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Saturday, April 16, 2011
This is the final posting about fish fin and body stitches for Carol's Lillian Chermor canvas.
*** I still like the Tressed stitch you mentioned in a previous email; but is that one too different to use in conjunction with these two?****
Jane answered: We are referring to the Diagonal Cashmere without the tent stitched rows, and ...
...the Sky Stitch which we are thinking about using with the Tressed Stitch (second link).
As I understand it, you want to use a Ray stitch on the fish's body and then use some or all of the above stitches on the fins and tail. It's at times like these that I do test stitching so I can really see what all of the above look like stitched in the thread I plan to use. Since I don't have any canvas here on vacation and since you hate test stitching, we are going to have to squint at all the diagrams and imagine. This is hard B.C.! (Before Coffee--LOL)
Diagonal Cashmere looks to be larger in scale than the Sky Stitches while Tressed Stitch looks bigger still. That alone would tell me to use the biggest stitch (Tressed) on the fish body while using the medium one (Diagonal Cashmere) on the larger area (the tail) and save the smallest stitch (Sky) for the top and bottom fins which look smaller to me. You'll notice that I tossed Ray Stitch out of the equasion entirely. That's because the three stitches I mentioned look sort of alike but none of them look much like Ray Stitch to me. I would not use Ray Stitch; I'd stick to the three stitches mentioned. Actually, if it were me, I'd use one stitch for the body and one for the fins and tail instead of three stitches, but since you are the one who has to stitch and then live with this, you get to decide. It is my opinion that Ray Stitch won't play nicely with the other stitches mentioned.
Print out the diagrams and play a bit with them, turning them this way and that, putting them next to the various areas and imagine what they will look like in your threads. Scale is important. SharonG harps on that all the time and she really knows her stitching. Fitting the stitches you like into their various spaces means putting a bigger scale stitch in a bigger area and a smaller stitch---well, you get the idea. You want the stitches to not be too much for a small space or too tiny for a big space.
For the fish "lips" and "beard" around the face, I think something simple (tent or satin stitch) will work best. These are details and we want them simple and restful. We'd already talked about using either tent or satin stitches for the tiny yellow bits of bottom fin so whatever you do there, do on the small areas around the fish's mouth. It is hard to tell just how large these areas are from the photo but I'm assuming they are small.
I hope all this is clearer now and that you have time to think about the various stitches and how they might work together. This is where I do sample stitches to audition the various actors (i.e., the threads) to see if they really do fit the role I plan for them and if they work well together with the other actors.
OK, I'll think about tossing out the Ray stitch. I still like it, but you're right that it might not mesh well with the other stitches.
Yes, those two stitches are the ones I think look well together (diagonal cashmere and sky). I don't agree that the DC is larger in scale than the Sky; the largest stitches both go over two threads. Are we defining scale differently? Part of the reason why I like these stitches is that they both mimic the narrow and wide sections in the swirl stitch I'm using in the background. And that's why I wanted something entirely different for a fourth stitch. I like the idea of using one stitch for the tail, one stitch for the fins and one stitch for the body, with the basic tent stitch for the smaller parts (or maybe satin stitch--I still haven't decided). I also still like the idea of nestling beads in the spaces in the Tressed stitch.
Jane admits: One of my worst problems in stitching a canvas is falling in love with a stitch that looks great but won't work with the other stitches. Were you reading Blog when I stitched 5-6 rows of a gorgeous background stitch for the Brazilian parrot and fruit piece called Cha-Cha? They all came out and were replaced by basketweave. Beautiful stitch but it wasn't right for Cha, which I realized once I started stitching the flowers and fruit. Deciding what stitch to discard can be very painful at times! I hate ripping out like you hate test stitching so removing that beautiful background was very depressing!
Carol has another question: Yes, those two stitches are the ones I think look well together (diagonal cashmere and sky). I don't agree that the DC is larger in scale than the Sky; the largest stitches both go over two threads. Are we defining scale differently?
Jane answers: Here is where my not stitching the piece is important. When I look at the diagrams of the two stitches, the Sky Stitch gives me the sense of being slightly smaller in scale than the Diagonal Cashmere. If I wasn't on vacation I might have done some test stitching and realized that the two stitches are made up of the same components arranged differently. I still get the sense of Sky being smaller than DC after looking at the diagrams but that may be because DC's diagram is darker with bigger lines. It might be an optical illusion, in other words. Or I might have not been mentally seeing how the stitches worked up correctly. You may be right that they are the same scale. Only stitching will tell for sure.
Carol again: Part of the reason why I like these stitches is that they both mimic the narrow and wide sections in the swirl stitch I'm using in the background. And that's why I wanted something entirely different for a fourth stitch. I like the idea of using one stitch for the tail, one stitch for the fins and one stitch for the body, with the basic tent stitch for the smaller parts (or maybe satin stitch--I still haven't decided). I also still like the idea of nestling beads in the spaces in the Tressed stitch.
Jane adds her opinions: I think beads in Tressed Stitch will be lovely! After all, you have those spots elsewhere on the fish and adding beads will make the different parts of the fish more balanced.
I personally would tone down the fish by using three stitches instead of four but this is YOUR canvas. If you think using four stitches on the fish will give you the effect you want, you should do that. My esthetic sense says three and yours says four, but since this is your canvas that you have to live with, you should go with your gut. This is what SharonG means when she says "if it looks right, it is." There is a certain amount of personal choice a stitcher puts into each painted canvas. That is how you add your personality to it. If you think that your canvas needs four stitches in the fish, then it needs those four stitches! If my reasoning doesn't make sense to you, then it is wrong for your canvas.
Are you pretty well set on what stitches and threads you want to use? Do you have more questions about things I didn't make clear? I think we have covered everything to the best of our ability without any actual stitching but you may have more questions as you finish your background and start the other parts of Gold Fish.
Do you have all your supplies now? I wasn't sure if you'd found double-sided ribbons yet but I did see when I was wrapping presents to take on our vacation that I had double-sided ribbon I picked up at Target when I stocked up on wrapping paper and ribbon. That's probably a good local source to check. You might get lucky and find exactly what you need there and not have to special order double-sided ribbons.
I am eager to see progress photos when you have time, Carol!
Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com