Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Sparkling Tartan/Plaid for a Napkin Ring

First showing the napkin ring "finished" - but not yet professionally done. I simply steam pressed it and put it together with masking tape to see how it would look. ("Haste is the enemy of perfection.")

Also, my fine white napkins are packed in a box somewhere, so I had to resort to a paper towel - the ultimate tacky, so my mother would say.

This napkin ring began life as Alpine Meadows tartan, a gorgeous green one I chose a while back to illustrate adapting an actual tartan to needlepoint. It has relatively few colors and rather small setts, which makes it quite versatile for this use.

To repeat my "disclaimer" - I checked with the Scottish National Registry, and while it's illegal to sell "patterns" made from these tartans, it's O.K. to adapt them for one's own personal use. Anyway, setting up a pattern for use requres knowing for what it will be used - size and shape of project, canvas mesh size, many different factors. It makes a difference in the number of threads used for the width of each stripe.

The first "stitching" picture shows how it looks barely begun. You can see where I marked the stripes with colored Sharpie pens for guidance. The arrow is showing where I cheated and turned the canvas upside down to continue the red stripe instead of ending off and beginning again at the top. This is not good practice, but on this small piece, it did no harm.

The second photo shows the weft stripes started - and this is where it becomes very entertaining and hard to put down, as the pattern begins to emerge. On this fun piece, I chose to use Kreinik metallics for the gold, red, and white stripes, substituting the red for the pink on the original tartan. 032, of course, provides the sparkling touch of white!

Last - the napkin ring almost finished. There are instructions for drawing the basic size and shape for these things on my Freebies, etc. blog under "napkin rings" - as well as a bracelet. You could also do belts this way, maybe from your own family tartan, as it's the same width as a needlepoint belt - and what fun for the Holiday Season!!

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