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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Thread Hunting

I bought Posy Gets Cozy's DaisyChain ABCs pattern a while back -- just the pattern, partly because I wanted to change some of the colors and partly to use up the fabric and wool I already have, saving money. And then I promptly forgot about it, until Lisa reminded me by stitching hers.

So I decided this week to pick out the threads. I have a big jar of wool yarn for needlepoint, with all the colors I wanted for the pattern:
Unfortunately, the pattern calls for crewel wool, which is just a little thinner than standard tapestry wool. I have lots of crewel wool, too, but with a few exceptions the colors are much more muted and old-timey:
I did a little sampler embroidery of the Q from the pattern, to see if I could get away with using the tapestry wool, but it really did make a difference. As you can see, the daisy flowers at the top are significantly larger, even though the threads look almost the same width:
So I spent my lunch hour on Thursday calling all the needlepoint stores in Manhattan (oddly, clustered on the Upper East Side). After work I trudged uptown in the heat wave on the dreaded 6 line to the one store claiming to carry crewel wool, bringing some of the brighter shades of wool I had (I was determined to use at least some of my colors too). Unfortunately, their wool (a brand I had never heard of) was thinner than standard crewel wool -- so thin I'd need two strands to do the embroidery. Which was not a problem, except that mixing in the wool I had would ruin the uniformity. Given that the skeins were pretty cheap, I gave up and bought all seven colors I needed.
The colors are pretty. The pattern calls for nine colors, but two of them are gray and peach, which I don't like at all, and they are only used for the M, so I've omitted them. I'm using the two cherry colors instead of pinks, the green shades are closer together, and the turquoise replaces the light blue, another color I am not crazy about.

The next step is picking the fabric, and dammit, it's coming from my stash.

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