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the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn
Blue Octopus
takes a loooong time

I probably started this stocking some time around 2010 or 2011; the recipient drifted out of my orbit for a few years, then moved back a while back. Last year, however, we were out of town, so as usual I procrastinated.

stocking, completed & photographed 22dec2019. felt, silk, synthetic fabrics; cotton, wool, rayon, nylon & metallic threads; sequins, base metal beads, jingle bells. Image has been cropped but is otherwise unaltered.

The body of the piece was the first part I embroidered (after cutting out the main pieces of felt, of course): that is, the octopus. There's some synthetic turquoise mesh, and also tanzanite silk scraps.

Close up of the toe. Lumix DMC-LX100, lumopro manual flash, f5, 1/100sec.

Not really certain when I made the braid, but it's been kicking around for quite a long time. It's twisted, and rectangular in cross section, with the short edges being heavy cotton string, and the thicker bits wools and metallic. The flap, however, is relatively new, and I completed it last year, needing only to tie off the thread. (Meaning, I was probably thinking of putting more beads on, and decided there were enough.)


Thus, what I needed to do this year was sew the various pieces together, of which sewing the metallic thread was by far the most challenging. —I had a used metallic-thread needle, but inspection under a 10x loupe revealed that part of the tip was worn, with a slight hook. Put a new one in the machine, and was relatively successful, both with it, and adjusting the machine to do one of my favourite stitches, the darning stitch, which serves as the structural seam (the metallic decorative stitch merely attaches the front to the backing—the white—to prevent the stitching on the embroidered bits from ‘catching’. The pocket is between the white and light blue.

Then, because I have a lifetime supply of jingle bells, I put plenty of them on the tassels. (There's also a subtle free-motion version of the recipient's name under the flap, but otherwise, I didn't use the new machine to complete this at all.)