Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Darned Miss Polly

Miss Polly's Progress has been something of a lament in our house. If you remember I embarked upon stitching an illustration from one of the first books written specifically for children, John Newbery's A Little Pretty Pocket Book of 1744 which came with a ball if you were a boy, or a pincushion if you were a girl. The ball and pincushion had both a red side and a black side. If a girl did something good, then her mother or governess would put a pin in the red side. For something naughty, a pin was stuck in the black side. And...if you had 10 pins in the red side then you would be rewarded with a penny from Jack the Giant Killer - but should you have 10 pins in the black side, then Jack the Giant Killer would send a rod to beat you!I think I have about 20 pins in the black side but hope to redeem myself in time.

Well, I have yet to finish the over 1 version of Miss Polly. But while I was stitching, it occurred to me that the spirit of the print would be better represented if the image were darned. I was too busy to put this theory to the test until last weekend, when I had some free time. In no time at all, relatively, I finished the darned version and now you can compare it with the over 1 version.
They are very different interpretations. It is simple to darn using a standard cross stitch pattern. There are just 3 tips to share with you: 1. Always use a stab technique. 2. For a run of more than 5-6 squares all the same colour, divide the length by making some back stitches, as a long loose thread is unstable. 3. If you have two colours abutting, don't come up through the hole of the already placed thread, instead work backwards to take your thread down through the hole for a neater surface finish. If you would like to try simply
click here for a free PDF download of the chart.

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