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Friday, September 3, 2010

Almost a Friday Finish: My Way

I’d like to apologize. I know my posts have been much too infrequent, and, worse, rather… um… boring and mechanical, if that’s the right way to say it. I hope you know what I mean.

There’s a simple reason behind this. My stitching has slowed down to a point where I’ve felt like I have to show some significant progress on a project before I can post about it. As a result, I’ve gone overboard. I get to the point where something is done, or nearly done, before I post about it.

The result, if I post too often, is that there’s nothing to show, and if I post too infrequently, you miss the process of my stitching. I’ve got to try to find a happy medium.

Anyway, I was going to post one block of My Way every few days just to put something up here, and I realized I was sorta dreading writing those posts. They’re as boring for me to write as they are for you to read!

The truth? All of the blocks are done. I’ve just got to make a few decisions on the border. What do you think?

You can see the slight beginning of some of the border decisions. The thin outside border is meant to be in a thread like pearl cotton #5. Unfortunately, all of the values of my border (gray-green) color family don’t come in DMC pearl 5. Specifically, the medium dark value of this family is only available in floss.

For a while now I’ve been meaning to try Linda Reinmiller’s method of making pearl cotton out of floss, so I gave it a shot. I guess I have to play with this a bit more, though, because I really didn’t like the look of the thread that resulted. It’s likely just operator error and lack of practice.

I did try stitching with my homemade pearl, but it didn’t stay in the project long enough for me to take a picture. I’ve decided to just lay three strands of floss for the thin outside border. Despite the need to pick up the laying tool, this will undoubtedly take less time than trying to perfect my pearl-making skills. And my stitching time is limited enough right now.

I’ve also put crescents around one of the corner blocks with two strands of the same color floss. So far, I really like this combination. Now I’ve just got to figure out what goes in the middle of each of those corner blocks!

I’d be interested to hear if you’ve tried making pearl cotton from floss and how your experience went. Some people swear by it, but I’ll reserve judgment until I try it again.


SilkLover said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SilkLover said...

I was a spinner for at least 15 years before I could no longer do it. Boo hoo as I loved to spin yarn. I refuse to get rid of any of my equipment or materials (I have boxes of cleaned beautiful fleece and silk bricks, for instance). No matter how many times my daughter-in-law hints she'd love it have it all :)

Perhaps I can offer some information to make you feel better over the making of perle cotton experiment. This is what I remember of perle (pearl) cotton. Perle cotton is a mercerized cotton and is sized. It makes for a shinnier, stronger cotton. Unmercerized cotton, which is what most of the DMC, Anchor, etc cottons are, are, you guessed it!, not mercerized. Somewhat of a misnomer.

So to 'spin' or ply however many strands together to get the same thickness in size as say a #5 perle cotton will only give you the thickness of the perle cotton, Not make it mercerized or perle cotton.

I know, no one likes a know-it-all. But let me say further than it is possible to ply several strands of spun yarn together by hand. Just hard to get much at a time. And I bet as soon as you released tension, it came apart. That's because you would need to set it for it to remain plied. Much easier to do if you have a spindle or spinning wheel and the set up to do it. I would think it is worth the cost of purchasing perle cotton. Life is too short!

You can post as much (or not) as you like. No pressure here. Your work is beattiful, and I enjoy seeing what you are up to!

Denise said...

No ideas about perle cotton.

About your corners through - what if you repeated your block centers in some way? Or some element you really enjoyed. Maybe play with the colors as you do them.

As for your posting. I have found lately I am in the same rut. I have been busy elsewhere in life and those things don't translate well in bloggerville. And when working on a large piece - I want to show progress!

But, I love your posts and do NOT find them boring or mechanical. Post as much or little as you want. Don't worry about us. We'll be here.

Smiles - Denise

The Chilly Hollow Needlepoint Adventure said...

I had trouble understanding LKR's instructions for making perle strands from floss. I suspect it's something that you have to see to understand and practice will make it better.

Tension is probably the key so practicing will do the trick. I hope Linda gets around to doing a video on her website one day to help folks with brains like mind understand.

Good luck. I don't mind you waiting between posts until you have things ready. It's always a delight to hear what you've been up to.

Edy said...

I think, that just laying the floss in as many strands as you need to get the thickness is probably the easier way to go on this. That's what I did on my Jean Hilton pieces when I couldn't get the right color. (just mho)

The piece looks great, btw, and blog as often as you like -- I do...sometimes three times in one week, and sometimes not for a month or more. imho it's better to have something to say, than just to ramble on. (even tho I miss your updates sometimes)

Elmsley Rose said...

I've never been bored by one of your posts!
I'm a bad blogger, with the opposite problem. I have at least 5 posts to write up, chock full of information. Just haven't gotten around to it. The more it builds, the more insurmountable writing it all becomes....