Jan 19, 2013

Creating tension

Hello people!  Before we talk stitching, in case you are browsing in a JCP store down those wide aisles, looking from side to side to see if anything catches your eye, beware of the lurking mannequins positioned right in the center.  That's all I'm saying.
For several days I've been working on February's pear.  Finally finished it today after so many color changes, that I would prefer watching a black and white TV show tonight.  Here's a sneak peek.

Originally I wanted this on a really dark background with light floss but once again, my stitches were poorly done.  I seem to always have this happen when using a very light thread. 
Nasty looking stitches. Why would the same stitcher using the same needle and same type of floss have a different looking stitch just because of it's color?  Is it possible that the linen is the problem and always has been?   I tried other fabrics and took a good look at the result.  Aha!  The lighter color still looks wimpy but there is a definite difference.  This Rook linen is stiffer and more coarse than the top linen.   After some testing, I realized that my stitches are better looking on a 26 count of stiffer linen than on a higher count softer piece.  Tension. I've always had a problem with it but there's no pill for this situation. I obviously need more support in my linen to keep my stitches uniform.  Scarlet Letter kits were my first samplers and they used a 25 count coarse unbleached linen.  My satin stitches always look angry and I knew that was caused from incorrect tension, but it never dawned on me that this also applied to the entire project.  Blamed the fabric!  I've always preferred a stiff linen and now I have another reason for that choice.   My latest dyed linens are soft and I have so much trouble with them ~ now it makes sense.  Do I want to practice until I correct my 30 year old stitching manner?  No.  Not a chance.  Don't want or need the frustration, especially if a solution could be found with fabric choice.  
 Why did it take me all these years to realize this?  What a putz.
My floss box is painted and ready for hinges but I've been working on a simple way to have my DMC color guide books attached to the underside of the lid.
Hope you're enjoying your weekend.
Thank you for visiting, stay safe!

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