Monday, January 2, 2012

Mini Mystery Monday #4

HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!

How are you starting your new year? By reading lots of new blogs? Watching the colorful Rose Parade? Getting out the snacks in preparation for watching lots of football games or movies? Or starting a new stitching project after you've done all of the above?

I've decided to start the New Year with a simple but slightly different type of mystery ornament for you. It's small and fast and you'll see a lot of the background canvas. And because it's the first ornament of winter, let's get a piece of white 18 ct. canvas - at least 6" x 6" in size. [After you stitch this one up the first time and see what it looks like, you might want to play with it on different colors of canvas... but more on that later!] The finished size of this small design is 4" x 4" on 18 ct. canvas, and the actual thread count is 68 by 68 threads. If you want to try a smaller version on 24 ct. Congress Cloth, your design will be 3" x 3" in size - and you should use finer threads, like Caron Wildflowers (or any variegated #8 pearl cotton) with a finer metallic thread such as Kreinik # 8 Braid or Rainbow Gallery's Treasure Braid Petite.

So....first of all, I want you to think about what COLORS come to mind when you think of JANUARY. Do you think of blues and silvers? Lavenders and purples? Aquas?? Hot Pink?!? In any event, go get a variegated thread color that evokes wintry January for you (you'll only need half a skein of a Watercolours thread, if that, so go looking thru your pile of used threads for this project)... Then pick out a sparkly metallic ribbon thread that matches your variegated thread (like Ribbon Floss, Neon Rays+, or Kreinik 1/16th Ribbon).

Since I think of cool blues and purples for January, I chose a medium bluey/aqua combo, similar to Watercolours 019, "Tropic Seas" with a really icy blue Ribbon Floss 144-009, so my thread palette for this project looks like this:

Yup. Just two threads needed for this sweet little project. That makes it easy, doesn't it?

Okay, once you have your threads and canvas mounted on bars, find the center of your canvas and stitch this separated star motif, using 1 ply of your 3-ply strand of variegated Watercolours:

The "c" in the middle of the graph represents the CENTER of your canvas, so count outwards from the "c." And your star should look something like this:

Once you have that star motif stitched, you can continue with the next part of the central design, which is a sort of a snowflake design, done in BLACKWORK! But you're not using a black thread - no, no, no, you're going to continue stitching with 1 ply of the variegated Watercolours thread you've chosen. Anchor your new thread on the back of the star you've just stitched and then work outwards using this graph:

Work your blackwork design in a Running Backstitch, which is done like this:

I highly recommend using this stitch (instead of the standard backstitch, which can leave "shadow stitches" on the back of your work that show thru to the front - especially when stitching on the large 18 ct. canvas) for two important reasons:
1) it keeps the colors on your variegated thread flowing nicely together and doesn't create abrupt color changes;
2) it's tidier, as you move the stitched line over the canvas you don't create any messy "shadow stitches" that show thru to the front.

So there's the first part of your next Mini Mystery project to work on. I'll see you next Monday for the next installment, where we'll add a little sparkle to your blackwork!

2 comments:

wendy williams said...

Thank you going to really enjoy doing this

Needles & Threads said...

Happy New Year, thank you for sharing your inspirations,they are appreciated.