Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Nose and A Name

I've been busy working on the reds on this design, which got me started on the red top of the stocking.  I decided to put the recipient's name there using red holographic Kreinik and stitch the background around the name with my bright red Trio.  In this case I want the name to be rather subtle, not stand out.  Since Christmas items often are seen in artificial light, I think the shine of the holographic Kreinik will show the name off in the small stocking's natural setting, which is on a Christmas tree among many other ornaments and lights.

The first thing I need is an alphabet, so I started browsing Carrie Pieniozek's site where she has many free charted alphabets.

The red top is 5 threads high, so I need a small alphabet.  I can add to the top of the stocking but since I don't want to make the name a focus of the stocking so I don't want to add much height.  That means I'm looking for letters that are 5-7 stitches tall.  After a little browsing, I settled on alphabet #33.

That's it stitched in the photo at the top of this article. You'll notice that it is up over the red area quite a bit.  That's my test stitching.  I count things out carefully to place the letters but I've discovered that letters often don't look exactly right even if they are, because the letters give the illusion of space around them.    The E and the N are the same width but the E looks wider because of its horizontal orientation and the fact that the base is longer than the top.  You have to adjust for those things and eventually I did.  By the way, it is in two shades of red as I was using up leftover plies of Trio and since this is a test, it doesn't matter what colors I use.

As I transferred each letter to the red band at the stocking's top, I made the A one stitch longer on the left side to make everything look right.  Alphabet #33 is 6 stitches high, so I increased the height of the red area from five threads to eight so there is a red row above and below the six rows of lettering.  As I work the real letters, I pull the letters above that are my pattern out to make room.

As you can see, I've also stitched in the snowman's carrot nose.  It is simply orange Medici wool.  I stitched two horizontal long stitches down the length of the nose, then did a row of straight vertical stitches across the orange area.  Then I did a slightly slanted vertical row.  Finally I ended this with another row of straight vertical stitches.  I could have done a fancier nose but I think this looks exactly the way I want it to.

Here's a photo of my progress to date.  I have to finish stitching the name and the violet areas, put brown stems on the apples, then tackle the stars in the sky and the fur trim on the stocking cap to finish.  Since I'm so close to getting this done, I need to rummage in the stash to see if I have red velvet for finishing.

Jane, sighing at the thought of finishing, then waving to KM as I exit

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com Archived Yahoo 360 postings at http://profiles.yahoo.com/chillyhollow