Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Simply Shaker thread: Simply Lovely

I have to mention that the Stacy Nash's "Summer at Hollyberry Farm" pattern recommended Simply Shaker thread (by The Gentle Art). I'd never used anything but DMC, so I got quite a sticker shock from this hand-dyed thread. At first I thought I'd save a bit of dosh by combining some DMC and some Simply Shaker. Because of how unique the colors are in the latter, I decided against it.

And I'm so glad I did.

I am absolutely smitten with Simply Shaker threads! Love, love, LOVE! The variation of the color of the thread is so lovely. The variation is so natural. (Yes. Love.)

I've been thinking about turning a beautiful naturalist botanical still-life into a cross stitch pattern. I know there is software out there that will turn jpegs into patterns and even provide DMC thread numbers to boot! But I think that converting the colors into Simply Shaker threads would make such a picture truly gorgois! [My Frenchification of 'gorgeous'; pronounced /gorj WA/; rhymes with "more saw." But, I digress.]

Meanwhile, back on the farm, I did notice that using these variegated threads required me to pay attention to the order of my stitches. For example, Stacy recommends sewing in a large diamond-shaped pattern for her version of the rooftop. I loved this idea, but I decided to do shingle shapes and used three different colors of thread in the same tone. I'm very pleased with the look it achieved. It gives detail without being overly "drawn."

Stacy Nash
When I got to the trees, I realized that a left-to-right stitch pattern didn't look natural. It looked, well ... stitched. So I unpicked it and, instead, ran the stitches up into branches, carefully varying where each vertical line of stitching ended so that I never had an obvious line break.

Because I wanted the trees to look like the huge hundred-year-old trees at my grandpa's, I also borrowed the leaves from the pattern in another section, built out the trunk and limbs, and made the leaves and limbs a little less symmetrical.

Stacy Nash
And, of course, there is my beloved swing. (sigh)

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