July 30, 2013
Posted by on
The more I looked at the traditional north-Russian embroideries from the region of Karelia the more I wanted to try one of these motifs. I decided to weave a linen cloth for it (mainly because i couldn’t find the cloth with the right feeling – rough and soft at the same time), from the old handspun linen yarn (which I bought from a Swedish weaver, her blog is one of my favourites). Both the warp and the weft are single linen threads.
weaving this little cloth wasn’t easy, even if I painted the warp with a jelly from cooked flax seeds to strengthen it , the last 30 cm of weaving was pain. Luckily the warp was quite short (I was surprised it lasted for more than 1m).
Traditional Karelian embroideries are done with red color on white cloth, I wanted to make mine with white thread on indigo background, don’t ask me why.
Since it was my first attempt with indigo vat , I didn’t dare to dye the whole piece, so I cut out one-third of it. And it worked quite well and fast! (I used hydrosulfit method).
the stitching technique is one of the oldest and very similar to traditional european blackwork, and on the wrong side is supposed to look exactly the same as on the right side (and no knots!) Well, luckily I don’t have to show the back side of my embroidery piece to anybody :-)
(for somebody really curious – this little video shows how they do it Karelia ,the woman on video is talking about how it is important that embroidery looks exactly the same on both sides – both because while doing it you exercise your brain and because “you have nothing to hide” from the world around you – there is no back side of life)