Anyway, tonight a fantastic lady by the name of Joetta Maue lead a demo on embroidery basics. I have really wanted to take a sewing class for a long time, but they are so expensive and this, though not quite the same thing, was really helpful. The intended pattern was supposed have to do with the concept of gratitude. Not everyone kept to that theme, but the word I chose for my project was "grace". I thought it would be a simple enough start.
What you need - a piece of linen, almost any kind will work from what I gather. I picked up a patterned napkin that was on sale at West Elm. Also, an embroidery loom, water based marker, large needle, and thick thread. The thread we used was actually 6 strands thick.
I learned the split stitch. The first step, after securing the fabric on the embroidery hoop, is to write your word using the marker. I recommend practicing first, though, because I had to move spots on the fabric once or twice after messing up. The ink is so washable I didn't hesitate to just practice on the under side of my napkin after a while and where I messed up won't be a problem. Anyway, after that you just thread your needle and go to it. The pattern of split stitch is to start the first stitch as normal - come up from the back of the fabric and then straight down through. When you make the next one going back up through the front of the fabric coming from behind, though, you back up a little bit and split the first stitch right in the middle - the needle should divide the aforementioned 6 threads in half. Then continue and repeat steps until you reach the end of your word, or whatever else it is you might be working on.
I'm pretty happy with it. I think I will be doing this a lot more now. I love the repetition of it - like knitting. It's kind of therapeutic.
Feel free to leave a comment or contact me if you have any question. Explaining the process proved very difficult for me!