Have you ever been frustrated
by the need to acquire a dozen or more colors of thread for a
design only to find that you only need a yard or two of most
of the colors? One way to cut down on supplies in such a situation
is to substitute one of our hand-dyed variegated colors of Watercolours,
Wildflowers, Waterlilies or Impressions for several of the solid
colors called for in a pattern.
Another way is to blend
colors in your needle. Obviously this requires that you use at
least two strands of thread in your needle and the more strands
you're using, the more flexibility you'll have.
I hope that the following
two exercises will get you started on a whole new avenue of exploration
and bring you many hours of pleasure and discovery.
In the first part of the
lesson I've used three primary colors to develop 18 possible
combinations. For more ambitious stitchers, the second exercise
also uses only three colors, but the end result is 28 color possibilities!
Click on the links below
for charts to print out for these exercises:
- #13 mono canvas at least
- #20 tapestry needle
- Three skeins of Soie Cristale
or Waterlilies in the colors of your choice. I have used 0011,
2044 and 4013 to correspond to the primary colors Cyan, Magenta
and Yellow discussed in Mary Shipp's feature article this month.
Soie Cristale is a 12-ply 100% silk. If you've never worked with
it, your'e in for a treat. It handles like floss, but has a beautiful,
subtle sheen. Waterlilies is the same silk, but we hand-dye
the variegated colors on natural or white silk.
The entire design is worked
in needlepoint and has been planned so that it is easier to work
in basketweave than in either continental or half cross stitch.
Use six plies of silk in your needle.
Begin in the lower half
of the center square and stitch the first triangle with 6 plies
of Color A (Yellow). In the triangle sharing the central square,
stitch with 5 plies of Color A and one ply of Color B (Magenta).
Follow the legend in the chart below until all the triangles
have been completed.
This little project works
up quickly and you might want to experiment with other color
combinations. The colors Iíve used in the second and third
versions are listed below. Keep your samples in your stitch notebook
or with your notes and stitch samples for a larger piece or make
them into small ornaments for your Christmas tree.
Color Legend for Pastel
Version using Soie Cristale (shown below): Color A: 3056. Color
B: 6014, Color C: 5126.
Color Legend for Waterlilies
version (shown below): Color A: 096 Orange Blossom, Color B:
026 Mardis Gras, Color C: 107 Spruce.
If you continue working
in the spiral path youíve established, you can make something
larger such as a coaster, boxtop insert or eyeglass case. Repeat
the color sequence youíve already established, reverse
it or try random placement of colors.