The letter J – an embroidered flourish

An enjoyably quiet week has been pleasantly productive. Sometimes when I have several projects on the go I’m reduced to vacillating indecision, moving pickily from one thing to another, and achieving little. This week, overcome by a sudden desire to do a little embroidery around the letter ‘j’ and with the time to indulge in such a whim, things have sped on.  Happily, ‘j’ is the initial of my grandson’s nursery teacher, so this can also be his Christmas present to her as well. What’s nicer than killing two birds with one stone – no, that’s not at all right, I have no desire to kill any birds or to throw stones at any living thing – but you know what I mean.

Whitework J (hand embroidered by Mary Addison)

Whitework is too much for my eyes in the evening (and those white lights keep me awake even further into the night than is helpful – and probably healthful) so after our evening meal the knitting comes out. I’ve had a jumper for the 4 (nearly) year-old on the go for a while now and was waiting until I got to the neck to try to work out a higher neck than that which results from the standard Debbie Bliss pattern I’ve been using for ever (well, at least 3 years). I thought I’d cracked it but then realised the casting off may be a bit too tight for his head. I’m now finishing off with a very loose casting off  (remembering it’s called ‘bind off” helps when searching for a YouTube video!).  The proof of the pudding will be in the trying on and that will have to wait until the middle of next week, when I make a lightening visit to London just for the day. It’ll be back to the graph paper and a certain amount of unpicking if that fails as I’m determined to make the neck fit better. Finishing two projects on a Friday is very satisfying!

Whitework ‘J’: detail
(hand embroidered by Mary Addison)

I’ll post a photo of the framed ‘j’ tomorrow, as we’ve just had a dramatic flurry of what looked like snow but which turned into hail and I don’t want to make a dash for the garage where the frames are stored until it’s a bit warmer and less wet. The sky is a glorious mixture of blue across which dark puffy clouds lugubriously roll and from the edges of  which intermittent shaft of sunlight spill in full Tiepolo style – see  the first photograph above.

The letter was inspired by a calligraphic ‘J’ I saw somewhere and though lower case  I thought it offered such potential for embroidery, I couldn’t resist it. Once again I chose Anchor No 2 thread which has an ivory tinge. The flowers were appliquéd in ivory silk and then embroidered over, so you just get the hint of creaminess coming from the centre of the flowers.


As with the cushion in the last post, I framed this embroidery and rushed it off to London without taking a photograph, so here is a belated photograph of the finished item.

Framed embroidered ‘j’ (hand embroidered by Mary Addison)

Detail of embroidered and appliquéd ‘j’ (hand embroidered by Mary Addison)

Detail of embroidered and appliquéd ‘j’ (hand embroidered by Mary Addison)


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  1. Posted December 9, 2017 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    That’s delightful!

    I think you are right about the white lights. I have a new one, and I’m pretty sure it kept me awake the first night I’d used it. I’m rearranging what I do when to allow for the possibility!

    • Mary Addison
      Posted December 11, 2017 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

      Well Rachel, it struck me that the light from the sort of lamps recommended for close work is very like that emitted by computers and we’re told not to use computers,etc if we want to go to sleep (and I think it’s blue light which is the problem). I just know that when I used such a lamp a lot I didn’t get to sleep for hours.

  2. Nella Logan
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Such beautiful work Mary; lucky nursery school teacher!

    • Mary Addison
      Posted December 11, 2017 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Nella.

  3. Posted December 20, 2017 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    Just beautiful!

    • Mary Addison
      Posted December 22, 2017 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

      Glad you like it Connie.

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