/** Google Analytics script below */ /** end Google Analytics script */

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Dodecagon presentation

In response to my last post about finishing another of Jim Wurth's ornaments, both Mary and Cynthia asked what I was going to do with all of the dodecagons. I really had no idea about final presentation when I started doing these. They're really a tad bit too big to use as regular ornaments, and I'd like to display some all year.

Somebody in my ANG chapter is also doing these, and she came up with the idea of making them up as individual ornaments, then hanging them in a frame, allowing for them to be switched out seasonally. See?Thanks for the idea, Lynne! I'm adapting this slightly. Lynne's frames were black with a black background. I'm going to have the framer leave off the craft paper on the back of the frame and provide me with several suede mats so I can customize the background. I haven't quite figured out what frame to use yet. I'm going to start by having a few of the ornaments made up. I'll find a good frame for them after that. I think I'll have 2 of these frames, but I don't yet know where they'll go in my house!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Happy Dance: Old Country

Here is Old Country, the latest in Jim Wurth's Dodecagon series. It's one of my favorites so far! The color palette really reminds me of Eastern European needlework, so the name is perfect. Also, I love the "string art" stitches, invented by Jean Hilton, but used wonderfully in this design. It's impressive that Jim has managed to use multiple large stitches while making them part of a whole instead of "fighting" each other.

This evening I'm working on my piece for a Quaker exchange. Unfortunately, I won't be able to show my work on this until it is received by my exchange partner.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Old Country progress

Just a quick note before I head off to work. I'm making good progress on Jim Wurth's Old Country! This is a fun piece. I love all of the large stitches that are quick to do but add a lot of interest.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A big happy dance: Winds of Color

Here she is! Winds of Color, designed by Elsa Parrish.This piece was a lot of fun and included many challenges. The last challenge is to decide whether or not to leave the metallic streaks in the hair as they are or to make them thinner. These are done in the old spooled DMC metallic, in which 1 strand is made up of three plies of a thin metallic thread. I used the entire strand, but I need to put it aside for a bit to see if I want to change it to only one ply. Opinions are welcome!

Thanks to all who left birthday wishes and who have encouraged me in the progress of this piece!

Update: I did end up reducing the number of plies of metallic in the hair. It's a bit hard to tell from the photo, since the flash picks up on the metallic, but it looks a lot better in person. Thanks to all who voted for this! And a big thank you for all the lovely comments!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Winds & Wurth

Thursday evening, I finished the dress in Winds of Color. If you'll recall, I didn't like the transition to the really light pink in the bodice of the dress. I thought that the fourth section from the top was too light. I raided my stash, and found I had another skein of this color that was a few shades brighter than the one in the kit. (For the record: yes, this was DMC. There can be differences between dyelots.) I also found a "better" (for my purposes) skein of the color for the top-most section in my stash, too.

After I fixed the dress, I started the lady's hair. I had my doubts at first about the colors: a bright blue and two shades of mauve. After I started, though, it made sense. The blue is around the edges and in a few places in the middle, showing where the dark sky is showing through the less dense areas. The lightest mauve is used for highlights, and everything else is the darker mauve, which actually turns out looking like a brown with violet-red undertones.

The hair is all stitched in french knots. As I've said before, I like french knots. Unfortunately, I've discovered that stitching mass quantities of french knots triggers my early-stage carpal tunnel syndrome because of the twisting motion used in making the knots. It took a while for it to flare up at first, so I was able to get quite a bit done. After about an hour of stitching yesterday, I started to get the familiar tingling in the thumb, forefinger, and ring finger of my right hand. Being right-handed, loss of feeling in these fingers means I can't continue to hold the needle. This is not very conducive to stitching progress! I had to start alternating between this project and another: one length of thread (sometimes less) on the hair, one or two lengths on the second project. The picture shows where I left things yesterday.

I can hear some of you asking: what was the "other" project? After running some errands, DH and I came home to a perfectly-timed package tucked inside the garage: the latest in the Dodecagon Series by Jim Wurth! Old Country is a combination of orange, red, purple, and dark green. Orange is not one of my favorite colors, but with this combination, it looks great! I was able to stitch quite a bit on this last night. The center area stitched up very quickly! The picture definitely does not do this piece justice. There are lots of metallics, and the sparkle doesn't show up in the picture!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Another birthday

It's that day again! Happy birthday to me. I've started the weekend early with a half-day today, and tomorrow off. I'll be spending at least part of the weekend trying to finish Winds of Color.

I'm back to Winds again after kicking off Gay Ann's Mystery in a Corner with my ANG chapter last night. Things went pretty well, considering I didn't really have a formal plan on what to teach, but rather just stepped through the instructions, giving tips and help along the way. All of the comments I received were positive, at least! We talked about all of the steps in the center square and the couched borders.

It's going to be so neat to see everyone's projects progressing. Each of the ~10 stitchers last night had a different color scheme. I'm looking forward to seeing how they come together!

