Melitastitches4fun's Blog


Technique Issue: Stitching into stitches and catching fiber
November 26, 2019, 11:46 am
Filed under: General comments, Technique Issues, Threads

In reading over suggested materials from the EGA Master Craftsman Canvas bibliography, I have found a couple of interesting issues and will post about some of them. I’d love to get your input on these.

In Needlepoint and Beyond: 27 Lessons in Advanced Canvas Work by Edith Anderson Feisner, she says to always work into the stitches that have been previously done. That makes sense. It’s also been described as working from a clean hole into a dirty hole. That’s not always possible but an excellent tenet to follow.

Before I proceed, let me say she is using size 10 or 12 mesh interlock canvas and Colbert Persian wool in her examples. So, perhaps her next statement that I have some question about is not applicable to all fibers.

She says to catch just a tiny bit of the fiber as you work the stitch to lock the stitches together but do not split the fiber. Her reasoning is that, “This will prevent friction between stitching from building up and destroying the fibers.”

Do you think her finished pieces are being used as rugs or something being handled a lot? Because when would there be friction after you stitched and framed something?

I have always tried to keep the holes more “clean” by specifically avoiding catching the fiber from the previous stitch. I thought that was preferred. And, so, perhaps “it depends” on what you are stitching and for what purpose. In straight stitches like bargello, it might decrease the chance of seeing the bits of canvas on either side of the threads (sometimes referred to as teeth or dandruff). And, bargello patterns are often pillows or purses which would get wear.

Have you ever heard anyone recommend catching the fiber while stitching? And, if so, when, what fiber, and why.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and comments.



Osterville Needlepoint Shop in Cape Cod
October 8, 2019, 5:46 pm
Filed under: General comments, Threads

The Osterville Needlepoint Shop in Mashpee, MA in Cape Cod has a great selection of threads and canvases. And, a wonderful staff. I don’t recall seeing Treenway Silk Cords and Ribbons. Love the color combinations.

Even after I said I had too many projects to purchase anything, I was invited to join the ladies to sit and stitch. Had it not been for my husband waiting in the car, I would have joined them. Two nice big tables, plenty of light, and such pleasant women. Another time! Good place for classes. And, lots more threads not seen in this photo.



Watercolor Poppies Stitch & Zip
July 21, 2019, 7:31 am
Filed under: General comments, Other People's Pieces, Stitch N' Zip, Threads

Having a small, easy piece to stitch and carry with me is great for trips. And, Stitch & Zip pieces fulfill both requirements. I found this eyeglass case in a corner of a gift store called Wonderful Things in Great Barrington, MA in May 2018. The only needlepoint in the store was a few of these. So, I had to pick it up! It’s called Watercolor Poppies.

I found a few threads appropriate for 14 count canvas in my stash including Vineyard Merino a violet M-1042 Dark Earth, 2 greens M-1065 Martini and M-1067 Foliage and 2 roses Silk & Ivory 161 Lida Rose, 162 Rosie O’Grady.

But, I still needed lots of colors so I found more Silk & Ivory in August 2018 while stopping at Point of It All (before ANG Seminar) including yellow 241 Maize, 2 shades of orange 213 Banana and 215 Clementine, 2 shades of pink 185 Cosmopolitan and 119 Grenadine, a red 199 Tamale, and 3 blues 198 ahoy, 36 Admiral Blue, and 69 Forgot-Me-Not.

Apparently, Silk & Ivory pills more depending on which end is threaded! If you thread Silk & Ivory one way, it pills. If you thread it the other way, it doesn’t. So, if you find which end splays more, you should always thread that end into the needle’s eye. I didn’t find any pilling issues but these are small areas and the canvas is 14 count. Good tip!

I found this tip in an earlier blog posting and it’s worth repeating: In order to get the top edge to angle like the rest, turn the canvas upside down and stitch left to right with the needle moving straight up, the thread ends up angled correctly (like basketweave).

I was surprised to see how the colors in the photo of the stitched example differ from the canvas colors.

I stitched more closely to the canvas colors.



Budapest Ornament Using Color Complements
May 28, 2019, 10:12 am
Filed under: ANG Seminar 2018, Budapest Ornament, General comments, Threads

Lorraine of Colour Complements gave everyone at ANG Seminar in 2018 a sample of her lovely hand dyed threads. I got a dyed green/gold DMC #5 Perle Cotton (my favorite fall colors). In the package was also DMC #5 Perle 500 solid green and Anchor Floss 392 solid beige grey. I’d already been getting her newsletter and love seeing her combinations of colors in all the threads she dyes. So, I was very happy to see it in person.

