Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Silk threads and St Pete

So the frogs have been banished and I've finished part 3 of St Petersburg!

I really loved stitching this part, despite the frogs, it's such a contrast from the dense stitching of the first two parts. And I love the backstitched gates.

I find it interesting while I'm stitching to compare the silks and the DMCs and the varigated/solid colours. On only one of the four sides in part 3 have I used varigated colours in stitching the vegetation. And it happens that on that side I particularly like the way the vegetation looks with just that little bit more variation in colour.

The is probably the first design where I've used varigated threads to any significant extent and up to now, I was slightly sceptical of their value. Now I'm starting to change my mind a bit. I like those variagted threads where there is significant colour change across the length of the thread. I still can't entirely get the point of threads where the colour variation is so subtle, you can hardly see the difference.

I've also been thinking about silk threads - what is the point in using silk thread? What does it add to your stitching? I'm still a long way from being a convert on this one and at this point, I really prefer DMCs. I know the sheen of silk is supposed to be more than cotton. But, after a piece is finished and framed, I'm not convinced that anybody will be able to tell the difference. I'm fairly certain that, even when I've stitched a piece using silks and cottons, I won't be able to see any difference. I know that some stitchers prefer the feel of silk for stitching, and I know that for designers, using silks can create a much greater palette of colours. But I'm not convinced of the value in this.

Sometimes too, it seems to me like there's a kind of snobbery in stitching - silk is "better" than cotton and linen is "better" than evenweave as evenweave is "better" than aida. I'm not convinced I like linen - give me evenweave any day!

Anyway, the important thing is for all stitchers to enjoy their stitching, whatever the materials they're using. And don't be afraid to mix and match or substitute fabric and fibres to meet your preference.

Anyway, having finished St Pete, I didn't particularly want to pick up anything big, so I've gone back to my Starflake from Patricia Ann Designs. I started this around my birthday in February but didn't get any further than the beginnings of the central motif. I've made good progress since Sunday, but it's slow work. I'd hoped I would get it finished by the end of this week, but it looks like that isn't going to happen. It's all eyelets and smyrna crosses which, although I love them, stitch up soooo slowly! And then I came downstairs this morning and on a quick look, noticed that a group of eyelets I stitched last night aren't centred within the motif! Aarghhh! And then there's that other group of lumpy eyelets from yesterday and I'm also tempted to frog .......


Vonna said...

I have to agree wholeheartedly with your comments on silks vs. cotton, linen vs. evenweave...etc.
I like you love the varigated colors and I feel that the hand-dyed cottons give a more subtle color than DMC, but give me DMC any old day and I'm happy :)
And I'm an evenweave girl all the way. I can stitch on linen, but in the end does someone really look at the threads and say...ah yes this is linen?! I don't think so...or at least I don't :)
BTW...lovely progress on St. Petersburg!

Anonymous said...

I agree that the not-so-variegated overdyed cottons can be a bit disappointing sometimes, since they look just like DMC but for a lot more money!

Depending on the make, silk is absolutely beautiful to stitch with but I agree that you'd be hard-pressed to tell the difference sometimes when the piece is finished. I'm happy to stitch with DMC, overdyed cotton or silk, whatever takes my mood and I use all 3 types of thread fairly equally, I think.

I must admit to being a big linen fan, mainly because I love the look of the fabric and also the feel of it (again, this does depend on the make). I have stitched with evenweave but I don't enjoy it as much, so I tend to stick to linen now ;)

Julie said...

Congrats on finishing Part 3, it looks lovely

I like evenweave too, but don't mind some linens. Although i do like some silks, i tend to stick to the DMC as it's more cost effective when you;re on a budget. I'd love to try a bigger Chatelaine, i keep watching yours so i might LOL

Sally said...

Love your progress on St Petersburg. It's gorgeous.

I'm with you on linen. I much prefer evenweave but if a chart calls for linen and I can't get a matching colour in evenweave ( or can only get the count I want in linen) I will use it. I have stitched on it and don't really mind unless it's over one as that is a nightmare!

I do like stitching with silks but I tend to use DMC more often than not. If I want silks for a particular chart I'll buy them from the USA in a sale!

Itching To Stitch said...

Your St. Petersburg is gorgeous and kuddo's to you for enjoying it so much. I'm not enjoying mine at all :(.

I have to admit I love stitching with silks, but not all silks. I don't like Waterlilies or Dinky Dyes but am a huge fan of NPI silks. I like to stitch on high count linen (36 - 40 ct) and stitching with silk on those counts is like stitching with butter. I use plenty of DMC and WDW/GA/Crescent Colours too though and like stitching with them as well. I'll stitch on linen or evenweave but have to say I'm not a fan of Aida but see nothing wrong with stitching on it, that's just my preference.

Lavender Rose said...

Stitching preferences make the world go 'round!! When a stitcher makes her thread too long, she can rub away the sheen on any thread no matter if it's cotton or silk. I think the project rather dictates the use of which thread to use in which place. I like to mix it up! :)) Love your progress on St. Pete. I'm slow with mine, but am making headway with Taj!
As always, your blog gives me a sense of peace...:)