Sunday, December 20, 2009

A triumph of new old technology

Tracks in the snow

I won't say I'm not a hoarder by nature, as I suspect that if there had ever been any geographical stability in my life I would love to accumulate things. But I have moved too far, too often, and too recently, for to have much of anything thing stashed away for 'just in case'. I am most definitely a reluctant shopper, generally loathe to acquire anything without an immediate, certain purpose.

Right now though, I am in an acquisitional phase as I set about establishing a studio and living environment which will enable me to achieve all I want to. My latest purchase is proving entirely satisfactory in support of my goals. I have bought a wooden standing tapestry/embroidery frame. This old fashioned and hard-to-find piece of equipment makes me think of Victorian, or even Elizabethan, ladies sitting around doing needlework all day. Just like me, but in less comfortable clothing and with servants.

Standing embroidery frame

My lightweight, adjustable stand, won on a Trade Me auction for a song, allows me to sit up straight and comfortably, using both hands to manipulate the needle and thread instead of hunching over a small hoop braced between my forearm and torso.

The tension can only be adjusted in one direction, by turning the top and bottom dowels

As soon as I brought the stand home, I stopped all dithering about the Antarctic journey. Quickly basting the highest three contours of the ice dome onto the frame, I threaded my needle with the first length of white cotton (already purchased in bulk) and set off. I'm also incorporating a bit of needle felting into the process, to make the contours more curvaceous, but (after endless agonising over various alternatives) the stitching is just the same as Ross Island's.

Looking down from the highest point on the continent, over 4000m of ice.


Amanda said...

Good on you for looking after your back. This is looking gorgeous! As someone who failed blanket stitch 101 I am most intrigued.

Joan B said...

I am enjoying the progress of your Antarctica work. The sewing frame is wonderful. Happy Christmas Meliors. May the New Year be as successful and ever more wonderful. Jb

Anonymous said...

I'm sure you must realise that Bibliophilia has been going for almost exactly 5 years. And what a productive, inspiring 5 years they've been M!!
And Happy Belated Birthday too...

Carol said...

What a beautiful thing your new/old embroidery frame is; a wonderful find. And doesn't your new work look marvellous on it!

harvey molloy said...

Love these photos! Have a great new year.