Lamb - 2022

By Laura Vivanco on Saturday, 12 March, 2022

I've been experimenting with making embroideries which are freestanding (i.e. not sewn onto a large piece of background cloth) and are a bit more three dimensional. I think, technically, this is called "stumpwork." This is a lamb adapted from various heraldic images of the agnus dei and, particularly helpful with the textures, this photo. It's almost 7cm high and 7cm across. The ears are the most three dimensional part as they're embroidered all the way over on the outside, which is folded over and sewn together. They're also embroidered on the inside (so if you look closely you might be able to see the pink of the inner ear). I liked the contrasting textures of the stem stitch (ears, legs), long and short stitch (face), French knots (body) and satin stitch (tail, although it has a long bullion knot underneath, so that makes it lumpier).

Some earlier versions of this technique which I've tried are a hedgehog (a photo is in the section about this year's hedgehog embroideries) and a somewhat feral looking feral pigeon (which, like the hedgehog, is a Pocorute Pocochiru design).

Pigeon embroidery propped up against a window

A few projects after I made this lamb, I made a sheep's head to a Pocorute Pocochiru design. For that sheep, I felt it needed the curls of its wool to be looser than the lamb's, so I deliberately changed the tension on the French knots in order to get the effect I wanted. It’s 5.5cm long and 5cm across the ears.

A sheep's head