For the past week or so, I've been stitching the same pattern over and over again in different colors. It's "Jacob's Coat," which is in the current issue of Needle Pointers. I think of it as a form of meditation that I'm doing while I get inspired for my next design. Here is what I have so far, all stitched with one Caron Collection Wildflowers color on Light Caramel Congress Cloth:
The first one I stitched is in Fiesta.
This one is in Bark.
This is Rainforest.
And the one I'm working on now is Harvest.
It occurs to me that the naming of variegated threads may be purely random. I'm hard pressed to identify bark with the colors in that thread, for instance. No matter. I love the colors.
As I'm stitching these, I find the rhythm that I fall into very soothing.
First, I stitch the border of eyelets and double crosses, one eyelet in each corner, connected by 18 double cross stitches. Then I start in the upper left corner with the alternating Scotch stitches, moving down the diagonal. I move to the next set of alternating Scotch stitches and meander back up. Back at the top, I pick up the alternating Scotch to the right of the corner I started in and meander back down. Then I fill in the pairs of stitches from the upper right corner down to the lower left. It's very soothing and relaxing. Last, I do the sprat's head variations. I love this stitch. It's quick and looks lovely when finished.
Since I'm still a novice, my stitching goes fairly slowly, though I find I'm getting quicker as I progress through the Wildflowers colors I want to use. I haven't timed it, but I think it takes about 3 or 4 hours to complete one. Maybe I'll try to remember to note my start and stop times for the next one.
As I do this, I think such an exercise is a good way to learn the changes and nuances of these variegated threads. Maybe I should do a smaller motif that will take me through at least two or three repeats of each Wildflowers color. Think how useful that would be when trying to create different colorways for one design! I mean, how hard can that be?
I started this extended stitching meditation after I completed "Turnberry Ridge." It seemed like a good way to come down, so to speak, from that wonderful stitching experience. Here's the finished piece. I meant to take it to Clive at the Brit's Gallery for framing today, but the day got away from me.