Friday, 27 May 2011

a little bit of cheating - this is how I make my thimbles

As announced in my last "how I do" post, I am going to tell you a way to cheat a little so that you can simplify your marking paper. 

The crossing of the threads always happens at the mid-point of two sections.  This is the fact.  When I posted this article, I showed you how to apply this fact to simplify your marking paper, as in 28 sections into simple 7 sections.  Today I am going to show you how to simply your markings of period of eight scales design.  This involves "weaving" so you may not find it simplifying but I will show you how nonetheless.

The weaving is exactly what the name suggests; you weave your thread when stitching.  When you stitch the first path, there is nothing on the thimble body so no crossing of threads at all.  When the second path is stitched, your current thread travels over the thread of the first path and it makes the crossing of the threads and the crossings form the horizontal line on your thimble as you go, to give it a two-scales design.  The weaving is to have the thread travel beneath the existing threads on the thimble body.  How many threads under which your stitching thread travels and where to weave determine the design.
This is a design diagram of period of four scales (four-scales) design.  In order to make it easier and simple, I am going to explain how weaving technique helps you with this design. 

According to the design diagram, you are supposed to start stitching from first path in red, then the second in blue, the third in green, and the last in yellow with the marking paper of sixteen sections.

Now, I will show you how to stitch a period of four scales design without having four-section-marked paper. There supposed to be sixteen sections in total for four sets of four sections (period of four).  Instead of having sixteen-section marked paper, I made my marking paper with only eight sections.  Then, stitched the first path, then the third path skipping the second path.
Here is a picture where I finished stitching first (white) and third (green) paths as if I was going to make a two-scales thimble.
Here I was trying to start the second path.  As I told you, the crossing of the threads always appear at the mid-point of the sections, so the start of the second path should be where the tip of the needle appears on the top side in this photo.
Made an initial stitch and was trying to make a downstroke stitch.  Please focus on the light brown thread and green thread.  In the picture, the light brown is placed on the green one and this will not do.  As the light brown is the second path and green the third, light brown should have traveled beneath the green thread.  Now is the time to use weaving technique; making your stitching thread travel beneath the existing threads on the thimble body.
You slide the needle, the other end, where the eys is, firstly beneath the green thread.  Please make sure not to disturb the padding.  By disturbing, I mean try not to pick any padding material.
Pulled the needle through.  I am sorry the picture is not very clear.  I hope you could see the green thread is on top of the light brown one.
This picture shows it better, that light brown travels beneath green, on the other hand please note that the light brown is on the white thread of the first path. 
Here I made all the stitches of the second path in light brown, traveling beneath the green, i.e. woven, which is the third path and on white which is the first path.
Now, it's time to start the fourth path.  Make an initial stitch at the mid-point of the section.  Make sure that the stitch at the bottom in light brown, the crossing of green and white, and your initial stitch stay vertically at the same position.
I used white for the fourth path so it's not very clear to see, but since it's the fourth path, you do not need to weave your stitching thread at all.  The thread of the fourth path travels on top of all the threads.
Here, all done nicely with only an eight-section marking paper. 

In the same way you can make a period of eight scales (32 sections over all) design with an eight-section marking paper.
Started a new path between path 1 and path 2 of the previous four-scales.  I was trying to make eight-scales so the path 2 was to be path 3 and the new path I was creating in the picture was to be path 2.
My current stitching thread was of path 2 of eight paths so it should have had to travel beneath all the other three threads except the first path because the other three were to be 3rd, 5th 7th path respectively.
The needle is passing beneath the green thread of path 5 and ...
path 7 in white.  The last thread on the thimble body in white was of the path 1, so the stitching thread had to travel over it.
Here the down stroke stitch was made.  Please note that the green thread of path 2 travels beneath firstly light brown (path 3), another green (path 5), and white (path 7), but not the last white which is path 1.
Have done whole row of path 2.
Was starting the path 4 ...
In the same way as before, wove only the 5th and 7th paths, as the current thread was of path 4.
The white between light brown and green was my stitching thread of path 4.  It travels beneath the green and first white but travels on the second white, second green, and light brown and the stitch at the bottom was made. 
Path 4 was done.
You now know the drill.  This was start of path 6.
You know what this was now.  The 6th path in green (second green in the picture) only went beneath the white, and on everything else.
Path 6 was done.
The last path at last.  This is my favorite.  Can guess why?
As this was the last path (path 8), no need to weave at all!
Here all done with only eight-section markings but now the thimble had 16 sections.  
Perhaps you may find this rather daunting and not worth trying.  I felt myself while writing this post that it sounded rather tiresome to determine which thread go on or beneath which.  However, once you start stitching, it is not that difficult.  Just need to make sure which path you are stitching, is all and you will know what to do.  After all, you only have to do this for the first row.  From the second row onward, you can stitch from path 1 to path 8, in numerical order.

I would appreciate the feedback from you once you tried this technique. 


  1. could it really be that simple??

    your thimbles are allways precise and exact. and me is never really satisfied with my own. i have to try this trick next time!

  2. Thanks for sharing this pattern. I'm due to start a new one so I might try it, if it's ok. I brought back some silks from Japan and can't wait to use them. Thanks also for your email regarding Hokusai prints in Tokyo. I didn't get there this time but there is always next time! Hugs Nat

  3. LOL - if you scroll down the pictures fast, it's like watching a movie of a thimble being made! Really!

  4. sono affascinata veramente splendida tetnica .