sheen to the photo so the true color doesn't come through.

Tendrils are worked in stem stitch, color 199 soie perlee.

The main stems are Heavy Broad stitch in color 325 perlee.

I am not pleased with the honeysuckle I've worked in Long & Short stitch.  One of the main reasons I hesitated to use L&S is that I don't like Soie d'alger threads.  They're too fuzzy and it detracts from the sharpness of the motif.

On the surface, it looks ok.  I'm no Trish Burr, but after a few attempts I did an adequate job of shading the petals.  I've done very little L/S stitch and will need more practice to get it to a level I'll be satisfied with.  I love the way the stamen came out - their willowy-ness.  They are worked in Stem and Satin Stitch.
 I tried to get a good side view of the honeysuckle to show how fuzzy this thread is - this is the best I could do.  Through a magnifying lens the fuzziness is much more apparent.

This is why I never use soie d'alger for counted blackwork  - you'll never achieve a clean line with a fuzzy thread, which is imperative for counted blackwork.  I have decided not to use L/S on any other motifs except the honeysuckle.

Colors used on honeysuckle:
Soie D'alger:
Stamens:  Mulberry Silks 412 K


  1. I do like the honeysuckle, the form of the flower is very pleasing and the colours just glow!

  2. I love the angled shots - they look gorgeous!

  3. "There's a bit of rayon in the linen and in addition to that causing me problems with stretching on the frame, " -- is the rayon making it stretchy?

    I think your honeycomb are fine. Maybe the topmost (leftmost) having a bit more of a rounded top? The long and short stitches look plenty random enough, and the long stitches look like they are going deep enough into the yellow, and ditto the yellow/cream. The bottom two are particularly good.

    BTW - thanks for including me in your sidebar - very sweet of you. But I'm a 16thC girl, with stumpwork and Tudor stitches taking me into the 17th. Principally 16th. You can go wild and mention both centuries if you like :-)

  4. Rachel - Thanks. The side view really does give a better idea of the texture of Elizabethan embroidery.

    Elmsley - Yes the rayon is making it stretchy. Wasn't a problem on the scarf I made with same fabric. Probably because it wasn't stretched across as large an area.

    Very perceptive of you to realize the bottom petals look better. The topmost was the first one I did.

    Sorry about the typo or brain fog mistake. I'm signing off now to take care of it immediately.


  5. What an absolutely beautiful blog. I'm going to go get a drink, sit down and read it like a book!

  6. Kimberly - this is a beautiful blog, and I would like to feature it in my Monday Treasures series on my blog. Would you email me to discuss usage of of one of your needlework photos?
    romilly at goldencircledesigns dot com

    Thank you!

  7. Hi, I'm so glad I found your blog. Your work is beautiful, and this scarf is looking lovely. Delicate but textural at the same time. I enjoy L&S stitch, and often use Silk Mill silk thread for it. They're a twisted filament silk, perhaps a hair thicker than a strand of DMC, and available is 600 colors. The filament gives them a nice glow, the twist cuts down on snags, and the range of colors allows for great shading. I'm not affiliated with them, just a big fan- oh, they also will color match for you if you send a photo or swatch.

    1. Silk Mill silk threads - I never heard of them. Thank you for the lead! I've mentioned Mulberry Silks on my blog - they sell twisted filament silk. I thought the twisted silks wouldn't look as nice for L&S, but maybe if you use such a fine thread, it doesn't matter as much if it's twisted? I'm definitely going to try that!

      Thanks again!


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