Sunday, March 28, 2010

Colourful and shiny...

While my one-at-a-time plan shows great progress on one piece, it means I don't feel much like blogging since the only thing I have to show is the same piece.

Bluebeard's Princess
32ct Laurel Linen

That conch! I had to stitch it three times before I finally got it right. The first time I had somehow stitched it one row above her hand. So I frogged and stitched it again. Only to make the exact same mistake! No screaming, but a quiet whimper and another try and third time was the charm.

This is my first time working with silks, and it's been a bit more stressful than I care for. Not the using the silks part, but the variegated part. I've only used variegated threads for samplers, geometric designs and such. I find the stripy effect weird on blocks of stitches. The outside of BP's tail is stitched in Umbria, which is a green & brown thread. Mine looks green and purple. I've been obsessed with trying to figure out how to make it look good. I did manage to get the stripes in the bottom to be all purple (except one where there's a green line. I have to fix that somehow.)

Cue 3 hours on the Internet looking at various finishes and WIPs to see how it looks. Most people's seems to be green, mine looks purple. The result is that while folks seems to have a blue-haired mermaid with a greenish lower body(Missy's, Andie's) I have a blue-haired mermaid with a purple-edged pale green lower body. I'm still trying to decide if this works or not.

Warning: The following content may be offensive to silk snobs. Reader discretion is advised.

Stitching with silk is nice, but I don't understand the big worship. I don't hear the legendary lack of scratching/whatever because my headphones are too loud. And while they do slide nicely, I use Kreiniks. Those things are a pain to pull thorough and after them, anything DMC does is nothing! Yes, they feel nice, but really, she's going to be framed. Behind glass. Where the only thing you'll be able to tell is that she has lots of beads, shiny metallic thread, and more thread. Not that part of her is silk and the rest DMC. And see above for my overdyed stresses. Can't say I'm joining the silk worship camp. Different strokes, I guess.

But they do feel very nice to fondle.

In completely unrelated news: last Thursday was -15. Tomorrow is supposed to be +18. (Edit: that's in Celsius). I really wish the weather would settle so that I can pack my coat away and find my flip flops.


Parsley said...

Never used silk but I'm not an expert stitcher either. Your project is just lovely. really...'s cold there. We are getting warmer here. Tonight 37 but in the 70s later this week.

Nic said...

Your project looks fine - it will be unique, just like you :o)

I'm not a silk fan either - some are nice to use, but not nice enough to justify the extra cost, and I don't think the sheen is hugely different. For knitted stuff, then yes, a bit of silk in the yarn is lovely, but for something stitched, not so much!

Silverlotus said...

Blu, I think your mermaid looks lovely. She isn't going to be hanging on the wall next to anyone else's, so it doesn't matter if she is more purple and less green. (I like the purple, personally.)

I totally agree with you about silk. While I do like them (mainly for the colours they are available in), I don't feel the need to stitch everything in silk. Once the design is stitch and hung on the wall, it looks the same as cotton to me. For the cost, they should have some extra sparkle or something. :) I'm happy to use DMC and a little bit of silk when it adds a little something.

I'm sorry it is so cold out west. Thankfully we are back up to the double digits in Toronto. It will be 11 today, and maybe 23 (!) by Wednesday.

Blue_dreamer said...

She looks great!! I think the umbria is green and purple, or mine is anyway... I am restarting her once I have finished another project. I made a mistake big enough that I don't want to frog it.

As far as silks go, I prefer HDF - I stitch faster with them than DMC. Not sure why, but I really think that is why Waiting for Ships is already over half done.

With silks, like different brands of cottons, some are good, some are bad, some tangle horribly, some are smooth...

She is beautiful anyway!

Carol said...

How absolutely lovely, Blu! I can't imagine stitching anything that intricate (I think I'm just too old to have the patience anymore!!)...

I'm right there with you on the silks--I don't understand the appeal either!

Myra said...

Wow! She is beautiful. I like silk but DMC is still my favorite.

Anonymous said...

She's beautiful and I must say I really like the purple touch. I know what you mean about stitching on one at a time though, I feel the same when I update my blog too.

Silks - yeah, totally agree. Don't much care for them myself either. I prefer good old DMC. Withe metallics though I really struggle with Kreiniks and try to use Petite Treasure Braid when I can. So much easier.

Siobhan said...

Your mermaid looks beautiful! Really gorgeous.

I am a silk lover. Love love love them. Some silks--not so much. I go for NPIs, which are the lower end of the scale in comparison to Thread Gatherer silk and Glorianas, etc. All that said, unless it's a CHS design, I can't tell if the piece is done in silks or cottons--and I can only tell with CHS because I know what colors Kathy tends to use. Are silk pieces any better than DMC? I don't think so. I have a friend whose stitching prowess has made her my hero, and she does 75% of her stitching in DMC. Then she can dye it or spray it with walnut spray or rit dye and it's fine. IMHO, go with what you like, what makes you happiest. It's YOUR hobby, after all!

Txatxa said...

te esta quedando precioso

Anonymous said...

I think she looks gorgeous and your colour choice really works for me ^^
I'm not a silk fan either - tried once, they kept snagging on my fingers, so I stick to cotton.

Lynn said...

Your mermaid is lovely! I rather like the purple. That's the thing though with the overdyes. You never know if what you're getting is the same as in the picture.
I love using the silks and all their vibrant colours but you're right. You can't tell the difference once it's stitched and hung. Never mind the fact that they're so much more costly.

Pumpkin said...

Blu, I think she's stunning! And by looking at the other two pictures, I don't see the difference you are referring to. I'm sure light plays a big factor when these pictures were taken.

Yes, silks do feel nice and they come in some lovely colors but you don't need to use them to be a beautiful stitcher. Some people prefer them because they give off a bit of a shine, others because of the colors they come in. They are costly that's for sure!