Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Making good progress

All the ovals on this little red and gold ornament are now completed. They were stitched in basketweave with four plies of DMC floss #321.

I then went back and filled in the Smyrna crosses inside the ovals with Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #002.

To set apart the center band from the rest of the ornament, I added a row of braided knitting at the top and bottom of the Petite Very Velvet using the same Kreinik braid.

Only the small intersecting diamonds remain to be stitched, and I'm trying to decide between two different Kreinik braids to fill them. As I've stitched this piece, I've noticed that all the red used so far seems to sap some of the bling one would normally get from using a metallic thread. So I'll just add more bling!--but which one?

Saturday, May 26, 2012

A touch of velvet

I began stitching the red and gold ornament with Petite Very Velvet V632 from my stash. PVV is high on my list of favorite threads--it's so easy to work with and gives great texture to a simple ornament like this one. Since I plan to work the rest of the design in DMC floss, the PVV will add a little dimension to the top, bottom and center sections of the finished piece.

The filigree at top and bottom and the diamonds in the center band were worked in Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #002. Smyrna crosses accentuate the inside and the outside points of the diamonds.

So far, so good--now to begin filling in the ovals!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Seeing red

I've been working on a monochromatic canvas under the radar screen lately, and the lack of color was really getting to me! So I'm starting a small project to fix that situation and help out a worthy cause at the same time.

Every other year, the Cape Cod Hospital Auxiliary sponsors a "Holly Berry Bazaar" as a fund-raiser. A friend of mine is in charge of decorating two full-size trees, which are raffled off at the end of the bazaar. One tree has a Cape Cod theme, the other is decked in red and gold ornaments. I already have three ornaments to decorate the Cape tree set to go, and decided to do some work for the other tree.

I've come up with a different colorway for my "Berries in Snow" ornament in the Eggs for All Seasons series. Hopefully this will help decorate the red and gold tree as well as relieve my color deprivation!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Filling in some blanks

I guess I'm basically a monogamous stitcher after all--when a major project captures my attention, I tend to let the less important pieces fall by the wayside. But I picked up my little square again yesterday, to try out another stitch new to me.

At top left is the diagonal triple Parisian stitch, worked with DMC #5 perle cotton #211. The length of the name makes the stitch sound complicated, but it really isn't--just three slanted stitches four canvas threads high, alternating with three slanted stitches two threads high. The scale of the stitch is larger than the others I've tried out so far, and I think I may actually have a use for it in the types of painted canvases I tend to stitch.

I started filling in the double cross framework in the center section of the canvas. As diagrammed, the center of this stitch calls for an upright cross stitch. Using four plies of DMC floss #208, the upright cross didn't cover the area sufficiently, and "dandruff," or little white specks showing through, was the last thing I wanted to see! So I switched to Smyrna crosses as the filler stitch.

The filler for the Ashley stitch in the right panel calls for eight individual tent stitches, which I personally thought too fussy and time-consuming. So I took a tip from a blog reader's comment and used more Smyrna crosses to fill the centers.

What have I learned so far? I've tried out the mechanics of two new stitches--double cross and Ashley. I doubt I'll have occasion to use the latter stitch, as it's quite delicate. But I can see a future for the double cross stitch: working the framework on top of a previously-stitched area for a little surface embellishment. I have a rather large angel canvas in my stash, which might work up quite nicely with Petite Very Velvet as the background of the angel's dress and Kreinik #4 very fine braid used to stitch the framework of the double stitch on top.