Tuesday, March 1, 2011

WIP #7

Originally uploaded by polyrhythmic
Here we have my very oldest WIP. Teresa Wentzler's Trotter. from the Dreamscapes #1 leaflet. My cousins had been cross stitching for a few years and at some point I picked it up from them. I remember in late middle school (~1985) or early high school going to a store with my cousins and my grandmother and finding this leaflet and the Dreamscapes #2 "Chestnut" leaflet. I don't think there were any more in the series at the time. My younger cousin chose Chestnut, the more Christmassy rocking horse and I loved Trotter, the grey with a rainbow saddle. Granny bought the leaflet and the materials for me.

We wound the floss onto bobbins together and I still have a couple of bobbins with the adhesive labels cut into small ovals by my older cousin. The best one have the Floss number written on them in Granny's handwriting. At the time, of course, I remember thinking that the labels weren't as good as the pre-printed ones, especially since Granny's hand had shaken and some of the numbers were blurry. Kids. Now, the 762 (v. light pearl grey) bobbin has migrated into the pack for Storyteller and every time I pull it out I see my Granny's handwriting and I just love it more than anything.  I shall be very sad if the adhesive ever wears or the label fades too much.

I stitched the colorful saddle right away. I'm not sure how much of the blue blanket and grey horse got stitched at that time. I'm pretty sure the pink reins were done then. It sat untouched for a while. I don't remember when I picked it up again to work on the grey parts. I liked how I had to change where to fold the piece when I put it away because the leg extended past the old fold.

At some point, I pulled it out to find that a marker had leaked a big spot on the leaflet, and some of the greenish black ink had rubbed on the edge of the canvas. There were also rust stains from leaving the needle in the the canvas for so long. Washing removed the worst of those stains, but with the leaflet horribly marred I couldn't continue. At least not without going to a cross stitch store and searching for a replacement leaflet, which I never bothered with.

Then the internet came and I had a job and income of my own. That's when the big Teresa Wentzler phase hit. I tried to collect all of her patterns through eBay. Still more of a collector than a stitcher, I gathered more patterns and magazines than I would ever manage to stitch. I finished Father Winter, and I started the Storyteller. I even collected two new copies of the Trotter leaflet, plus the book of all six rocking horses. But I never started stitching Trotter again.

Looking at it now, I see my young self using 3 strands of DMC floss on 14 count aida. I see that I had no understanding of how fractional stitches were supposed to work. Just look at that diagonal pink "line" for the reins. It should have gotten all the 3/4 stitches because it is on top of the blue blanket.. But I used mostly the 1/4 stitches, fo no fathomable reason. The back of the canvas is more of a mess than it needs to be. This early Wentzler does not have much confetti stitching and young me was not even as careful as older me is now about carrying the floss across the back. The ink and rust stains are not very noticeable or are close to the edge of the fabric, but on the lower rear flank, the lightest grey stitches are stained brownish and no amount of soaking or gentle scrubbing has removed the tinge.

I still love the pattern but I am thinking that this incarnation of the project is going to remain in the unfinished state. Perhaps in the future I will stitch all 6 horses and frame this attempt as is to go along with them and remind me of my younger stitching self.

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