Monday, November 24, 2008

Encroaching Background

Before I stop talking about the Skinny Willow background entirely, I thought I'd mention two things that helped me stitch it successfully--and that apply to any background stitch that doesn't cover the painted canvas underneath entirely.

The first thing is that the background may encroach into other painted areas. You'll see in the photo above that I stitched right over the hair ornaments. There are also a few stitches that go over the black hair of either the maid or the geisha. I discovered doing Skinny Willow that a stitch over one thread disappeared. I ended up compensating with two stitches instead, which meant one stitch went a bit too far. Since I'm going to cover the hair ornaments and the hair with other stitches, one little stitch in one ply is no big deal. It will be covered up easily and helps the background compensated stitches look better.

The other thing you need to remember with all stitches that let the paint underneath show through is to secure them on the back very well. I tied a tiny knot in my length of DMC cotton and ran it under a few stitches on the back before starting, made sure I pulled each stitch snug, and run the tail end under a few stitches going one way and then another when I finished. Light coverage stitches wiggle their way loose on the background as there isn't much to anchor them, espeically if they are a silk floss. Silk is like beads--an escape artist--so beware.

Next I started work on the woman in the background, the laundrywoman or cook with the head wrap and the bright and cheerful yukata, which is a light cotton summer kimono. Her name is Pearl. More about her next time.

Jane/Chilly Hollow

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Possibilities, Etc. said...

This is a great background - I haven't seen it before. It's "unobtrusive texture" - where basketweave would look boring and more decorative stitches would be suffocating and distracting.

The Chilly Hollow Needlepoint Adventure said...

Thanks, Judy. It came for the first Stitches For Effect book and although I haven't seen it used much, it is very versatile. It'll look totally different in a thicker thread or done over fewer intersections.