Kimberly Servello's Embroidery Blog

Kimberly Servello - Pattern Drawer and Embroideress

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

October Eves Scarf

“Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves,
We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!” – Humbert Wolfe
I made this scarf last autumn as a test piece.  The linen isn't embroidery linen; it's a linen / rayon combination.   The color is a beautiful rich, dark-chocolate brown, which my photos don't do justice, sadly.  I posted a picture of this scarf previously, but never got back to the post to add details.  Also, I was even less pleased with the photo I used, so I'm re-posting it here.

I bought the linen to make a shawl with a scrolling floral vine pattern I designed.  However, I didn't want to buy all the floss, transfer the design, etc, only to discover that I couldn't stitch on this linen.  So, I decided to make a test-scarf and work out any issues that arose.

You may recognize the scrolling leaf/acorn pattern.  It's a detail taken from a 17th c. jacket at the V&A (Acc #919-1873).  Here's a link to the jacket if you wish to compare it.
Of course I changed all the colors (I can't ever let that alone) and modified the design to stand alone on a scarf.

Threads:  Patricia Woods from Mulberry Silks in the Cotswolds put together this silk floss packet for me (in 2 thicknesses: F or 40/3 and K or 70/3).  She's incredible.  She doesn't have a color card, so I gave her some of her autumn color #s that I had used previously, then gave her DMC colors to match close to, along with a description of the feel I wanted for the scarf colors.  She came back with this beautiful little floss packet (which you can see I've used already).  She was right on with the colors I was imagining for the scarf!  Click here to go to Mulberry Silks

In addition to Mulberry Silks (MS), I also used Au Ver a Soie silks (henceforth referred to as AVS).
The thread details:

Main vine - AVS Trebizond color 7365
Acorn caps  - AVS Perlee #s 274 and 519 
Leaves -  AVS Perlee (colors 274, 499,299) and MS (colors: 901F, 932K,362K,432K,350K)
Leaf veins - AVS 100/3 thickness in colors 179 and 628  
Stems - AVS 100/3 in 274 and 179

The stitches used (they are the same as those on the original jacket, except its main vine was either Chain or Reverse Chain)  :
Heavy Broad for the main vine
Detached Buttonhole (with a Reverse Chain outline) for the leaves and acorn bodies
Trellis stitch for the acorn caps
Stem stich for the leaf veins and stems.

This diminutive detail appears on the opposite end of the scarf.

What I learned from this test:
Stitching on linen/rayon worked fine.
The linen is a little stiff for a scarf, but will be fine for a shawl - it can be worn tied in a half knot only, not double wrapped as I usually do.
I didn't care for the Trebizond thread in this application (Heavy Broad stitch).  It got "ratty" very quickly and was difficult to work with.


  1. I always have great admiration for anyone who has the patience and self discipline to work test pieces. I always want to dive straight in!

  2. Hi Rachel - I know what you mean, I almost always dive right in, too. But, the shawl is probably the largest undertaking I've ever considered, as far as embroidery is concerned, and I think I'm a little intimidated by the size of the fabric (19 x 84 inches). Add to that the fact that it's a dark brown fabric and prior to the scarf I had no experience transferring designs to dark fabric. But, as soon as I'm done making the baby bib for my friend, the shawl is my next project. Wish me luck! : )

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