A "non-favorite" visited: Embroidery

Even more needles, and I can feel them creeping in under my nails!
- original comment about this

Well... where to start?

As mentioned before, I talked with Maria. Thanks to her, I did get to borrow - not one but - two embroidery hoops. The sizes of these actually defined how the embroidery turned out in the end, since I actually didn't have that much  pre-planned for this project. Oh, had made a few sketches in my notebook, and read up on embroidery in the book "Bonniers Stora bok om Broderi". It's a really good book, I might add. A summary of the history of embroidery, pictures of different techniques, and example projects - this book is really extensive. I couldn't have done this project without it.

One of the embroidery hoops.
Well, about the projects. I had made two knitting project-bags (just regular bags that are supposed to hold your knitting when you lay it aside for a while) out of some spare fabric I once bought from IKEA. The hoops fit these, with some room to spare. Which was a great thing, since thus the projects weren't too bulky, and you could keep them comfortably in your lap.

The 2 projects I did were:
  1. the stylized cherry tree (planned beforehand, used embroidery thread, worked in free hand)
  2. the childish flower (not planned beforehand, used sewing thread, worked in free hand)

This didn't feel at all like a "granny" craft, because you need really good eyes and steady hands to be able to do it prettily. A strong, working light is crucial. Patience was a good thing to have, too. Real good. Since I had to do some un-picking...
Oh, and embroidery thread is waaaay better, and prettier, to use than polyester sewing thread. 
- revised comment

Project 1
the stylized cherry tree

Using embroidery thread in three colors (dark green, light brown, dark brown) and normal sewing thread (pink), I tried to create a stylized version of a flowering cherry tree. Very springy, I know, but since we in Finland are still waiting for spring....

The 'original' outline.
I tried out the "French knot" technique for the blossoms.
The tree, nearly done. You can see that there is still a
'missing' branch in the upper right corner. But at least there's
some shading.
There's some grass, some shading (albeit slightly weird)
and some stylized 'blossoms'.

The thing that was really hard, that was when you got to the end of your current thread, and didn't have enough to neatly darn it into the stitches on the backside. Un-picking...

Not to mention how it looked if you didn't tighten the stitches enough, and when they got too tightly pulled.

Too loose. Ha ha.
The 'French knot' technique (left) had to give way for more
'traditional' cross stitch (right) after a while. Mostly because I
got really frustrated with trying to get them properly tied
up on the backside.
I did manage to embroider two buttonholes (in Swedish I learnt
that they're also known as 'langetthjul'). And they're both different.
Even though I tried my best to make them identical. *sigh*

Project 2
the childish flower

This misch-masch of different techniques resulted in a project where the result definitely wasn't as good as in he first project. Since the length of a stitch was waaaay bigger than in the other project, the whole flower is really loose and will surely come undone or have parts of it snagged up in whatever other project I'm gonna store in the bag. Sewing thread is - once again - not really the best thread to work with for embroidery.

I know, really childish.