Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sara Leigh's February 2012 SOTM

A little late, but here goes. I did the same exercise with the February installment of the ANG 2012 Stitch of the Month, this time using six combinations of two threads to see what gave me the most pleasing effect.

I tried to select threads that would go with my selection from January, the second from the left on the top row. The results were varied and not all successful.

First was the combination as specified, an overdyed silk floss and a #8 braid. I used four plies of a Gloriana silk that I love, since the directions said to use three or four and I figured, start with the most. I used a #8 Kreinik in a medium purple that complements the Gloriana.

I'm not happy with the color in this picture, but I just couldn't get it right. Believe me when I tell you, it's beautiful shades of purple and green. Four plies is too much for my taste. It does give a nice, dense coverage, but for me it's a little too dense. I'm going to try it again with just three plies.

Next, I decided to go wild and use an Appleton crewel wool and a #4 Kreinik braid. What a failure! The wool might work with a #16 braid, but the #4 braid just gets lost. I haven't ruled out using the wool for one of the other stitches. I want to get a little texture in there.

Once again, the color's off. I'm not sure what I did wrong with these pictures. The wool's a rich purple and the metallic's a hot pink.

I decided to try a cotton overdyed floss for the next swatch and chose a lovely soft green Crescent Colours Cottage Collection. Paired with this is a lavender Kreinik #12 braid. This time I used three plies instead of four, and I'm much happier with the result.

The color is better for this one, though a little light. I'm very happy with the effect I got. There's a nice sheen from the floss, and the metallic pops out like little beads.

For the fourth variation, I decided to use a couple of J.L. Walsh Silk Perles. It's such a beautiful thread, I wish we didn't have such difficulty ordering from the manufacturer. Contrary to the name, this is not a traditional pearl thread. It's an 8-ply silk thread, and I used three plies of each color. I like the coverage and the effect, but perhaps not for this stitch.

The colors are close, just not as vivid as in real life. It has a lovely sheen and was wonderful to work with.

I thought I should try one of the DMC Color Variations flosses for my next combination. I paired it with the same Kreinik #8 braid I used with the Gloriana. I've never used this DMC variegated thread and was interested in seeing how the color would break. I was pleasantly surprised at how nicely it worked. I didn't manipulate the color at all and it gave a very nice flow of various shades of purple. I think I'd go for a higher contrast on the metallic if I were to use this.

Pay no attention to the hue; it's not right. The progression of the color is, however, well represented.

Last, I went with tried-and-true, easily available DMC cotton floss in green paired with the same Kreinik I used with the Crescent Colours floss. It's really quite pretty.

The sheen is nice, and again, I like the heavier braid. It pops instead of peeking out.

So what's my final decision? I'm torn. I took the canvas to my stitching group on Thursday last week to see what they thought. The popular favorites were the Crescent Colours and DMC greens, which surprised me. I like the Crescent better of the two, but I'm drawn to the Gloriana overdye. Is it because it's silk? Or is it the multi-color variegation? Before I make my choice, I have to stitch this once more with the Gloriana, using three plies this time, and pair it with the #12 Kreinik. I really think the #12 works better in this case.

I'm toying with the canvas that I'll use for the design I've yet to come up with that will incorporate all the stitches for this year.

So what have you been up to with yours? Please feel free to comment and let us know what you are doing if you've decided to work on this year's Stitch of the Month.