I’ve been doodling with thread. I felt I needed a bit of a break from the small blocks of satin stitch which is all I seem to have done for ages. Not that I won’t return to it – I think there’s still some mileage in the Paul Klee-inspired work, but I want a change. My chosen stitch for doodling is couching and its variants. I picked up a piece of cloth a couple of days ago and worked with the threads I already had in my basket (emptied in there from the Ziplock bags after the cycling adventure). I worked on the big concentric circles at the bottom left of the photo first, then decided to see what would happen if I worked more circles over them. Then I added the four freestanding circles on the right hand side. Then I wondered what it would look like inside a square, so I worked one. Then I thought I might investigate what would happen if I put in a background behind the circles….. and so on until I felt I’d done enough on it. I just love working like this, seeing what will happen. Making samples is just fun, and it really doesn’t matter what the outcome is. They’re fairly quick to do and you can abandon them if you don’t like the way they’re going. If you do like a sample, you might just be inspired to create a larger piece, or even something that’s going to be important for your own development. Doodling with couching

It’s caught my imagination – which is one of the points of sampling, after all – and  today I’ve just started on a set of samples (in 2inch squares) on traditional linen. The intention is to explore different ways of filling in a small area with couching. I’m going to stick to the same very limited colour palette but I might extend the range of materials to wool yarn, ribbon, even beads. I always like the idea of beads but I think they’re difficult to use well. But in a sample, it just doesn’t matter! I’ll let you know how I get on.

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