Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Lee Kimono - Part Three (Threads)

Lee Small Kimono
Erica took a larger photo of the Lee Kimono we are discussing As you can see, the margins of the blue "clouds" are actually dark navy and the centers of the flowers are deep red, not black.  A good photo really helps see the details!

By the way, feel free to jump in with thoughts.  Several folks have done so already and I welcome more input.  There is more than one way to stitch any painted canvas, after all.  I'm sure all my victims, ah, volunteers would appreciate more ideas.

I asked Erica to rummage around in her stash, looking for threads that might work for this tiny Lee kimono.  Here is what she came up with along with my reactions.

Blues and Blacks

Here's some of the blue options.  I had to take the photo under one of my OTT-lights as there's not a bit of sun in sight today.  Cold and rainy all around.
Starting at the top left corner and moving clockwise around the canvas, the fibres are as follows:
1.  Silk 'N Colors Midnight Cobalt (it's the twisted skein)
2.  Vikki Clayton Silk - Velvet Midnight
3.  Vikki Clayton Silk - unnamed skein (it's overdyed and goes from a light blue to a bluey-purple)
4.  Crescent Colours Cotton Floss - Blue Beatrice
5.  Dinky-Dyes Cotton - #85 Fantasy Blues
6.  Vikki Clayton Silk - random blue fibre
7.  Vikki Clayton Silk - random black fibre
8.  Vikki Clayton Silk - random blue/black fibre
9.  Kreinik Silk Mori - black
10. DMC 310 - #12 perle cotton - I'm pretty sure I have it in an #8 and #5 as well
11.  Vikki Clayton Silk - random light blue fibre

I noticed that all of the blues are flosses.  My first question is whether you have a medium blue perle (maybe around the size of #5?) in your stash.  Or something along the lines of a 1/16 braid or #8 braid in blue Kreinik?  If not, don't worry.  My thought for this area was to lay long lines of light medium blue (like the Crescent Colors' Blue Beatrice) across the "clouds" horizontally, and couch each one down with white, medium blue or navy in metallics.  Another way of handling this would be to use a light medium blue metallic for the horizontal lines and use some of these pretty flosses to couch each line.  You need the base horizontal thread to contrast with the threads that couch it, but it doesn't really matter a lot whether the base thread or the couching colors are metallics.

I'm thinking a sort of Burden Stitch here.  You'll have to make the couching threads irregular as they are not spaced evenly and allow the base thread to show for the medium blue areas.  This is what Burden Stitches are like, except for your kimono you will probably lay the base thread between every pair of horizontal NP canvas threads, not every other pair like in the diagrams.  Some experimentation will be needed to see just how this looks, though.  I don't have the canvas here to experiment on.  Try it and see if this gives you a look you like on some scrap canvas first.

Doing this means the dark blue edging of the "clouds" has to be stitched first and you will need both a dark navy thread and stitches that are slightly raised.  I would suggest cross stitches with at least six plies of your floss used.  You can also make the cloud edges black and use your black perle cotton.  I noticed in the Gold Metallic photograph that you have some white Treasure Braid.  It might do very well for the white couched areas in the clouds.  Using it means you'll probably want the couching threads to all be metallic but you can mix these if you don't want to go shopping for various shades of blue metallics to use.

Gold Metallics

So, from the top left corner and going around clockwise we have these gold threads:
1. Kreinik #7 Japan Gold (in the baggie)
2. Kreinik Cord #002C
3. Kreinik #12 Braid #002
4. Kreinik Cord #205C  (this one has some black in it)
5. Kreinik #4 Braid #002HL
6. Kreinik #8 Braid - colour unknown but has some pink in it
7. & 8.  Kreinik Braids #4 & #8 - 202HL
9.  Frosty Rays #y060
10. Rainbow Gallery Petite Treasure Braid #PB01

The gold touches you add to this canvas are probably the last threads you should choose. You are looking for something that will make pretty cross stitches on the hem and that will also look good laid and couched at the neckline.  If you want to go really fancy, use two shades of gold and make every other cross stitch at the hem in one color, then fill in with the other.  You can then lay one thread as the collar base and couch with the other, but you'll want a thinner couching thread than the thread base so that some of the long horizontal gold shows to contrast with the gold in the couching thread.  My advise is to pick your golds last, make sure if you use two shades that they are different but complement each other, and that the gold or golds chosen look nice with the other threads.  As you said, some golds have black or pink or other colors in them that will become more prominent if they are used with solid blacks or pinks or whatever.  By the way, you can make the flower centers gold instead of the deep garnet they are painted if you want to add more touches of gold to the design.

I don't have a ton of pinks in my stash and many of them have a high level of variegation to them that aren't going to work for my water.

1.  Vikki Clayton Silk - unnamed skein
2.  Gentle Arts Sampler Threads - Tea Rose (I'm thinking to use this for the flower petal tips)
3.  Weeks Dye Works - Begonia
4.  Vikki Clayton Silk - random pink fibre
5.  Vikki Clayton Silk - random pink fibre #2
Working from photographs is always chancy but to me the best match for the pink "water" is your Weeks Dye Works Begonia. The Tea Rose that matches the color of the flower petal tips is also from Weeks Dye Works, which to me is a plus since you are probably going to use long and short stitches to make your petals. Long and short stitches done in two-three colors with threads that are the same size and weight always look better. I'm assuming you have some white floss to do the centers of the flowers? If so, make a xerox copy of the canvas, then stitch right over the dots in the centers with your long and short stitches, then using the copy for reference, place the black and green areas with your beads or French knots or whatever right on top of the long and short stitches. It is easier not to have to compensate long and short.  You'll get a smoother effect that is more like a real petal.

Erica, I've given you a lot to think about.  Once you'll mulled this over, get back to me with your reactions and we'll deal with any problems and questions then.

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

ANG's Stitch of the Month Project for 2011

The ANG Internet Committee Chairman just revealed a hint of the 2011 Stitch of the Month project on the ANG email list.  It's going to be a piece by Ro Pace called The Flowers of Italy and it will include several Jean Hilton-type stitches.

Here's Ro's website so you can see some of her charts and teaching pieces.  Sadly, not all of them are visible here, including some of my favorites.  The Flowers of Italy is not here--it's a secret.

Sometime in January, ANG will start monthly reveals of the design here.

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