Tangled Up in Blues

So, does thread match up after 20-30 years?

Initial visual assessment (new thread laid across stitching with old thread) was promising:

But you don’t actually know until you start stitching.

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Living Dangerously

The end is in sight. Last night I finally decided on the final, palest color for the carnation petals and dug in:

It took me a while to make up my mind. I tried three pale blues, and also a cream, before deciding on This Pale Blue (DMC 504, in case you were curious.)

I have a band of experiments at the bottom of my fabric, where I know it’s going to be cut away when I assemble the finished piece. Here’s a test petal, with cream and blue, along with some other test stitches.

The last bit of petal-filling goes very quickly, and transforms the piece. All of a sudden, it looks finished. But I’ve run into a problem.

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Leaves and Petals

Thanks to some marathon sessions of Breaking Bad, I’ve made a little progress on the carnation needlebook. I had fun with the leaves. I decided that I wanted to stitch the big leaves all in buttonhole or satin stitch, for a cohesive overall look, but that on the smaller leaves, I wanted to play with different textures.

The smaller leaves are done in chain stitch, buttonhole stitch, open chain stitch filled with French knots, leaf stitch (appropriately enough,) and coral knot stitch.

The bud on the left also varies from the larger, more open flowers.

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This weekend, I spent a lot of time on the road away from home, and that meant that I made significant progress on the knotwork on the black dog:

I’m filling the gold stem stitch outline with split stitch in four stands of variegated blue. I’m very pleased with how it’s turning out. I’ve done knotwork with satin stitch before, and while I love satin stitch, I’m finding the way the split stitch follows the direction of the knotwork lines extremely happy-making.

I used satin stitch knotwork to make a monogrammed box lid for my mother a few years back. I filled the spaces between the knotwork with French knots, but here I don’t feel that it needs it.

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Close to Blue

The end of the knotwork outline is in sight!

I’m using DMC 676 and 729 on alternating bands, three strands in stem stitch. When the outline is finished, I’m going to fill it with split stitch in DMC 4240, a variegated blue. My stitching time this weekend is going to be mostly at places other than home, so I anticipate getting much further on this than on the needlebook.

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Black Dog Knotwork

While the needlebook is getting the bulk of my stitching time at the moment, the black dog hasn’t been entirely neglected. I’ve finished the satin stitch padding, and begun stem stitching my way around both the outline of the dog and the outline of the knotwork.

While the outline of the dog and the outline of the knotwork are done in stem stitch, the black is one strand and the gold is three strands. After the knotwork outline is done, I’m going to fill it in with a variegated blue in split stitch. I’ve done knotwork before, but mostly using satin stitch, and I’m excited to see how this will turn out. My thought is that it will have a more ribbon-y feel when the stitching follows the knotwork lengthwise rather than across, but we shall see.

And if two projects weren’t enough, I’m playing with a third:

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