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Makes | 12 Oct 2022

Silk Shading Class at Hand & Lock

In September I attended a silk shading class at Hand & Lock, an embroidery house in central London. It was a really nice experience and I learned so much, I can't wait to work on some more projects

The pattern for the class was a purple crocus, with five purples for the leaves, three greens for the stems and orange for the stamen.

We started by split stitching around the middle petal with the lightest colour, and then adding long and short stitches along the bottom. We slowly added colours in a gradient to the top. It looked like nothing much until the fourth colour, when it finally started to come together. That first petal took most of the day!

The second petal was a lot quicker, I really got into a rhythm. The next day we started by adding the French knots for the stamen. I had always struggled with them before, but I think using only one strand of thread and a tiny needle really helped, as well as a tip to loosen the tension of the wraps. The orange thread had looked really intense on its own, but actually added a really nice pop to the flower.

I then added a couple more petals before we moved onto the stems, which were a big shift. Because they were so thin we needed to do really fine lines of shading at a sharp angle, and again it really looked like nothing until the final colour was added. I went back later to add some more shading to the leaves.

I finished the flower over the next couple of days and framed it. I really enjoyed the whole experience and I'm excited to do more embroidery in the future. I started a pattern by Emillie Ferris of a dandelion, but I'm also excited to design my own patterns, especially for gifts for friends and family.