I came across her package of threads recently and just after seeing a stitch pattern in Painted Canvas Embellishment: An Idea Book by Carole Lake and Michael Boren called Budapest Stitch. The sample of the hand dyed thread was only 5.47 yards. So, I stitched the over 3 straight stitches until I ran low on thread and made a symmetrical shape (4 units × 4 units of the Budapest Stitch to form an inner square). Each unit looks like a mini 4-way star bargello pattern. The 5.47 yards got used up faster than what I expected. I wanted something bigger. So, I made an outer square with the solid green perle cotton which turned out to be a nice contrast.

At that point, I was still considering a round (4″) ornament or a square (3 & 1/2″) coaster. But, adding compensation stitches of the Budapest Stitch seemed perfect for a circle.

That left small areas for the Hungarian Stitch with just enough of the hand dyed thread to fill in 4 Hungarian Stitches on each corner creating some movement of color towards the edge. For the rest, I used 4 strands of the beige grey floss.

For the squares, I went to Sandra Arthur’s Shapes of Needlepoint, Series I for 4 x 4 square stitches. That size would allow some canvas to show thereby framing the fill-in stitches. I selected stitches that would allow me to use the solid green perle cotton and 2 strands of the beige grey floss. These three patterns seemed to be enough variety for a small ornament: Leviathan Stitch, V Stitch, and Padded Scotch Stitch.

Thanks Lorraine for the threads! This ornament was a lot of fun from a design point of view too. And, it’ll be fun to watch out for other stitch patterns that would work up with just a few threads.



Discontinued Kreinik
April 24, 2019, 8:12 pm
Filed under: General comments, Threads

Discontinued Kreinik colors and suggested substitutions (NM means no close match)

• 031L Berry Red = 153V Vintage Burgundy
• 034 Confetti = NM
• 041 Confetti Pink = 044 Confetti Blue
• 042 Confetti Fuchsia = NM
• 043 Confetti Green = NM
• 070 Mardi Gras = 5011 Elfin Green
• 195 Sunburst = 095 Starburst
• 235 Red Ember = 307 Deep Coral
• 271 Plum = 3223 Ametrine
• 393 Silver Night = 622 Wedgewood Blue
• 664 Magenta Blue = NM
• 3240 Opal = 095 Starburst
• 3508 Rhumba Green = 829 Mint Julep
• 3509 Cha Cha Verde = 008HL Green Hi Lustre
• 3540 Bolero Black = 005 Black
• 4001 Green Tea = 4201 Sugar Cane
• 4002 Spiced Chai = 4202 Dusky Meadow
• 4003 Ginseng Gold = 4203 Cattail
• 4004 Earl Grey = 4204 Storm Cloud
• 4005 Sugar Cube = 102 Vatican Gold
• 4006 Rosehip = NM (slightly more lilac is 3223 Ametrine. 093 Star Mauve, or 023 Lilac; slightly pinker is 007HL Pink Hi Lustre)
• 5002 Pixiedust = NM (close but without blue is
• 4013 Purple Haze or 3223 Ametrine, or without the purple is 025 Grey)
• 5004 Love Potion = 024L Fiery Fuchsia
• 5007 Brocade = 5006 Ore
• 5008 Leprechaun = 009 Emerald
• 5525 Lemon = 5725 Lollipop Lemon
• 5530 Rosemary Green = 4201 Sugar Cane
• 9300 Orchid = NM (closest pastel is slightly darker 093 Star Mauve)
• 2094HL Heather Hi Lustre = NM
• 056F Blueberry = NM
• 057F Grape = NM
• 003C Red Cord = 003 Red
• 005C Black Cord = 005 Black
• 007C Pink Cord = 007 Pink
• 008C Green Cord = 008 Green
• 011C Nickel Cord = 010HL Steel Grey
• 012C Purple Cord = 012 Purple
• 032C Pearl Cord = 032 Pearl
• 034C Confetti Cord = NM (closest but without black is 095 Starburst)
• 041C Confetti Pink Cord = 044 Confetti Blue
• 051C Sapphire Cord = 051HL Sapphire Hi Lustre
• 086C Fern = 4201 Sugar Cane
• 087C Meadow Grass = 089 Aspen
• 088C Lily Pond Cord = 4201 Sugar Cane
• 104C Colonial Gold Cord = 210 Gold Dust
• 208C Wine Cord = 080HL Garnet Hi Lustre
• 225C Slate Cord = 025 Grey
• MD76 Marine Blue in Micro Ice Chenille = NM
• Petite/Facets 012 = Petite/Facets 026

It didn’t take too long to find discontinued threads: 051C, 032C, 086C, 088C, 034, 042, 664, and 2094 (not all are pictured). I marked them so I know they can’t be replaced.



