Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Choosing Gold Fish Fin and Body Stitches - Part One


The discussion of the Lillian Chermor Gold Fish canvas continues....
Carol wrote:  Here are some of my initial thoughts on choosing stitches for the goldfish fins and body.
Because of the bling on the bottom fin and the tail, I'm thinking more of a flat stitch with less texture in those places, something like a Byzantine or Jacquard stitch. These two areas need a stitch with a strong directional movement. I think the yellow areas on the bottom fin could either be tent stitch or a satin stitch. Something to let the eye rest.
Jane said:  I also looked at the fins and thought diagonal.  I myself was thinking of a simpler diagonal stitch because I'm not sure how much space you have to show off Byzantine/Jacquard.  I also have the feeling Byzantine isn't going in exactly the right direction.  Here's a chart.  What do you think?  I don't know.  It feels too angular to me....
Ditto Jacquard.  It's got angles where I think we want curves.  I don't want people to think Robot Fish!  
Whatever stitch you choose needs room or you will be endlessly compensating.  Of course there is no reason you have to confine the stitch to one color of fin.  (Duh!  Jane hits her head on the desk to loosen the brain cells.)  You can do an entire run of Byzantine on the bottom fins, for example, skipping the tiny yellow areas to stitch them in satin stitch separately. I need to find some examples of a diagonal stitch that has curves to see if those look better.  But I think we are on the right track.  
Carol again:  The un-blinged top fin is where I can see using some textured stitches that allow for some inclusion of beads. I still like the Tressed stitch you suggested; I also found a few others that I think would work (don't remember the names offhand). Some diagonal movement here would also be good, but less necessary than on the bottom two fins, I think.
The thing I'm now trying to work out in my head is this: All these areas have individual sections with different colors. Do I stitch each section independently of the others, and if the pattern doesn't match up at the edge, so be it? Or do I stitch the entire fin as one section, keeping the pattern consistent across the area and just changing the color when I come to a new area? I think if I do the former, I need to stitch the dividing lines that are shown on the canvas so there isn't such a jolt to the eye when the pattern is different from color to color.
I headed over to the CH NP Adventure and looked at the links to online stitch diagrams I've collected there.  Here are some ideas. Feel free to make retching noises!  
Kimi might work if the chart was turned so the left side was the top.  Stitch with 3-4 plies of your Cire with the bare canvas left between rows exposed and this would work.  Is it the perfect stitch?  Well, no.  I think we can do better but it does have more of a rounded flow.
Carol wrote:   ****not too fond of this one.****
I like Diagonal Cashmere, particularly the second version that has tent stitches between rows.  This could be left open or tent stitches as you prefer.  It is more rounded.  However, the slants are the wrong way. If we used this we'd have to figure out how to mirror image the chart so that the slant ran from the upper right toward the lower left.
Carol wrote:  ****I kind of like this one, especially the version WITHOUT the tent stitches.****
While pondering the above, I started to wonder if some sort of bargello stitch would work.  I went here and started to look at the examples.  I like the curve in Day 150, at least the left side of the stitched example.  Click on that photo and it'll open in a new page so you can see better.  Would something along these lines play nicely with your background?  It will be perpendicular to the background stitch....
Carol wrote:  ****Not so fond of the bargello.****
Maybe something simpler with a diagonal flow is better.  How about these?  Again, the slant is wrong.  The charts both need to turn so that the right side of the diagram is on the top. Then the "run" works for your canvas.  Whether either stitch works is another story!
Carol wrote:  ****These are OK.****
I rather like Sky Stitch but again the diagram has to be turned so that the right side is on top to have the right slant.  I think that's enough for today.  I have to start getting ready to go outside and play catch with the grandkids and I don't want your head to explode!  I'm looking for a stitch with a gentle curve that will make the fins look like they are moving slightly.  Look at the above and tell me what you think and look at your stitch books and see how things look at your end after you look at the real canvas and your background stitch again.
Carol said:  ****This one I REALLY like. I think it would go well with the diagonal cashmere.****
Are you sure you want to use different stitches on the various fin groups?  If so, we need to find several stitches that are vaguely related.  This canvas has a lot going on and I think if we use things that are related, it will pull the whole look together better.  I love your idea of putting a few beads on the top fins since the bottom and tail fins have the round dots but there is nothing on the top fins. 
Carol explained:  The un-blinged top fin is where I can see using some textured stitches that allow for some inclusion of beads. I still like the Tressed stitch you suggested; I also found a few others that I think would work (don't remember the names offhand). Some diagonal movement here would also be good, but less necessary than on the bottom two fins, I think.
For the body, I think the ray stitch turned on its side so it looks like fish scales.
Jane again:  Ray stitch is a good body stitch as it is just like a real fish but we have to be careful that the fin and body stitches look good next to each other.  We want the fish to be a whole, not just a collection of stitches like on a sampler.  It's tricky but worth the effort to think through. 
Carol's back:  I think the diagonal cashmere and the sky stitch are similar enough that they could be used in the bottom fin and tail without too much problem. I still like the Tressed stitch you mention in a previous email; but is that one too different to use in conjunction with these two?
I still like the idea of using the ray stitch. Maybe I use the same stitch on the
top and bottom fins, and a different but related stitch on the tail. That way there is only four different main stitches on the fish. We still need some for the doodads hanging from the fish's head, but maybe those can be really simple.

The thing I'm now trying to work out in my head is this: All these areas have individual sections with different colors. Do I stitch each section independently of the others, and if the pattern doesn't match up at the edge, so be it? Or do I stitch the entire fin as one section, keeping the pattern consistent across the area and just changing the color when I come to a new area? I think if I do the former, I need to stitch the dividing lines that are shown on the canvas so there isn't such a jolt to the eye when the pattern is different from color to color.

Jane again:  I would do each section as a whole.  There will be less compensation.  (I love easy!)  I think if all you do is change colors when you get to a new section, the fish will look less choppy.  I am not certain how much space you have in each little colored section, but you want the tail to be the tail, the  bottom fins the bottom fins, and the top fins their own section.  You may still want to put in dividing lines in some places but once you get a fin section done, you can decide whether you need them.  Some things are hard to visualize before they are stitched.  


Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com

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