• Solo • These Hands

Work thread

The capital city of the of Rynmere, here is seated the only King in Idalos.
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Elyna
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7th Ashan 716
The rain beat against the window pane, but the fire to her side kept the cold at bay. The glass was smeared with fog, but beyond the rain the rest of the world would be grey anyway. Roll on Ymiden, Ashan, with all its hopeful promise of spring and warmth, was yet to deliver. Elyna was acutely aware that she would be flying in the torrent that night, the only thing worse that spending breaks in the cold and wet, was knowing that was how you would spend your night. So the fire was stoked up, the candles lit around her bedroom, casting bright light into all the corners. If there was no sunshine and warmth outside, then she would make it inside. Although dressed, she sat crossed legged on her bed, with the blankets pulled up and tucked around her waist. It was an easier way to keep all the needles, threads and snips in place, without anything going too far astray.

The young woman studied the square of linen before her, she had been commissioned to create a panel for a Baroness of Gawyne. Her mother had forwarded the request by missive and Elyna had rolled her eyes. She was happy to pick up extra coin with a quieter talent, but Caelen had yet to grasp that the odd stitch work creation would not be enough to support her. Unless she were truly desperate.

With good lighting, a warm mug of tea set on the floor and snuggled up, Elyna couldn’t delay any longer. She selected a fine copper needle, sent a silent prayer to whoever might be listening, that the metal wouldn’t immediately bend. It was a fine fabric and deserved precision, but she was reluctant to use more reliable steel needles, in case they snapped and she was left trying to replace them, and worse, find them in her bed later on. Closing her left eye she threaded the eye with a practised dexterity. It was a dark brown thread that shone in the firelight, and it was with a small smile that she pushed the needle up through the centre of the fabric and started to stitch.

She loved the simplicity of action without thought. The young woman could picture her final goal and enjoyed how the thread would unfold the picture on the fabric. Much like her ability to draw accurate maps, embroidery allowed her to express the thoughts that often remained trapped in her mind.
Last edited by Elyna on Mon May 02, 2016 1:05 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 426
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Elyna
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In the break that passed, the skyrider caught knots in the thread and had to unpick the majority of work that she’d set into the linen. Teasing out the reluctant strands of coloured thread with the now blunt end of the needle. Her tea, long abandoned had gone cold and she rolled her shoulders, feeling them click with satisfaction. She was just out of practise, that was all; but it was still frustrating. The thread had tangled itself, so she’d halved the length and begun again. With the pattern now clear in her mind, the embroidery drew out the dark eye of a bird and the shading of the back of his head.
The problem with having shorter thread though, meant she had to re-thread the eye just before her use of the colour had finished. This time it was less co-operative and bent around the metal, dodging to each side before it finally deigned to slip through. Determined to at least finish this one section, Elyna completed a longer stitch to pick out the outline of the bird, before knotting it securely on the back of the fabric and using the snips to release her needle.

Next came various shades of light brown, edging back and forth to fill in areas of colour, until the fledgling sparrow peered back at her, chest puffed and beedy eyes fixed on the edge of the material. Satisfied the skyrider set her work aside and rubbed a hand across tired eyes. A quick look to the window revealed very little, it was still raining. With care she lifted the blankets off her lap and set them to oneside, standing and stretching out her back and legs before she crossed to the fire, stoking more life back into it. She saw to the candles, relighting those that had guttered.

Tea put back in the kitchen she tore apart a slice of yesterdays bread, savoring the taste as she lent against the table. Refreshed she returned to her bed and pulled the square back. She ran rough fingertips over the bird she’d created, grimacing as it snagged under her touch. Callouses from sword training, and gripping Volarean reins didn’t do the thread any good.

However, short of changing her vocation and letting her hands grow soft and more ladylike, there was very little she could do. It also wasn’t worth the pain of having to reform fresh callouses. Elyna had rested often enough during her days as a squire to appreciate the sting of split skin and it wasn’t an experience she was keen to repeat. Rough hands would remain, she would just need to resist running her fingertips over the work. Something difficult for someone as tactile as the skyrider. She explored through touch and vision and it was also how she expressed herself. Especially in recent arcs where her reluctance to put pen to paper, and speak when it wasn’t strictly necessary had become legendary. She didn’t care though. She just wanted to get on, earn her next wings.

It was nice though, to do something different, to indulge a softer side that many of her peers would never have suspected her held.
Last edited by Elyna on Mon May 02, 2016 1:10 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 549
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Elyna
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The rest of the trial in breaks split between a dogged determination to finish the patch, and a need to stretch, eat and put her mind to anything else before she lost it completely. Sewing was usually relaxing for the young woman, a past time she enjoyed. But the pressure of completing the commission in a timely manner caused a strain in the back of her neck and saw her fingers flying over the fabric, long after she usually would have ceased.

Shoots of plants and budding flowers crept up the sides of the square, grass was etched into the bottom. Wisps of pale grey clouds on a blue sky appeared along the top and her sparrow perched proudly on a branch. Elyna threaded the final deep azure blue-green, her favorite color of thread and started on the final touches of the pattern. The scripture; Endurance grants new life. Gawyne. The skyrider wasn’t sure if the words were exactly what were written in any text, or if they were necessarily the words of the Gawyne house, but they were what had been requested. So she had created the panel of spring embroidery to match. Greens, blues, buds of yellows, pinks and of course the little bird.

She set the copper needle aside in fold of leather, kept especially for her sewing tools and picked out the steel needle. The copper, as she had suspected had been bent in her warm hands. She would straighten it out another day, but to bring the commission close to a finish, steel would be faster, and finer for words.

It was then she realized her crucial mistake. The bird had been first that was correct. But next the writing should have taken precedent. Her eyes scanned the patch of material frantically before she set the work down. There wasn’t enough space. Her carefully crafted spring buds had stolen the crucial threads from the letters. She chewed on her top lip and finally set the whole work to one side.

With only half a break before she was due to report for the evening flight, there was little she could do to correct the problem now. She made sure to put the needles and threads away and set the square down at the foot of her bed. There would be a solution. There always was. She washed her face and changed into armor lent by the skyriders for her protection. Elyna finished the bread and the meal she’d made the day before and set off. Thoughts of the unfinished square circling slowly in her mind.

The clouds had lifted and the rain had fled by the time the Volarean rose into the air above the city and Elyna found herself grinning. A border. She had some left over dyed fabric, she would stitch the words into a border and fix it to the outside of the square. The Baroness would have a larger reward for her coin, but it would be a good job, well done. The smile was short lived as she realized she would have to fill in the space where the writing was supposed to be, with extra details and flowers. It had been so near completion, but she realized that there was still a few breaks of work left to do.

Next time she would remember. Decorate around the words.
word count: 572
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Kingdom
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Skills

Skills:
Observation: 3
Sewing: 4
Endurance: 1
Writing: 1

Knowledge

Basic:
Sewing: Threading a needle
Sewing: Undoing knots
Noble House: Gawyne
Specialised:
Sewing: Plan embroidery works before starting
Sewing: Embroiling bird designs
Embroidery: Decorate around the words

Comments

Notes: Did you buy the thread and needles? Just making sure! Beautiful writing as always. I really loved the first post and the way you set the scene, it made me feel that kind of cold feeling that seeps in and touches your bones. If you think I've missed anything, let me know!
word count: 101
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