Sunday, July 11, 2010


A tidy corner

Finally after months and months of anticipation, I'm lacing My Antarctica onto its board, the final stage before I can move it off the table and have some space back in my studio/home. I leapt out bed this morning in eager anticipation of finishing by the end of the day.

This is by far the biggest piece I've ever laced onto a board, and I've been psyching myself up for how hard it will be and how long it will take. After stretching and pinning the blanket in place on the board, I had to round up a couple of willing friends to help flip it over so that the continent is face down (thanks Anna and Chris). Then I trimmed the excess fabric, turned in the corners and stitched those in place first.

Finally it was time to start lacing, always a fraught yet tedious task to finish any mounted embroidery. I knew that this huge piece would take much longer to do, be physically more demanding as I run around the board to take every stitch, and have more potential for snarling with longer threads getting tangled in more pins. What I didn't anticipate was how often the thread would get tangled in my own feet.

The snarling threads manifest my irritable mood of this harsh mid-winter, which seems beset with difficult demands and challenges. The only way to untangle threads is with a light touch, relaxed breathing and much patience. I seem to need these qualities in every aspect of my life these days.

So, after two hours of concentrated lacing I've completed the long side. It resulted in the world's most boring photo, which I won't inflict on you, but I'm pretty pleased with the firm even tension. I was exhausted at that point and had to have a lie down. After spending this sunny afternoon using other people's wireless and washing machines (thanks to Bethwyn and my parents), tonight I intend to finish lacing the short side. Then, at last, I can slide the board off the table and lean My Antarctica against the wall.

What better time than mid-Winter to ease the sense of claustrophobia inherent in these short days by getting most of my room back from the cold continent? Room to stretch, room to cut and fold paper, room to put things down, room to lay out fabric and threads I want to look at together. I will dance in celebration.


Gina said...

cant wait to see it - in progress of progressing even ... (the boring photo you mention would be luverly to see) ...

your project is so out of my orbit and will never enter it (i dont think) that i am intruiged with every (boring or not) visual feast (to my eyes) ...

from what i am seeing as i read your posts its going to be quite something when its finished

luverly work >>> Gina

Joan said...

Woo Hoo! Congratulations. ...and on the seventh day he rested! Hard work creation! No wonder you needed a little lie down!

Penelope said...

Congratulations, Meliors. While I've only seen recent snatches of your work, I feel strangely heartened by what you're doing — a kind of deeply grounded but magical re-creation.