One of the things I want to do with my cross stitching this year is to get more creative with my choices. So far, I’ve pretty much stuck with called for colors of floss and have generally used a similar colored linen. It’s so hard to find the exact linen, especially if it’s an older chart so I start with a linen that looks similar to the model, then I pull the called for floss, or as much of it as I have in my stash, spread it out on the fabric. Then I separate one strand out and see how well it shows up. Here’s an example from auditioning colors the other day.
Even a close match is going to show up when looking at six strands.
Once one strand is separated out, I’ll get a better idea of whether the floss will show up on the fabric. It also matters where the floss is going to be used. I’ll often pull the chart and see if there’s going to be another color around this floss. This color could be used in a tree where there will always be a “clump” of stitches and not just a stitch or two and it may work fine. This floss could be the stem of a flower of some kind and it may blend into the fabric so that the stem isn’t seen and the blossom appears to be freestanding in space. This color could be used as an eyeball with the white of the eye surrounding it and then it would show up just fine.
If I were to pull all the called for floss and find that five or six of them do not show up on the linen I was using to audition the colors, I’d probably choose another linen.
While pulling colors for Silent Night recently, there were quite a few colors I didn’t have. I didn’t have Gentle Arts Antique Lace but most any off white/ecru floss would work. I ended up pulling Weeks Parchment to use as a substitute.
I didn’t have Weeks Yukon Gold. I looked it up on a cross stitching site, saw the shade of gold it was and found something similar. Through the past couple of years, I’ve ordered assortments of floss from different dyers. I was in the Colour & Cotton Club for a couple of years and am now in the Roxy Floss Club. While I keep the Classic Colorworks, Weeks and Gentle Arts floss in alphabetical order on rings, in keep the lesser called for flosses on rings by color. When I need a gold, I pull the ring that contains gold floss and find something similar.
One of the called for flosses was Weeks Adobe. I didn’t have it and I probably don’t need it. I looked at the chart to see where it was used. There are red flowers and this was used at the tips of the petals.
I thought anything orange-ish red would work so I pulled a
If the Adobe was to be used in a fall tree to represent changing leaf color, yes, I would use it but for a couple of stitches at the end of a rd flower, the Victorian Motto orange will work just fine.
Also, I want to add some depth and texture to some of the stitching.
I ordered these two kits from Hoop & Frame just to try some different flosses. The kit on the right contains the following:
- Au Ver A Soie’s Soie d’alger which is a silk thread that is fairly popular and I’ve used several times.
- The two little spools that are together are Soie Perlee and Soie de Paris. I’ve never used either of these and have no idea what they’re like but I’ll find out.
- The round fiber in the little box is Silk chenille. I’ll probably want a million yards of that!
- The four at the bottom are A ver a soie’s 100/3 which I love. It’s silk, one strand on a spool and can be pulled off and used without having to separate strands. There’s Accentuate which is a sparkly thread. There’s something called Trebizond Twisted Silk. Not sure what that’s for, and finally, there’s Au Ver A Soie’s Silk Gobelins, which is said to have a beautiful luster and you can see through the packaging how it shines.
I’m anxious to venture out a bit and try some new things. I do plan to use the Accentuate for the snow in the Silent Night project.
I also want to use beads in a few projects – may some of the things that will be framed but for sure on some of the pin pillows.
Variety is the spice of life they say and it also can spice up the cross stitching.