Here's where mine stands. I do want to finish Part I before the next meeting so we can talk about the next stitches. We should be receiving Part II sometime in June, but we won't be stitching it as a group until the July or August meeting, I would guess.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

More purple, please!

Once again this week I came to the conclusion that part of making design decisions is taking out colors that don't work. The color combination I had originally chosen with the Ruby Watercolours included both burgundy pearl cotton and burgundy metallic. On the blue canvas, with silver highlights and pale lavender Impressions, it came across as red, white, and blue. While I consider myself fairly patriotic, this was not the effect I was going for! I had hoped that the lavender would pull more of the purple out of the Watercolours, but it didn't work.

So Kathryn, you were right. In the photographs on the last post, the right side design looked better, but that, unfortunately was a combination of poor color choices and poor photography! The camera flash made the pale lavender center and rays out to the corners look like silver. Jane is right too, and that's not what it actually looked like to me. However, several people mentioned that their first impression was of red, white, and blue when they saw it in person.

I realized that I needed to dump one of the two burgundies. I had already tried to find a good shade of purple pearl cotton, and I definitely needed more pizazz in the piece. I decided to try a bright purple metallic to replace the red. Here's how that experiment turned out (with the flash off this time so you can see the Impressions):

Now, I like the lower version with the purple right around the lavender center. I think it's largely because the purple metallic is so much brighter than the burgundy. I chose the left side photo before because I was trying to use the wider, longer silver bands to brighten up the center. Also, the purple around the center makes the lavender look like lavender!

Hooray! I've finally found my colors! Now to restitch the opposite half so I have something to show the ANG folks on Wednesday.

Thank you all for the great comments on the last post. It's great to get feedback from fellow stitchers! Cyn and Chris, I'm glad you've found my blog - and Chris, I'm sorry to say I don't know of other bloggers working this piece yet. The only other place I know to see pictures of this piece is in Gay Ann's Shining Needle Society classroom, on the group website.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The 200th post: playing with colors on a new project

Wow! I can't believe that this is my 200th post! I'm still enjoying the blog, and look forward to many more.

Last night I started Mystery in a Corner by Gay Ann Rogers. This piece uses two colors of metallics. I'm using silver and dark burgundy. I will likely play with the order of these colors depending on how they look in a given area, but I simply couldn't decide which color should be used first in the center. Instead, I stitched the center half one way and half the other, knowing that I'd be taking out whichever half didn't call to me. See how the bottom metallics are opposite those on the top?

Then, through the wonders of technology*, I created an entire center one way and then the other.

Both DH and I like the version with the silver in the inner most ring (on the left, below). It's a bit brighter than the alternative. I'm working on more of the borders tonight and then will be ripping out the darker half of the center square.

*To manipulate the image, I used GIMP for Windows, an open source (i.e. FREE!) application that will do everything that Photoshop will (or at least everything I need it to do!).

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Most of a dress

Winds of Color is getting there!

As I mentioned on Friday, the dress is working up quickly. However, I want to take a bit out. The rose-colored sections in the dress are the DMC 600 series. I think the some of the skeins in my kit are a bit faded, since the transition to light pink happened a bit too fast. The bright pink section on the left hip is DMC 602, and above that is 603, 604, and 605. There seemed to be too much of a jump between 602 and 603. A glance at my DMC color card confirms that these colors (603-605) are not quite right in my kit.

So, when I next sit down with this, I'll be ripping out at least the top three stitched sections of the dress. That might not happen for a while, though. Our ANG meeting is next Wednesday (5/14), and I'm supposed to be leading the group starting Mystery in a Corner by Gay Ann Rogers. I guess that means I should have a good portion of it done by then! :-)

Friday, May 2, 2008

It's getting breezy around here...

Well, after working intently on Cinders for a week, I had to push her to the side for a bit. Winds of Color was calling again from the WIP pile.

Yes, Jocelyn, your favorite lady is back on the top of the pile! (If anyone wants a smile, check out Jocelyn's LOL comment on my goals post, begging for Winds to be finished.) I had actually already resumed stitching on this before my post yesterday. Finally, all of the outline stitch on the right side is done, and the satin stitch of the dress is working up quickly. There's a bit more outline stitch as the lower scarf drifts off to the sky on the left side. The hair will be done entirely in french knots (and I actually like french knots!). The last touches will be a few things added on top of the existing stitching, though I can't recall the details right now.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

April recap & May goals

Sometime in mid-April, I realized that I neglected to write any goals for the month! Here's a recap of April:

For May, here are my goals:
  • Keep blogging, aiming for 3-4 posts per week.
  • Finish Cinders.
  • Finish Winds of Color.
  • Start Mystery in a Corner (especially since I have to lead the project at my ANG meeting on 5/14)
  • Start the next Jim Wurth piece, if it arrives early enough in the month.
I hope everybody has a good month!