Thursday, March 4, 2010

Sparkling Red and Dull White

I'm making good progress on the candy cane dog stocking.  Last night I stitched most of the red areas in the top and toe of the stocking and started experimenting with the right thread for the white lines and snowflakes.

I thought originally that I would use a highly reflective thread, probably a metallic, for the white snowflakes and use something that was matte for the red areas. Elmer has turned that idea on its head, first with the fact that metallic threads don't show up well against the dusty blue sky and now because I used the sparkly red Crystal Braid for the stocking top and toe.

But when you stitch a painted canvas, each choice you make effects the next choice you make, and the next!  You have to be flexible and just go with where the design choices you make take you.  So I pulled out some white Kreinik 032 braid and some white Very Velvet and did some test stitching in the stocking's toe.  I didn't like how the Kreinik looked paired with the sparkling red Crystal Braid.  The two threads were too much alike in areas that are very different and with great contrast between colors, so I pulled out my Kreinik test stitches and tried Very Velvet instead.  Its contrast with the Crystal Braid looked very good.  So I tent stitched the bottom diagonal line on the toe for a few stitches.  That I didn't like. Turns out this stocking wants a long length of thread laid across the white lines.  If you use the same thread to couch it down with a tent stitch every other hole, you get a very nice smooth velvet line that stands up to the fancy Crystal Braid.

In the photo above I haven't finished all the red Crystal Braid in the stocking top but have done the toe's white diagonal lines and have also done tent stitches in the centers of each large snowflake. I've also stitched a few tent stitches in the partial snowflake's edge on the right toe.  I will play with the large snowflakes tonight and finish the red areas in the top of the stocking.

I think now that the candy cane itself will look great padded using white Very Velvet with the red Crystal Braid for the candy stripe but we'll have to see  how that goes.  I'll be starting the dog shortly and I think I want to get the candy cane and hat done before I tackle the dog's eyes and face.  Stay tuned as Elmer comes to life....

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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