Anyway, I thought I would let you see a design I finished in 2013 to teach at The Creativ Festival that is held in Toronto.
'Rosa Blanda' was really quite a lot of fun to stitch and while I was happy with the finished result at the time I would now like to make a few changes to it. Maybe some day.
One of the interesting things I was asked at this class, and at many others actually, was - 'how important is being neat at the back of your work? Can I use knots to start and finish my thread?' My answer, yes it's quite important to be neat. For me anyway. I invariably end up having my pieces framed and if you're doing this then lots and lots of knots and thread ends at the back of your work can make it very difficult for your framer to make a good job keeping the front smooth and shadow free. For me, it is also a matter of pride in my work. If I'm going to make such an effort to make sure that the front looks good, then it only makes sense to me to have a tidy back as well.
Now, having said that, if you are an impatient stitcher and you are not too particular, or you just find it easier to put knots in, well I say go ahead. If you are going to be stressed about starting your stitches without knots and they don't bother you, why not? Although I am a bit of a stickler myself I do feel that one of the most important aspects about doing embroidery as a hobby is that you enjoy yourself. If you are going to be putting your finished article into a show for judging or for display, or you are a professional embroiderer - well then certainly you should go that extra step, but for most people stitching is a hobby and having fun is more important in the long run.
Now this next picture is the same piece as above, but the reverse view
I think this is the only piece I have finished that I have taken a picture of the reverse. It's interesting to see what it looks like. I think it's fairly neat and tidy. I still had a few ends to cut on the stem there, but it wasn't too bad and I don't think I had any knots, but ..... you never know, and I have been known to knot every now and then when I'm in a hurry - only when I'm using single strands of DMC though, any more and the knots do get quite big.
So, to knot, or not to knot? I think it is more important to be neat, than not to knot. No-one is going to send the embroidery police after you. Mind you, I think you'll feel better if it's neat on the back but just make sure you have fun stitching.
Do you agree with me that it's more important to have fun? Let me know what you think.