This month the challenge is to explore Pattern Darning. Exploration means you take this style of embroidery in either a traditional manner or push your piece towards a contemporary interpretation.
I think that most people will find this simple technique a quick and effective style to investigate. This style is one of those techniques that at first glance look quite ordinary but one you start exploring what can be done it can become quite addictive. Since the attraction of this style of embroidery is the numerous patterns that can be created with this technique it would be easy to spend the whole month just exploring patterning.
The basic technique is described here and there is another set of instructions here.
Bayrose.org has published this brief illustrated article on historical examples of pattern darning. The West Kingdom Needlework Guild has published this article on pattern darning as a PDF file This interesting article is well worth reading as it not only sets this style in a historical context but it provides a number of patterns too.
For more eye candy check out this pattern darning sampler by Mathilde Eschenbach and half way down this page there are number pattern darning charts
If you want some more ideas visit Lady Janes Journal as Christine has posted some patterns she worked as part of a course at the NSW Embroiders’ guild.
The American Needlepoint Guild has published these darning patterns
Darning and it variations appears in many embroidery traditions around the globe. Swedish Weaving, also known as Huck Embroidery is a variety of darning that is enjoying a revival.
Another version is Japanese pattern darning or kogin. Take a look at this Kogin sampler I found on flickr by napaneedlepoint. I found this piece of Kogin series by by Austinette really appealed to me.
Over on Ethnic Fiber Art you will find a free Kogin chart.
I am sure if you follow some of these links you will have oodles of ideas. These images are a few little initial explorations and I have fallen in love with this style.
How to participate in the stitch explorer challenge
Stitch some samples that push this embroidery style
Blog it or put images somewhere online where people can see them. If you use flickr send them to the Stitchexplorer group
Come back to this post and leave a comment with your web address in it so that people can visit and see what you have done.
Note if when you leave a comment, if you fill in the form with your URL, it means that when people click on your name they will be taken to your blog.