Thursday, March 15, 2012

Look What's Coming, and What's Here Now!

Laura Perin's newest, Long Spring Panel, is winging its way to our shop as I write this. And it's a real beauty!

Don't those colors make you want to shout, "It's spring!"? I'm a sucker for anything with purple, and this is such a pleasant combination of spring green, pink, and purple. Add to this how easy and quick it is to work up. Laura said it took her about a week to stitch this Cool Pink version. She's also provided a Warm Pink colorway in coral pinks, yellow, and green.

We've ordered the materials and are just waiting for those along with the patterns to arrive. You can check out Long Spring Panel, Cool Pink and Warm Pink and preorder now.

Meanwhile, we got some lovely new items after the Nashville Market last month. We've kitted up a number of them that we think you're going to love.

Needle Delights released four new charted canvaswork pieces, in an explosion of color! First is Rio, the ninth in Kathy Rees's Destinations Series. This scrumptious project is stitched in ThreadworX Overdyed Vineyard Silks plus a couple of Vinyard Silk Classics in the border. Love it!

A 5.5" x 10" design when stitched on 18-ct. mono canvas, this is a fun, portable project to take with you in your travels. Maybe on down to Rio?

Next up is Sugilite, the seventh in Kathy's Jewels & Gemstone Series. It's stitched in a delicious combination of Caron Watercolours, DMC Perle Coton, and Rainbow Gallery Silk Lame in gorgeous purples with a dash of orange and green.

Sugilite is a pink to purple mineral that is fairly rare. It's known as a "love stone" and is also believed to strengthen the heart, aid healing, and reduce stress.

Whether rough or polished, it's a beautiful inspiration.

The last of the Needle Delights kits is Double Delights - Turple. This new charted canvaswork series presents studies of combinations of two colors. In this instance, that's turquoise and purple, one of my favorite combinations.

How pretty is that! The Double Delights designs, like those in the Color Delights series, are 4" x 4" on 18-ct canvas. That makes them perfect to tuck into your bag so you have something to stitch when confronted with unexpected wait time as you go about your daily business.

Kathy also released Brilliant Color, a companion to Amazing Color. We're kitting this one up on demand, so it will ship in a week to 10 days in most cases.

Last from Nashville Market is a stunning new design by Brenda E. Kocher Designs, Baltimore Bride: Shimmering Hearts.

This lovely charted needlepoint design is 10" x 10" on 18-ct canvas and is done up in beautiful shades of aqua and amethyst, using just a few silk, bamboo, and cotton threads with a touch of metallic. Lots of special stitches make for an interesting stitching experience.

Don't forget to check out the New section whenever you visit Scarlet Thread. You never know what might turn up!

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.