Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Setting Up the Plaid (Millenium Ribbon)

In the very beginning of setting up a plaid on needlepoint canvas from an already existing one, the colors, of course, have to be counted and considered.

On a tartan with more than about three colors, it isn't quite as easy as it seems - it's common to miss one. The case here was that I didn't notice at first that there is a green stripe on the vertical set up, and a yellow on the horizontal. Irregular plaid!

This scan is very pale, so it's not easy to see - but it's just my doodling with the stripes to ascertain the widths of each relevant to the others. I do this on leftover scrap canvas with my drawing pen. The smallest elements - the ones that look like single lines - translate best when stitched as two threads on needlepoint canvas, so one must start there. Then, but just playing a bit, and comparing visual percentages of the widths, one can finally come up with a reasonable facsimile.
In the olden days (a few years ago) before I found colored Sharpie drawing pens, this set up would have been rather confusing to stitch. The colors, of course, aren't true - but they certainly help.

I drew the top and right side margins, (arrow on the left) and then changed my mind, as I wanted to include what was on the ribbon at top and bottom - the yellow and blue lines. The coloring in of the spaces gives me all the guidance I need for the stitching.

This piece came out to be 2 1/2" high. I would love to have had it narrower, as a ribbon, but I'm thinking of other uses for a band this wide. Anyway, it's a new format to play with , so at present it doesn't matter.
Beginning the stitching - as always, the warp is stitched FIRST in skipped basketweave, as that is the strength of the mono canvas, as well as the way the plaid is woven on a loom. I like to stitch about this far, and then do a bit across the weft to see the plaid begin to emerge.

I'm showing the section of the actual ribbon that you can see here with stitches on it so far. You might notice that the green has changed in this last photo. What I had already stitched didn't show up, as the green was too dark, and too close in value to the blue. I switched to one that I had discarded in the beginning as too bright - but it works fine here!!
It's at this point that I get really anxious to see how it will look with just a little bit more, or one more stripe worked - so it never gets boring. The only boring part might be in the beginning when setting up the initial verticals - but that doesn't last long! I'm already figuring out how to maybe make this narrower and do a set of Tartan napkin rings. Or put it on a small diamond shaped ornament with some glitzy stuff in it for a key ring. Lots of possibilities here!!


Anne Stradal said...

Dang--it looks so easy when YOU do it!

NCPat said...

Great work!

The Chilly Hollow Needlepoint Adventure said...

This is a very pretty plaid and it looks really woven! Bet it makes great napkin rings with maybe a monogram on top. Or is that too busy?

Oh, well, you are the designer. You'll come up with something great.

Possibilities, Etc. said...

A monogram or initial would actually be great - if the plaid is light enough in value for it to show up. I have a stitching student right now who is making a plaid pillow with her dd's new monogram on it - we drew the lettering before stitching the plaid around it. That would certainly work on napkin rings - make them more personal.