Bead and Ribbon Classes with Sandy Arthur at Rittenhouse Needlepoint

What a great 2 days I had with Sandy Arthur at Rittenhouse Needlepoint. We worked with beads the first day and ribbons the second day. These are the first classes that I have taken since Rittenhouse moved. The classroom is well lit, seats were cushioned, and overhead projector was useful. Very nice room. And, Russell’s homemade breads are delicious!

We covered quite a few of techniques which Sandy Arthur has perfected. So, when you look at my samples, don’t look too close and remember that I haven’t done a lot of bead or ribbon work before and time was limited (5 hours each of 2 days). Using beads was easier for me.

We learned multiple ways to attach single beads and multiple beads. Basketweave beading was tricky – really had to focus. We covered a felted ball with beads and a wooden bead with thread.

There wasn’t enough time in class to try everything in Sandy’s handouts. So, I played with the leftover beads and made a butterfly. And, the flower on the lower left corner allowed me to practice Line stitching with the green beads and Lazy Daisy stitches.

We learned the Japanese Ribbon Stitch, Ribbon Roses, Wrapped Stitch, Lazy Daisy Stitch, Gathering with Running Stitch, Ruching, and other techniques with no particular name.

I learned a lot in both classes. Sandy knows her stuff and teaches it well. As with anything, it needs practice to show improvement. That’s why a doodle canvas or the 2″ border of a canvas is good for practicing.



Visiting ANG Delaware Seashore Chapter for Overdyed Spools (correction to Diagram 2)

I was very appreciative of being invited to join the ANG Delaware Seashore chapter to lead my Chapter Project Book piece called Overdyed Spools. These ladies didn’t “need” me as they are very accomplished stitchers. Before getting started on Spools, I shared a lesson on overdyed threads that I prepared back in 2013 for my ANG Main Line Stitchers chapter. It included some information from June McKnight’s book about how colors of overdyed threads can get clumpy (left photo), stitching randomly eliminates that best (center photo), and tweeding or stitching by reversing the thread can help unless as with this double brick stitch the colors fall together (blue in the center of right photo). Her book, Shading and Thread Blending Techniques for Needlepoint, has lots more information on the subject.

Overdyed

I also brought stitched pieces using all overdyed threads that I selected for a Kathy Rees piece called Spirit of Jean; https://melitastitches4fun.wordpress.com/category/ang-correspondence-courses/spirit-of-jean-by-kathy-rees/ which demonstrated how I manipulated overdyed threads to have the color repeat in the same places along the Smyrna border, within the Amadeus stitches, and triangular waffles.

My Purple Mountains Majesty (https://melitastitches4fun.wordpress.com/category/melitas-designs/purple-mountains-majesty/) used a single overdyed thread with 3 colors which I stitched in a particular stitch pattern to get the color to fall where I wanted it to.

And, my newest and as yet unrevealed design using a combination of overdyed and solid threads where I manipulated the overdyed threads by cutting them specifically to fall in certain areas. That’ll be going to Seminar in Houston!

Then, we had fun looking for the repeating color pattern of various skeins of Watercolors. Even within several different dye lots of Lilac there were variations. So, several women’s skeins were particularly difficult to find the pattern. And, one we gave up on & we swapped it out for an extra skein.

There are differences in the Spools as originally stitched and Spools restitched. I widened Areas A & C. Therefore, the spools themselves are smaller in the restitched version (https://melitastitches4fun.wordpress.com/category/melitas-designs/spools/). I did find an error in Diagram 2 of Overdyed Spools.

Diagram 2 error

Their Cheer Community Center (20520 Sandhill Rd, Georgetown, DE) has a nice little cafeteria (great tuna fish). Good lighting in the room – no steps to go up or down. They meet the first Monday of the month from 10 am – 2 pm. Visit their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Delawares-Seashore-Chapter-of-the-American-Needlepoint-Guild-ANG-209178456136131/) or you can email them at delawaresseashorechapter@needlepoint.org . It was another fun time visiting my seashore neighbors!