Monday, December 8, 2008

A carrot for the horse

On my fourth card of Petite Very Velvet used to stitch the skyscrapers in the Central Park canvas, I caught myself humming "It's a Long Way to Tipperary" under my breath. I promised myself I could move on to another section when that card was finished!

This next section, the largest area of "foliage" on the far right, posed a bit of a challenge in picking both threads and stitch. I'm attempting to duplicate a pen-and-ink drawing as closely as possible, but the intersections of my 18 ct. canvas are wider than the stroke of a pen. Alternating single rows of black and white stitches, both horizontally and vertically, would produce a pattern much larger than the original drawing. And this section is still pretty much in the background--I have more "foliage" and rocks as I approach the foreground which will require a larger scale of stitch. I realized I would need to balance the ratio of white to black to replicate the feel of the cross-hatching in the original drawing.

In working with many different types of thread, I have learned one fact: all silk-wool blends on the market are NOT created equal. Some, like Caron's Impressions, are so thin that you need two strands to cover an 18 ct. canvas adequately. Others, like Brown Paper Packages Silk & Ivory, are too fat in basketweave on 18 ct. canvas but a dream on 13 ct.

Rummaging through my stash, I found the "just right" thread: Felicity's Garden, in Snow and Cast-Iron Black. Starting with the white, I stitched every stitch in alternating diagonal rows, then went back and filled in the skipped rows with the black thread. I'm sure this method of alternating basketweave has a name, and I'm equally sure someone reading this post will tell me what it is!

I'm happy with the way this section turned out. It stands out from the skyscrapers, giving the canvas depth, but will recede when other sections that should be more prominent are added later. This same stitch will be repeated in a section on the far left of the canvas and in the area under the arch of the bridge.

Having treated myself with a little diversion, it's time to finish building the skyscrapers!


Possibilities, Etc. said...

That stitch you are doing for the "cross hatch" effect really doesn't have a name that I know of - it's a great look. I think there is too much emphasis on every little variation and deviation having to have a name. This just confuses people. Also, I don't care for the Impressions, as it packs on 18 mesh with two plies, but one doesn't cover.

Cyn said...

Hi Anne,

I'm enjoying following your thoughts as you stitch this piece.

I actually like Impressions on 18 ct with two strands. You just need to pull a little tighter and it gives a nice puffy rough look. :-)

Windy Meadow

LIZ said...

I just found your blog and I'm fascinated with your commentary. I'd say you have a fantastic start on this piece!
I don't like Impressions either, and only use Silk & Ivory for Bargello stitches.
I have always loved working with wool, but it is hard to find one for 18-count canvas.

The Chilly Hollow Needlepoint Adventure said...

And I love Impressions and find one strand covers well on 18 count unless you are using a vertical stitch. Interesting how we like/dislike the same thread!