Saturday, March 13, 2010

Consulting the Windows Expert

Yesterday was Window Day.  As you know, I like cheating consulting the wisdom of other stitchers, particularly the real experts among us.  So before I decided on how to stitch the lighted windows in the Tardis I pulled out my 2006 and 2007 copies of Needlepoint Now.

Starting in the March/April 2006 edition of Needlepoint Now, Tony Minieri wrote a series of short articles about stitches that work well in rendering architectural features in NP.  I have slowly read through all the 2006 issues through September/October 2006 which is when the series ends for that year.  (There are more articles on this topic in 2007 but I haven't gotten to them yet.)  As I read, I thought about how I wanted my Tardis windows to look.  I know they are divided in half with three small glass panes above and three more below the horizontal line in the middle.  The photos of the Tardis from publicity stills shows the windows in either white or yellow, so I choose yellow as a nice contrast to the blue outside of the Tardis.  It looked like couching some of my perle cotton on top of the Crystal Braid would make nice muntins (which is the fancy architectural term for the grid that divides a window into smaller elements).

One of the stitches Tony recommends is cashmere.  This stitch can be done on the diagonal or in straight rows.  I choose the straight version which is how the windows look in my reference photos.

I thought it would be easy to make a row of three over three cashmere blocks for the front doors of the Tardis, then leave off the top and bottom of the blocks and just use the slanting lines of the stitch for the side windows on the left.  So that is what I did.  I used Rainbow Gallery's Crystal Braid in sunny yellow CR07 for the glowing windows.  The hardest part was counting each row of blocks to make sure both rows in both windows were the same size. I skipped a thread between each block so there would be room for the dividing muntins for the ones on the front.  I just put the muntins on top of the side windows. There's not room for much window there.

The muntins themselves are done with two lines of #8 cotton perle on the front windows and one line of the same thread on the side.  The side areas don't show up much but that might change once I couch down the pairs.  I didn't get to that last night as I also covered over the rear vertical line of the barely glimpsed side of the Tardis.

Here is the NP Now website where you can browse the table of contents for back issues to see which ones you might want to read.  See where it says back issues cost $7 a magazine plus shipping?  NP Now is having a sale of their back issues which now cost $3 per issue plus shipping.  The sale is until May 1st so if you want a copy of something, now is the time to buy.

Tonight I'll couch down the muntins with some DMC cotton floss in the same blue, then start reading up what Mr. Minieri has to say about door panels.  

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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  1. Jane - I absolutely love watching this take shape as I am also a fan of the Dr. I have a comment about the left side windows. I don't think that the tops should be on the same thread. For perspective's sake, I think the slope of the tops should flow one to the other. The far left window should be down a couple of stitches. Not sure I stated that very well. If you look at the picture of the tardis, you will see that the perspective line slopes down from upper right to lower left on that left side and the window tops also follow that line. Right now the pointy tops of the stitched windows are on the same thread and I don't think they should be. I truly love watching the mental process that is involved in your stitching. I have learned so very much from you. Thanks, Pamela (Tucson)

  2. Excellent choices....this is not going to take you very long either!

  3. This is fascinating. Thanks, Jane.

  4. Glad you are enjoying the show, Donna. Pamela, you are right. The side's windows should not be level but I made them that way deliberately. I was looking forward to how I was going to stitch the exterior walls themselves and thought if I used anything except tent stitch, the compensation would draw attention to the side windows, which I don't want. So I have them even to make stitching the side easier and the windows themselves less attention catching. Make sense?