Friday, November 30, 2012

Working on Big Brother

Putting aside the baby's mini-sock for the time being, I concentrated on the one for her big brother.  He's a typically active two-year-old, who loves the new fire truck given him by his new sister and enjoys careening it into walls with suitable sound-effects.  So the colors for his mini-sock will be more lively than his sister's.

I first stitched the outside of the penguin with black Petite Very Velvet and brushed away the fuzzies. The inside white of his body will be worked in basketweave with two strands of white Medici left over from my stash.  Actually, all of the threads I'm using for both socks are remnants of previous projects!

 Then I added the framework for the background with Vineyard Silk Classic "Bright White" in stripes of slanted gobelin stitches over three canvas threads.  With this much accomplished, I can start adding the brighter colors for the cuff and the pinstripes.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A tale of two socks

A stitching friend of mine recently contacted me about working up some ornaments for her young family members that she could have for next year's gift-giving.  She particularly liked the Penguins on Parade series, so I incorporated a penguin within a mini-sock and added a few presents.  When I finished painting four of these for her, I couldn't help myself--I had to stitch this design, too!  Since I'd offered to give her some suggestions for stitches, I decided to show my progress here--some other readers may be interested to see what stitches can fit in small areas, too.

The intended recipients of these two socks are a brother and sister:  a newborn baby girl and her 2-year-old sibling.  I've already begun stitching the one for the baby, with the intention of making it look like a quilted bootie.  I started at the cuff, working it in basketweave with Petite Very Velvet. 

Before starting in on the background, I stitched the outside of the little penguin with black Petite Very Velvet.  Why the black first?  I've used this thread so often that I know some cards can produce a lot of fuzz as the thread passes through the canvas, and I want that fuzz long gone before adding the lighter threads in the background.

I'm using Vineyard Silk Classic "Bright White" and "Blossom" in a Scotch stitch for the background.  When stitched in diagonal rows and alternating colors for each row, it produces a checkerboard effect that works up quickly and presents a soft, quilted appearance.

I need to set the baby's sock aside for awhile and play catch-up with her brother's stocking!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Another finish!

As promised, here's Emily the Angel, which I picked up at my LNS yesterday.  She was finished with a flat back covered in light blue moire, with matching cording for the seam treatment and hanger.  The finisher did a super job of matching the cording to the color of her dress.  It's SO satisfying to see another project completed!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

All dressed and ready to go!

Pete the Penguin is ready for the finisher! 

The date was worked in tent stitch with Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #003HL.  Trio "Really Red" from Brown Paper Packages provided the earmuffs and scarf.  The earmuffs incorporated tent stitches with French knots.  The section of scarf around his neck was worked in a Kalem stitch at a 90-degree angle to the tails.  Looped turkey work formed the fringe.

I'm satisfied with the amount of texture I was able to achieve on this small ornament, and I'm pretty confident little Pete will bring a smile to the face of his recipient!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Pete takes shape: stash-busting again!

Pete the Penguin now has a body!  Like every other character in my Penguins on Parade series, his outer body has been stitched in basketweave with black Petite Very Velvet.  I've said it before and I'll say it again:  you can't be too rich, too thin, or have too much black PVV in your stash!

I decided to switch threads, however, for the white sections.  Sometime prior to 1998, when we moved to Texas, I bought half a hank of white Medici wool from my then-LNS The Village Stitchery in Wilton, Connecticut (which closed nine months after I moved, a coincidence not lost on DH).  Since the original Medici hasn't been made in years and I couldn't use it for a model,. the thread has languished in my stash.  But I always thought it to be the "whitest white" of threads, so decided to use it here. 

Pete's eyes were worked in Smyrna crosses with Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #005.  Silk & Ivory "Pumpkin" was used in an upright gobelin stitch for the beak and a satin stitch for the flippers.

Only the red areas remain, which I hope to finish in the next day or two!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A background for Pete

Pete has a background now, worked in a woven stitch with Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #032.  The woven stitch compensates easily around the numbers for the year, and once you establish a rhythm to your stitching, it works up fairly quickly. 

Interestingly, this stitch also seems to provide a little more twinkle than some other stitches when worked with a metallic thread.  Perhaps the reflective quality of the thread is enhanced because the stitches slant in two different directions?

With a nice frosty background in place, I can begin working on the little penguin himself!

Monday, November 5, 2012

One last gift

For the last few years, I've stitched a dated ornament for each of our sons.  In the appropriate years, I worked up ornaments representing the universities from which they had just graduated.  Another year, I designed mini-socks which reflected their very different personalities.  I have one more to stitch, for the son who's hardest to please.  The year I stitched a Boston ornament from another designer, he thanked me, but mentioned that he'd prefer a design of my own.  So....I decided to rework Pete the Penguin, since the guy needing the ornament brought Pete into our family in the first place and launched the Penguins on Parade series.

This son is the Minimalist, who's decorated his apartment in black and white with sparing splashes of primary colors.  So I've kept the colors for this Pete to a minimum, but that doesn't mean I can't spiff him up with some decorative stitches.  The ornament itself is only a little over three inches in diameter, so all of the stitches will be small.  I'm hoping to give this ornament as much texture as possible, so stay tuned!