Saturday, October 17, 2009

A touch of lace

I've been a busy bee this week, working on the two versions of my "Victoria" mini-sock design.

Yes, Cyn, I did go to the local fabric store, but don't get excited! I went to look, not to purchase. Lace, indeed, was on my mind, and I wanted to get an idea of the different styles to determine which ones would be best for the cuffs on the mini-socks. Bet you never realized how many different types of lace there are: crocheted lace, gossamer lace that looks more like netting, cotton with a starched, perky look--the list is virtually endless! And don't forget the different colors, too: pure white, ivory, and "blond." Having figured out which style and color would be appropriate for each version, I hurried home to stitch them!

As you can see from the photo on the left, the "darker" version really isn't that dark anymore. When I finished stitching three of the four ribbon motifs, I took a long, hard look at the canvas and realized the background of the fourth ribbon should stay exactly as I'd left it unpainted: white! As I began stitching the two upper ribbon sections in basketweave with white DMC floss, the strangest thing happened--the green on the "rosebud" ribbons appeared greener, and I decided it wasn't a bad thing at all as it softened the look of the "jewel tone" ribbons.

I finished the filigree ribbons on the "lighter" version, as you can see in the right photo, and then I got side-tracked--time to stitch some lace! I had already studied some needlepoint lace-making techniques outlined so clearly on Judy Harper's "Freebies" blog and knew essentially which styles would be suitable for each sock. To answer NC Pat's comment, I never planned to link the versions with a coordinating cuff color--I'm treating each version as separate but equal. Getting out my graph paper, I planned out the shapes of each cuff and the spacing of the grid which will eventually produce the lace itself. Believe me, this step took a lot longer than the actual stitching!

The sock on the left has a cuff of crocheted lace, using DMC #5 perle cotton. I tried it on doodle canvas first, with both the perle cotton and Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #032, and decided I liked the perle cotton best. I first established the "points" on the edge with diagonal oblong cross stitches, ending with a "drop" at each point worked in a variation of the Leviathan stitch three threads square. Next I filled in a grid that resembles the basis for a framed mosaic stitch. I'll go back and fill in the squares to create a pattern with the black Petite Very Velvet.

The cuff in the right photo is one-third completed, with the stitching of the grid begun in the center "festoon." I used the same DMC floss #712 that I'd used in the plaid ribbon to mimic the look of "blond" lace. The squares of the grid were filled in a pattern of the taupe Petite Very Velvet and Smyrna crosses stitched with the floss.

I still have ribbons as well as cuffs to finish, but I feel like I'm on the home stretch now. And I proved to myself that I could stitch lace, not just buy it!


Possibilities, Etc. said...

These are totally wonderful - I can't choose which I like best, as they are both very clever and very pretty - soooo much better than sewing on ready made lace. Classy, and very Victorian.

Possibilities, Etc. said...

BTW - the green appearing greener is the result of putting it's complementary color on it (red) or in this case kind of pink - both appear more intense.

Cool City Stitcher said...

Absolutely beautiful! I love both of them. Great idea to stitch the lace.

Cyn said...

Hi Anne,

Both of the lace patterns are very pretty and really add to each stocking. :-)

Yes, you are on the home stretch. Hopefully by the end of this next week?

Windy Meadow

NCPat said...

The lace is lovely! Nice choices, as always! :)