Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Washington Metro Map, Part Two

Yesterday Barbara gave us her problem canvas to start working on.  You've read my questions to her about the canvas.  Now here are her replies in purple and my questions/answers in black.

Have you thought about how you want to finish it? Not a clue but I will probably frame it – I have a room I call my library full of books and maps!

I think Jessicas and beads for the subway stops is a great idea. Did you have a stitch in mind for the Gloriana petite perle lines?

I had thought about couching parallel lines for the subway lines but I am not sure I like the idea. I wanted something that would convey they idea that they are lines if you know what I mean. Maybe rows of outline stitch or diagonal satin stitch for the red or orange lines? By the way when I got home and looked it turned out that I got Gloriana Luniescence (sp?) not Petite Perle and it is very fine so I am not sure if I will be able to use it after all – not sure what I was thinking when I bought it!

When I looked at the piece I got a sort of Wizard of Oz fantasy feel, like this is not just a map of a real place but a guide to magical destinations. I get fanciful sometimes!

I like this idea but I have now idea how to go about implementing something like this – I am a very down to earth, practical type.

But following through on the fantasy land idea, I then noticed that there are two landmarks (the Capital and the Washington Monument - I think it is the Washington Monument) plus the compass in the right lower corner. If it were me, I'd try to make those areas very glitzy (as well as the letters of Washington, D.C. in the left border) by using beads, metallics, goldwork, etc. Then I'd do the black background in tent stitches using my favorite silk or silk/wool blend. It is not easy to make fancy stitches show up on black using black threads and I suppose the background really is just a sort of black velvet to show off the subway lines and the decorative elements, anyway.

Again – I agree with all of this in principle but have little idea about how to go about it. My current favorite for tent stitch on 18 count is Vinyard Silk. I don’t know if there is a Shimmer in black but that might give the background a bit of sparkle which might be a nice effect – or would it not really show up?

I think I'd use various small textured stitches for some of the subway lines and perhaps toss in some metallic here and there. I'm thinking stitches like Nobuku, Dotted Swiss, Double Cross, etc. You are going to have to be careful where you put texture and metallics on the lines. Some of them seem to be in the background and others in the foreground, probably because of the color choices.  I am not that familiar with D.C. subway lines. Are the green lines part of the Green Line, so to speak?

There are two shades of green – a lighter green which goes from the compass rose to the capital. That is one of the subway lines. The other green is not part of the subway system and is meant to represent the National Park portion of the city (Arlington Cemetery, the Mall, Capital, Rock Creek Park, etc). Same with the blue. The more Williamsburg blue which goes from the bottom near the monument to the left edge is the subway line and the lighter blue represents the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers.

I'm thinking you might want to solidly bead the black Capital silhouette, purple outline and all, and then fill in the gold background with some sort of fancy stitch, perhaps one that is more or less oval or perhaps cross-cross Hungarian, but putting touches of gold metallic in the stitch, whichever you choose.

I have never done solid beading on 18 count – I assume that means a bead at every intersection? Or I could do as (I think it is Judy Harper?) suggests and bead every other intersection and stitch every other – I am not sure how I feel about the very crowded look over beading every intersection. I really like the idea of criss-cross Hungarian with touches of gold metallic in the background.

I'm thinking goldwork for the compass I am not sure what you mean by this – are you talking metal threads? Or kreinik metallics?  perhaps just the center padded to stand up to the Capital in greens and golds. Then we'll have to do something equally spectacular with the Washington--Monument. I see the spire and the lettering as similar. Whatever you do with one, you'll need to do with the other. Beading would work but a lovely Burden stitch with the right flashy threads might look lovely on the spire with the same threads used in the lettering. Aren’t the letters awfully thin to be doing burden stitch?

We have lots of thinking to do on this one but this is a start. I do think you will need tent stitches in the black background and possibly behind the letters on the left border. Probably the red, darker blue and orange lines will need tent stitches, too, as there are all those little boxes on top of them. (each of those little boxes is a subway stop where I was thinking of a Jessica – the larger boxes are stops where the more than one line meets – larger jessicas?)

any thoughts about the bands along the top and bottom - I had thought about herringbone, diagonal satin...?

Sorry I did not get this back to you last night – got busy and was unable to get it taken care of before time to head off to the [guild] meeting.  I did bring the canvas with me but did not get many helpful suggestions. Mostly they critiqued the canvas (many of them are from DC so they know the area and subway system – I got comments like the fact that the map is out of date since they have finished the subway and there are now more stops! They also felt that they did not like the capital being black and felt it should be white or grey like the Washigton Monument. If I changed the color of the capital I would have to change the color of the sky behind it (they though maybe a midnight blue with silver for stars)….. Don’t know how I feel about all of that.

I did get a few suggestions though. One thing I mentioned was that I had thought about keeping the subway lines relatively smooth and making the water and park areas have more texture to differentiate them. French knots were suggested for the park areas. Another suggestion was needleweaving for the points of the compass rose to give them a raised texture. This would not give them the two color look but could give them a nice raised shape – maybe - if I could do them well. They also disagreed about the background having to be all basket weave. They thought there was a lot of background and maybe something like skip tent or alicias lace could work so that I did not have cover the whole thing. - possibly with a metallic to give a glitz if there was not already too much glitz elsewhere. Someone at the meeting had Planet Earth Opal in black for a project she was working on and it had silver highlights and I thought that might look like city lights shimmering and someone else agreed so I might give that a try as well.

I am really thrilled to be doing this – maybe now I will finally get this piece stitched - Thanks for choosing my canvas. I look forward to finding out what you and others suggest.

My pleasure, Barbara.  Next time I'll talk about the points Barbara raised above and we'll try to nail down a plan for her to start the canvas with.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at Archived Yahoo 360 postings at