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Sunday, August 3, 2008
Wall, Eye and Sleeve Techniques
Stitching Lani's Autumn Leaves piece in all tent stitches taught me just how important technique is in needlepoint. I vowed then to talk about technique more in the fancier stitches that we use a lot these days. I think that good technical skills are the difference between two pieces, one of which is well done and the other of which blows your socks off, even though they are identical except in how the stitches were executed.
Let's start with Santa's eyes, which I described yesterday. This closeup scan shows what I did. The left eye seems larger and there is more of the skin stitches showing. In person and from a distance it looks great but not up close. I might add two tiny stitches to fill in the white area with color in that left eye. Or maybe not. If it looks good in person, why mess with it?
Secondly, here is a closeup of the wall stones that I've added on the left side. The stitch is called Linked Stitch (from Even More Stitches for Effect). It is basically five straight stitches over six threads in a row tied down by a long stitch over the middle. I am doing it in one ply of pale gray Splendor silk. When I compensated near the books, I discovered that you can pull the tie down stitch too tightly which moves the closest upright stitch out of a straight line. I am going to have to fix some of my stitches there.
Finally, here are the undersleeves. I've laid straight lines on a diagonal using three plies of Caron's Waterlilies in #162 Periwinkle, which is a mix of blue and violet. I'm going to be using Caron's Impressions in similar plums and blues for the cloak and robe so I choose this overdyed mix of the two colors for the sleeves. I will couch down the flat lines with a diagonal line of metallic (either silver or pale blue, haven't decided yet) that crosses the silk lines like the two lines that make an X. This is how it is done in Japanese Embroidery, probably to control the underlying thread better.
So far, so good.
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