Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Playing with Overdyed Floss, Post One

In my last stitching post I talked about playing with the overdyed floss, and you know, like one person noticed and wanted to see what I meant. Can you tell there's something different about each square's background?

On the "L" I stitched diagonally, starting in the upper right hand corner. You can see furrows when the lighting is right.

For the flower, I did a regular back and forth, stitching down the left side and up the right side. It was fortuitous that the shading came out light on the top and dark on the bottom.

For the heart, which is stitched back and forth horizontally, I stitched each line of the background vertically. You can tell most on the left hand side where some darker stripes run into the darker stripes on the heart.

Last, but not least, I stitched in a spiral of sorts (a spiral box if you will). Across then down then across and "up" (upside down). This one is harder to see but I do like how it is shaded.

You've seen before how I like playing with the overdyed floss. Remember when I decided that the flower on SamSarah's "My Whole Heart" shouldn't be stripey? In that case, I took random stitches around the flower. (f you click through, you can see the skips in the in-progress picture.)



I've also done what is called "forcing" when you cut the floss so that certain colors show up where you want them to on the design. I did this for the first time with Moss Creek's "Sumer is A-coming in" in the late 90s. Rae Iverson told me the technical term when I showed her what I had done. You can see that the brown floss is on the bottom center of the flowers. I made sure all the other queen stitches were pink.

But these are only a few examples of how you can play with overdyed floss. At stitch night, someone was talking about whether you had to cross each stitch when you worked with overdyed flosses (of course you don't). When I mentioned that I had been thinking about a post showing the different effects you could achieve with overdyeds, there was some nodding. So one more post to come!

19 comments:

Denise said...

Sometimes I like a 'flecked' look too. Cut a length of floss so one end is light and the other dark. Use the loop method and get a total different effect.

Lee said...

I'm glad you're doing this. Too many of us (like me) are only seeing the color variations as horizontal striping. It was cool at first, but can get a little ho-hum.

Cole said...

Love how these look, thank you for sharing! I've never thought of playing with them like that.

Heather said...

I never thought of doing that! I'm totally using your technique for the next pattern! Thanks for sharing.

mainely stitching said...

I also have fun with overdyed floss and the different effects it can produce. :D

Chocolates4Breakfast (TerriBoog) said...

Great tutorial on the effects of overdyed floss!

Catherine said...

I've played around with this too - but never all in one project. I love it! Thanks for sharing!

Silverlotus said...

Very interesting. I usually let the colours fall where they do, but I did do something like what you did with the SamSarah flower for a dragon. The effect was like dragon scales.

Alice said...

Well aren't you clever? There is no end to how you can be more creative; thanks for reminding me. I look forward to your next post, because I like to play!

Linen Stitcher said...

I often play with my overdyed floss. Didn't know that "forcing" was an official technique name, but I do that quite a bit. I've also been known to flip one of the two strands in my needle or to skip every other stitch, then go back for a second pass to fill in (stitched a roof that way once, and it looked thatched when I finished). Oh, and I purposely stitched in a circular pattern on some roses once to create more realistic shading. Mostly, though, I stitch on the diagonal, because while I like the variation provided by overdyed floss, I've never been overly fond of horizontal stripes. I prefer more subtle shading.

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

I've always tended to stitch in little blocks so you get areas of each colour. I find stitching one stitch at a time so tedious!

Recently I've been using them for borders which suits me for than blocks of colour.

I've seen the spiral pattern once before and it's definitely my favourite and one I will use. I have some nice Assisi patterns in my "to do" pile which would work well.

Robin said...

Great pictures of your various 'playing' with overdyes! I have done the spiral stitching technique. I am going to try out the diagonal one in the future!

Jeanne said...

I too 'force' the colors from time to time so I've learned now what's that technically called. The LNS owner where I live calls it 'painting' with the floss. I will have to try the diagonal or spiral stitching as I don't always like the horizontal striped look especially if you are stitching a big section. It always seems to happen to me that the stripey part falls right where I don't want it!

C in DC said...

I love the look of the diagonal stitch (isn't it called the basketweave stitch in needlepoint?) and think the spiral is perfect for the E.

I "force" the colors every time I use varigated threads, because I don't want to end up with a weird jump in colors in the middle of something.

Anonymous said...

Nice! Thanks for the tips.

dd

Jenna said...

Excellent post! I was playing with overdyed floss recently, as well. I chose to try stitching diagonally and the result was quite interesting, especially due to the bright color changes in the floss. You'll see it in the post I've scheduled for tonight.

I've done the forcing, as well. It can be quite useful, even if it's a pain. I think my favorite of all of your experiments is the spiral. I really like the look of that one and think I'll try it myself on a future piece.

Well done!

Cindy's Stitching said...

Very pretty. I really like this pattern. Bright and cheerful colors

Sharon said...

Very cool looking!

Jodie said...

Whoa, this is SO COOL! I also wondered what that meant, but of course didn't ask.....that must require a lot more concentration and organization....yikes!!