Friday, April 22, 2011

The Argyle finale

Contemplating the heel and toe for the argyle mini-sock, I decided I'd like a slightly different woven look--this one in three colors, rather than the two-toned version I worked on the previous country mini-sock.

I'd already stitched the tent stitches in white, skipping every other canvas thread, before I worked the darker threads around the heel and toe. Now to add the other two predominant colors--gray and red--to the mix! I alternated stitching the empty rows of threads, first working the gray and then the red.

With these areas done, I stitched the name in Kreinik #16 medium braid #001, beefing up the weight of thread from the #12 tapestry braid I normally use to give the letters a more raised appearance. I then moved to the toe, and after working only three stitches, realized the silver thread was definitely not going to work--it disappeared against the variegated background. So for the date, I switched to Kreinik #16 medium braid #005, which provides only a tiny bit of twinkle, but at least you can see it!

Going on a blog vacation now, so I can cook up a storm for my visiting family members this weekend, but I'll be back!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Almost there!

All the diamonds have been stitched and the criss-crossed black lines added--I'm almost finished with the argyle mini-sock!

Before finishing off the diamonds, I worked the toe in skip-tent stitch with the white Trio. Now I can go back and fill in the skipped stitches, as well as add the name and date.

Time to haul out the turbo needles--I have tons of painting to do and company is coming for the weekend!

Monday, April 18, 2011


I've been stitching diligently on the gray and red diamonds. All the white skip-tent stitches in the heel have been finished so I could continue working with the darker threads, moving toward the bottom of the mini-sock.

Time to add some criss-crossing black lines in the areas where the diamonds have been completed! This is the exciting part, where I actually get to see the full effect of the argyle pattern in the top left section of the sock. My canvas is upright as I stitch the lines from top right to lower left and turned 90 degrees for the lines from top left to lower right to eliminate the sawtooth effect of the tent stitches.

Several more diamonds need to be stitched before I can add more black, then it's on to the heel and toe!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Seeing red

Before stitching any more gray diamonds with Felicity's Garden "Baby Squirrel," I decided to take a break from basketweave and do the ribbing on the mini-sock cuff. It's the same Kalem stitch that I used on the green/red/off-white mini-sock, but worked in the white Trio, you can actually see it without enlarging the photo. Isn't it funny how decorative stitches almost seem to disappear when worked in a darker color?

That much done, I added some skip-tent stitches to the heel in white, in preparation for stitching more gray diamonds. I'll go back to finish the heel later when the rest of the sock is finished.

Needing a break from the gray diamonds, I finally treated myself to some red--one ply of Trio "Really Red." While it's the same red used predominantly in the other mini-sock, you'll notice that it shows up as more of a "cherry" red when placed next to the gray areas. Interesting how the juxtaposition of colors can affect the way a color's value is perceived, isn't it?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Diamonds without the bling

I've been stitching lots of diamonds the last two nights, but no twinkle here! To keep the argyle mini-sock looking like a real sock, I've raided my stash for several silk/wool blend threads.

First off, I stitched the background behind the name on the cuff with Trio "White" using one ply of the three-ply strand in basketweave. I then moved on to the white diamonds, finishing all of them before treating myself to another color.

The gray diamonds are being stitched in Felicity's Garden "Baby Squirrel." It always seems like a toss-up to me--should I stitch red before dark gray and black or vice versa? Either way, these colors can get pesky about poking their way to the front of the canvas where you definitely don't want to see them!

I'll be back in a couple of days with, hopefully, more progress and more color to show!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Argyle

My mind was thinking over-time as I stitched on the "country" mini-sock, and this is one of the designs I was toying with. It's an argyle pattern, which gets its name from the tartan of Clan Campbell of Argyll in western Scotland.

After World War I, the argyle pattern became popularized in Britain by the Duke of Windsor, an avid golfer who wore tops and socks in this pattern when he took to the links. His socks were more subdued than this one, which I've designed in colors suitable for a "modern" young gentleman.

Fair warning! There'll be a lot of basketweaving going on here to give the canvas an "authentic" look, but I'll be adding a few other details to provide some additional texture. So stay tuned!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Another wrap

I'm finished--another gift for the holidays is ready to go!

In keeping with the country theme, I decided to give the mini-sock a "woven" look in the toe and heel. This was easily accomplished using the skip-tent method: stitching every other canvas intersection in one color of thread, then going back to fill in the "skipped" intersections with another color. In this case, I used Trio "Really Red" and Felicity's Garden "Evergreen," the two predominant threads in the mini-sock.

For the name on the cuff and date on the toe, I used Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #002V--the "vintage" gold that gives a little sparkle without too much bling to emphasize once again the country look.

I'm really happy with the way this mini-sock turned out! It was fun to stitch and worked up quickly. As I stitched, a number of ideas for more mini-socks popped into my head, which I may pursue in the near future!

Friday, April 8, 2011

On the home stretch

All the rows are now completed, and I've made a few subtle changes in color to add some visual interest.

In the wreath and tree rows, I've switched over to two new shades of Trio. "Shamrock" is a little lighter than Felicity's Garden "Evergreen," which I'd been using so far, and also more of a yellow-green. For the red, I used "Bordeaux," which is the next shade darker than "Really Red" used elsewhere. Each of these threads has been worked in mosaic stitches.

With these slight changes, the piece retains its "country" feel and is still red, green and off-white in color scheme--just not so "flat" in appearance. On to the heel and toe!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Moving right along

After two nights of turbo-stitching on the mini-sock, I'm able to report some considerable progress!

Except for the name, the cuff is now finished. The photo is a little dark, but if you click to enlarge, you might get a little better detail of the Kalem stitch at the top. I think this area makes the cuff look more like a real knitted sock, don't you?

Diligently working away with Felicity's Garden "Snow" in basketweave and Scotch stitches, I then treated myself by working some of the red in the candy-cane rows. Here I used Trio "Really Red," another silk-wool blend that's the skinny sister of Silk & Ivory. I used one strand of the three-ply strandable thread. While the Trio is a tad heavier than Felicity's Garden, the two threads seem to be working out well together.

So far I think my color choices are carrying out the look of an old-fashioned "folksy" sock, but I don't want the overall effect to be too somber. So I'll be switching out the green in the wreath and tree rows to a different thread to liven things up a little!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Stash-busting again

My "Sunday stitching" time was spent working on the mini-sock--not a lot to show, but a beginning nevertheless.

I want this piece to have a "country" feel, rather than some of the more formal mini-sock designs I've worked on before. I also wanted to use threads from my stash as much as possible. I've pulled several silk/wool blend threads, the first being Felicity's Garden "Snow," which despite its name is more of an off-white and will provide an old-fashioned look. So far I've worked the white in the candy-cane row and the background in the wreath row in basketweave and the checkerboard row in Scotch stitches.

That much accomplished, I started in on the dark green, using Felicity's Garden "Evergreen" to finish the first checkerboard row. With the same thread, I began basketweaving the background behind the name on the cuff, leaving the top canvas rows empty to be worked differently. When I finish this section, I can start adding some red to liven up the piece!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Less than six months to go....

Here's a scary thought: we now have less than six months before the Christmas finishing deadline established by most needlepoint shops! I decided to get cracking on another holiday gift before more time slips by and I get caught empty-handed!

This mini-sock was designed for a very special guy whose favorite color is green, which makes it particularly easy to please him at Christmas! It's been painted to be worked in fairly simple stitches--Scotch and mosaic, with a little basketweave thrown in for good measure--but also has room for a few "special effects."

So do come back and visit as I attempt to check another ornament off my gift list!