Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Lee Kimono - Part Two

Earlier I write about Erica's problem canvas:
I also love the touches of black. I recommend that you use black silk for this area to give a touch of elegance and quiet to the design. If it were me, I'd use either tent stitches or elongated cross stitches for the black vertical lines that divide off the sleeves, then use straight and slanted satin stitches for the collar and the hem trim. The gold lines can be either tent stitches or couched metallic or elongated cross stitches. Note that when you use a vertical elongated cross stitch, you make it tall and then. When you use a horizontal elongated cross stitch, you make it short and fat. Make sense?

Erica answers:
Completely. I have done elongated cross stitch before, so I can picture it in my mind. I'm pretty sure I have some black silk mori from Kreinik in my stash that might be just the right thing to use here. 

For the black areas that seem to border the blue areas, I think we have to wait and see before we decide what to use there. The stitching used for the blue areas will determine what to do with the black margins. I wish the photo was larger.

I can remedy the photo size once I return home tomorrow. I'll photograph it instead of scanning it which will give me the ability to crop and enlarge the picture. I'll send it along as soon as I get it done!

Thanks, Erica. A larger photo will help us all see what your canvas looks like since I haven't been able to find it online anywhere.

I also asked:
What do you think the blue areas and the black border that edges each of these areas represent?

In my mind (and I have no idea if I'm right),I see the black lines as dividing the kimono back and the two sides that would wrap around to the front if you were actually wearing it (okay, so you'd have to be really, really, really small to actually wear this kimono, but we won't quibble about little details!)
I agree with you about the vertical black lines.  What about the black borders that divide the blue areas from the pink and each other?  What are they to you?

Thanks for the reassurance. Moving from counted work to painted canvas is a bit intimidating, but mostly because I'm used to being given strict instructions of how to stitch a piece. I'm trying to loosen up a bit and enjoy a little more freedom with a painted canvas!

Not to worry. This is a needlepoint adventure, after all. What's an adventure that doesn't have you doing your own thing?

We'll use flosses mostly to use up threads from your stash, then. Do you have a lot of metallics in your stash, by the way? And if you do, what sizes?

I do have a good assortment of metallics. There's a lot of Kreinik in Blending Filament, #4, #8 and probably some #12 as well. I've got some Rainbow Gallery Petite Treasure Braid as well. I think I've got some Neon Rays too. I'm not actually at home right now, so I've been separated from my stash (horror of horrors!), but I'll double check tomorrow.

Good. I have a specific reason for asking that I'll talk about later.

Brave girl!  Thanks for volunteering to help me out.

I tend to think of it as too dumb to know better! :-) I'm a completely self-taught stitcher and I didn't realize until I started taking some classes that the things that I do without thinking too hard about it are hard for others. I think I was too lacking in knowledge to know better.

That is a real advantage at times, Erica. You don't know you should be intimated by something.

Looking at the design, I think the rose red area should be done in something with a diagonal flow to it. I'd use either diagonal mosaic or diagonal cashmere, depending on just how much space you have in the smallest part of the rose red area.  Here are the stitches.


Thanks for the links to the stitches. I think the diagonal cashmere stitch reminds me more of flowing water - and I imagine the flowers floating on water, even if the water is pink! And since the pink area flows from the arm and across the back, the cashmere stitch makes me think of movement. I'll have to experiment with that idea!

Thinking of the pink areas as water and using a flowing stitch is a great idea. This is your kimono, after all, and water with the sunset on it could look pink.

I think I would tent stitch the white centers of the flowers, then work the petals in long and short stitch. I might add black and green beads on top of the white area to spark it up a bit. If you want to add beads, don't tent stitch the intersections where the beads will go. That way they sink a bit into the tent stitches and are held steadier. You could use French knots instead of beads but I think I'd like beads for this piece. They add sparkle that French knots don't unless you use a metallic thread to make the French knots.

While I am quite adept at French knots and don't mind doing them at all, having seen the pieces you've stitched with beads (notably pieces like Luna and the tap pants of Sharon G's), I'm leaning towards adding bead sparkle. I know I have some black and green beads in my stash.

Good. It won't matter if the beads are different sizes or brands, either. I like mixing a variety of beads on a piece like this. After all, flowers have larger and smaller bits in their centers.

Why don't you think about all this and then email me your reactions and we'll go on from there?

I will pull together a better picture tomorrow for you. This kimono drew me from across the store - a sure sign that it needed to come home with me. I'm looking forward to stash diving to find the right threads. I think I have a Dinky-Dye silk that might be the perfect red-rose pink. Do you think I should aim for solid coloured fibres or would a subtle overdy work? Or would a more obvious overdye be better or too distracting? So many decisions! 

There are always a lot of decisions when you start a piece but as you start nailing down what you will use where, then the remaining choices are fewer and less overwhelming.   As for using an overdye for the pink water, I think I would avoid one with an obvious change in shade.  The blue area (whatever it is) has a lot of movement and color changes in it so I'd keep the pink water subtle. A tone on tone pink would be lovely, though.

I'm so grateful for the help with this. You've already gotten me to start seeing this piece stitched. It's exciting!

Good. I am glad you are having fun with this. That makes the stitching much more interesting.

I noticed carolsylvster's comments - and I appreciate them greatly. Unfortunately stumpwork is one form of needlework I'm yet to try, but it is certainly an intriguing idea. It might be too much of an undertaking for this piece though. I'm still undecided about the blue area being water or clouds too - I look at it once and see clouds and look at it again and see water. I think I'm leaning more towards clouds since I think the flowers are floating, but maybe I'll change my mind as we continue the discussion!

I think clouds are a good choice for the blue areas.  To me they look like an obvious place for rich metallics that are laid and then couched down with either solid color threads in silk or cotton floss or with perle cottons (or perle silks) couched down with thin metallics.  If this idea appeals to you, would you look at your stash and see what blues, blacks and whites you have?  I think you will need three shades of blue.  Depending on what you have, lay the threads out on the canvas and see what looks good to you and report back, please.  

Or if you hate this idea, let me know and we'll try again.

Thanks for everything, Jane!

My pleasure.  This is fun for me, too.
Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com Archived Yahoo 360 postings at http://profiles.yahoo.com/chillyhollow