The Mother of All UFOs

by flowergirlknits

Remember how I said my non-knitting handwork project for the Members Only KAL was “Quite Large”. Yeah, well. I wasn’t kidding.

I call it The English Rug.

Everything about this project is Quite Large. The length of time I’ve been working on it (off and on for almost 15 years, although very little the last 5), it’s size (finished size will be about 48″ x 52″ which is not that large for a rug – unless you’re stitching it by hand), it’s cost (I really no longer have any no idea what the total cost is – I bought it in pieces over several years – but it probably would have been cheaper to buy a first class ticket to Turkey and buy a hand knotted rug there!)

For many years I did lots and lots and lots of counted cross-stitch, to the point that I completely burned out on it. I’ve also dabbled in various other handwork, including needlepoint. The English Rug is kind of a cross between the two, a technique called Berlin work which was very popular during the Victorian era. You use needlepoint canvas, but make a cross-stitch for each stitch. Also, the canvas is not painted like many needlepoint canvases; you follow a chart similar to counted cross-stitch. This allows for a lot of shading (and, in my opinion, more depth) – there are 6 shades of pink in each of those roses, and 4 to 5 greens in each leaf.

The pattern consists of 6 square blocks for the center section, 2 long border pieces for the sides, 2 short border pieces for the top and bottom and 4 corner pieces. Everything is done except for the background on 1 corner piece and most of the pattern and all of the background on another corner piece. Just that – and all of the blocking and assembly, of course.

I’ve never, over all this time, gotten tired of the pattern. I think it’s timeless and, you know – it’s got flowers in it! I’ve always planned on getting it done – I’ve even saved a place for it on a wall when it’s ready to hang. But it’s been a long slog and I got distracted. Very distracted.

So. Enter the Members Only KAL, a gentle prod to get me – and keep me – on track.

Hear that Chris? You’ve got your work cut out for you.