When I woke up this morning my left hip was extremely stiff and sore. Why, I wondered? I soon learned that it was from all my embroidery yesterday! Especially the bullions. I have been keeping a good grip on all the wraps as I do them, and it seems my whole left side has been involved in the process! Today I managed to finish the two bottom roses, and now I've had to put it away for the day. But I think it's looking good:
Yesterday, in addition to all my practice bullions, I finished the purple hollyhocks behind the rose bush, placed the centres of the rose bush, added a few more rosettes to the tree, an extra leaf to the hydrangea, and another row of white cyclamen below the tree to bring the lower margin in line. They still need a few leaves. I am going to leave a bigger gap between the hydrangea and the rose bush than the pattern calls for, because I don't want to have any of the more fragile stitches like rosettes or bullions on the fold line.
The purple hollyhocks are a rosette stitch/French knot combination...
...while the other hollyhocks were all done in blanket stitch pinwheels:
I'm also going to invent some different flowers to fill in the rest of the right side. The plan is to try marigolds behind the white cyclamen, and some black-eyed Susans beside them. Then the whole bottom is underlined with French knot "alyssum," and the outside is done!
The inside is made from a nice pink gingham, with small bullion roses in the centre of the inside front and back. It's a needlebook, by the way! I'm going to use it to keep all these loose needles that come with the kits.
The thing that has made the biggest difference for me, compared to the trouble I had before, was taking the project out of the hoop. It is so much easier to turn the work, and use the left hand as well as the right to manage the thread. I can't believe how much faster it has been.