Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Encyclopedia of Needlework - By Th De Dillmont

This wonderful book covers all aspects of needlework. It has about 800 pages, 1107 very clear engravings and 13 coloured plates.  There are different editions and naturally, the contents vary from edition to edition.

There are atleast 4 different editions that I personally know of. Here's the table of contents in the book I have.
  1. Plain Sewing - The sewing and embroidering machine 
  2. Machine sewing and embroidering
  3. Mending
  4. Embroidery upon white materials
  5. Linen Embroidery
  6. Embroidery upon silk and Velvet
  7. Gold Embroidery
  8. Applique work
  9. Tapestry
  10. Knitting
  11. Crochet
  12. Tatting
  13. Macrame
  14. Netting
  15. Openwork on Linen
  16. Embroidered laces
  17. Needle-made laces
  18. Pillow laces
  19. Needlework trimmings
  20. Miscellaneous directions

The book takes you through the basics of all the different crafts. This is something like a stitch dictionary with plenty of projects for all levels of craft lovers. 

What I like best about this book is, it endeavors to teach the basics and the engravings or images are so clear that it is impossible not to learn from them. It's truly a treasure house created over a 100 years ago. All the designer has to do is, use this as a crutch and give free rein to the imagination.

Here's the Encyclopedia of Needlework download link. This is not the edition I own. This book have fewer pages. This book was published in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.

DMC Library

Compiling a complete list of books in the DMC library is a work in progress. I plan to link the list to descriptions of the books themselves. You can download some of them free from the public domain libraries in my side bar. The list will grow as I come across more books. Some of these are in more than 1 language - English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.
  1. Encyclopedia of Needlework
  2. Albums for Cross Stitch Embroidery
  3. Marking Stitch, Ist Series
  4. The Embroiderer's Alphabet
  5. Cross-Stitch, New Designs, Ist Series
  6. Cross-Stitch , New Designs, IInd and III Series
  7. Cross-Stitch, New Designs, IVth Series
  8. Flat Stitch Embroidery (La Broderie au Passe)
  9. Point Lace (La DDentelle Renaissance)
  10. Motifs for Embroideries Series I, II, III, IV, V
  11. Colbert Embroideries
  12. Czecho-Slovakian Embroideries
  13. Jugoslavian Embroideries, Ist Series
  14. Irish Crochet Lace
  15. Knitting (Le Tricot) Ist and IInd Series
  16. Crochet Work Ist, IInd and IIIrd Series
  17. Works of Various Kinds 
  18. Drawn Thread Work IInd Series
  19. French Network
  20. The Net Work
  21. Net Work Embroidery Ist and IInd Series
  22. Filet-Guipure
  23. Teneriffe Lace Work
  24. Motifs for Coptic Embroideries Ist, IInd and IIIrd Parts
  25. Embroidery on Tulle, Ist Series
  26. Hardanger Embroideries, Ist Series
  27. Hardanger Embroideries IInd Series

Friday, January 10, 2014

Macrame Bag Project - Part I

Just started a macrame project. These handles are older than me. They belonged to my mother.  She never got around to using it. When I started taking an interest in needlework, she gave them to me. I finally found the right yarn to start a project. I have absolutely no idea how this is going to shape up.

Figuring out what the length of a cord should be for a project is a major deterrent to those aspiring to start something including me. I decided to experiment.  As with knitting and crochet a lot depends on tension. Some people tend to make tight knots while others not so tight. So, you can only arrive at a rough estimate.  The important thing is to ensure that you don't run short.

Here's how I arrived at my estimate
  • I based my calculation on a hammock project in "Macrame- The Craft of Knotting" by Jacquline Short.
  • The finished length of the hammock is 6 feet. She has used 25 yards  per length. 
  • 1 yard = 3 feet.  Therefore, the length of each cord is 25 * 3 = 75 feet. (Each cord is folded in half for the lark's knot). 
That's for the hammock.  But what should be the length for a bag 2 feet high approximately?
Here's where some high school cross multiplication comes into play.
If you need 75 feet of cord for a 6 foot project, how much would I need for a 2 foot bag?

The answer is 25 feet per length.

Calculation Based on Macrame Section in Dilmont's Encyclopedia of Needlework
As per this book,
Cord Length = 2 * (finished length * 6)
                    = 2 * (2*6) =24 feet
This is about 1 feet short of the hammock estimate. The book also recommends allowing some extra length if the using bulky yarn or cord.

My Doubts about this
Even folded in half for making the lark's knot on the handle, I'll still have 12 feet per length of cord. That's twice the height of a man. For a 2 feet bag? I don't know.  What if a lot of yarn goes waste. They'll be too short for use in any other project.

I also remember reading somewhere a long time ago that the length of yarn should be 8 times the length of  the project. That is simply
2 * 8 = 16 feet = 192 ".

Since this is an experiment and I don't mind having a shorter bag, I decided to go with this. Each length I cut was 16 feet.

When I finish this bag, I'll have some credible answers.