Friday, October 10, 2008

A True Sampler: The Final Installment

Having finished Debbie Draper's Spots of Fun, I can now report on the last few fibers I have used:

Dinky Dyes Silk: another very lovely silk and one I will certainly purchase again. Easy to strand, smooth to stitch and easy to maintain a proper lay on the fabric.

Caron Watercolors: a three ply hand-painted pima cotton, this is a rather needy fiber but well worth the care. Once plyed down to one ply, what the stitcher has is a very loosely twisted perle which requires a larger eye needle, a shorter length strand, and a very light tension. When stitched on 28ct over two, this fiber sits very high on the fabric making it ideal for lettering, tracery [such as vines, snowflakes or delicate lacy motifs]. On the other hand, it is really too bulky for solid area stitching giving an over-crowded and bunchy effect. See the lower right hand motif of my Spots of Fun for an illustration: the tracery looks great but the solid areas do not show this fiber to advantage. I imagine that this fiber would work well on needlepoint canvas and on 11ct Aida or 10ct tula but have yet to test my theory. I do have some needlepoint canvas on hand but don't have any Aida or tula at the moment, so it will be awhile before I can check this out.

Crescent Colors, GAST & WDW Cotton Overdyes: I used several of these overdyes in this sampler ... mainly to expand my color range. Almost all stitchers are familiar with these quality cotton overdyes and know that they need to be stranded, used in 18" lengths, and stitched one x at a time. It may just be me, but WDW feels coarser in my hand than GAST and I will always choose a GAST fiber over a WDW if the colorways are comparable. That being said, I do use both and have a fairly deep stash of the WDW and a very deep stash of GAST. As to Crescent Colors, I find their overdyes to be very soft in the hand, the colors to be clear and true and, though I have only begun to acquire much of a stash in this line, I can see it growing in the future. It does seem to me that the CC line has colors more suitable to contemporary designs. If I were to try to define how this is is so, I would say that the colors seem brighter and clearer but that doesn't quite express the full sense of what I am getting at. Also, it seems to imply that the WDW and GAST are inferior in some way which is not what I mean at all, at all. I think what I do mean is that the WDW & GAST appear to use more natural or vegetal dyes and CC appears to use more man-made and chemical dyes. I do not know if this is actually so but it is the way I see the colors.
I am wondering now if I wish to fill in a few of the spaces left in Spots of Fun with some beaded motifs like an acorn with the cap done in matte copper beads or some silk ribbon embroidery like a sheaf of wheat using the Japanese seed stitch ... would it add interest or just make the whole thing too busy? I shall have to live with the piece a while before I decide ... meanwhile, I think I'll order the beads and the silk ribbon, just in case!


Erynne said...

Riona, it's gorgeous! I love it the way it is but whatever you decide (re adding beads etc)I'm sure it will look just as lovely.
You've really captured Autumn!


Erynne said...

Forgot to say, thank you for the fiber reviews. I agree about about the WDW being a little coarser. CC is nice to use and I think my favourite is Manor striking!
Just bought some Dinky Dyes to try for the first time so I will know better in a few days how much I like them.

Debbie said...

Very nice blog! I love all the pics. Your stitching is very pretty

Dani - tkdchick said...

Riona that's a lovely sampler!

Rachael said...

Looks beautiful!!