Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Playing with Overdyed, Post Two

Thanks for all your comments on my last post! I knew I wasn't the only one to have these ideas, but I was sure there was a person or two who might not have thought of it. Today, I have done some really boring stitching on your behalf. To achieve these examples, I used whole lengths of overdyed (WDW Sugar Plum). I started with the thread at the same point to improve comparison. Without further ado, I give you the results.

This topmost sample is our starting point. I've crossed each ex as most designers prescribe. I worked left to right then right to left and back again. Lots of striping.

This second rectangle shows what happens to the stripey-ness when you stitch with the Danish method (half crosses all the way across then complete the cross on the return journey). You can see that the result is a tweedier effect. There are still some stripes as I think the color "reads" as the color of the top leg no matter what is underneath.

Now, what if we go really crazy? What if we strip two threads from the length and instead of aligning them "correctly," we place them ass-end to*? (I think this might produce similar results to what Denise suggested, using the loop method.) I realize I probably should have stitched one ex at a time as well as Danish method in this sample, but I went with the quicker Danish. Here, we achieve the effect of tweeding much better because many of the stitches have both colors in them. It really seems to tone down the fuschia. Still, there's a whopping stripe of lavender that shows up in the same place in each sample.

I think this experiment also might suggest that crossing each ex doesn't actually use that much more thread. There are 95 complete crosses in the first sample, 93 in the third (with seven half stitches, or 96.5 total) and 92 in the third (with eight half stitches, or 96 total), but YMMV there.

Another idea for floss-play would be to use a less stripey overdyed. Your tweed effect would be even more muted. In this project, I knew the blue thread was overdyed but somehow missed that the red was. The blue is crossed individually but the red is stitched Danish method. In the right light, you can tell the red isn't all one hue but not nearly to the extent of the blue.

So next time you're holding some overdyed floss in preparation for stitching, you might want to think about what effect you want to achieve.

Have you stitched overdyed flosses in a "different" way? Be sure to put a link in the comments so we can see the many possibilities of floss play!

*Crazy 50s slang, just one of the many services we provide.

21 comments:

C in DC said...

Well, you've just convinced me to be far less concerned about one-by-one vs. Danish when using overdyeds. Thanks.

Catherine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charlene said...

You might try stripping the threads and then placing opposite ends together. This leads more toward a tweed effect and less striping.

Colorado Stitcher said...

Thanks for the great mini tutorial. I agree with C in DC, but always fun to try it different ways.

Anna van Schurman said...

Charlene, that's what the third example does. Sorry my description wasn't clear.

Catherine said...

Now you have to show us what the back looks like, so we can compare the one-over-one versus the Danish!

Coni said...

Love, love, love these posts!

Very clear, informative, easily understood, and a great way to get me thinking about HOW I stitch rather than just WHY or WHAT I stitch.

More, please.

Miriam said...

I like technical posts. I don't know much about cross-stitch, but it makes me think about what effects might be possible for the other kinds of embroidery that I do.

Re another comment: I don't think I've ever seen what cross-stitch looks like on the back ...

xeyedmary said...

Thanks for doing this. I have seen a similar tutorial about the different effects one can achieve depending with over-dyes. Most times when I have a very large area to infill, I stitch each stitch individually, but go diagonally, because I normally don't like stripes. In my opinion, the diagonal breaks up the variagation in what seems like a more random pattern to the eye, plus the back side is a bit neater due to starting holes being aligned vertically to finish holes (that may depend on if you're going right to left or L to R.)I've also stitched circular areas in spirals for the same reason. But thanks for the stitch count- I've always been convinced that I have to be using more floss by crossing each stitch individually.Great to know otherwise! (Damn frugal Yankee that I am!!)

GrannySue said...

Heck, I don't even know what over dyed is. And I'm going to have to research those stitches you're talking about. Obviously, I am a novice stitcher.

Silverlotus said...

Very nice to see all the different options. I'm always a one X at a time stitcher, regardless of the type of fibre I'm using. I might consider trying another method to get a tweedy effect in the future.

Alice said...

I love when I wonder about something and lo and behold, someone decides to experiment and find out! Very cool. Love the red heart!

riona said...

Since I don't like horizontal stripes on motifs that have a vertical alignment and vice versa, I frequently adjust the direction in which I stitch. For example, when stitching a pumpkin: I start at th top right and stitch downward following the curve of the pumpkin ... until that is I get to the center, at which point I switch to the top left and repeat the process in reverse ... then when I get to the roughly oval shape in the center, I adjust my stitching yet again so that I end up with vertical striations resembling a real pumpkin. The same method applies when I stitch tree trunks, flowers, etc. Stitch in such a way as to follow the natural striations. With structures, I also follow the basic direction of the design element: stitching in blocks for bricks or straight lines for planks. I have gone for the tweed effect on occasion as well.

quietgirl255 said...

It's nice to see an actual side by side comparison. I am going to have to remember this when I have an overdyed thread that has bits that are just too bright, etc. compared to the rest of the length. I always understood you could get different results, just weren't sure what they would look like, and I think I might try the Danish method too when I don't want such a obvious overdyed thread look. Thanks!

jhm said...

I love the design for the heart and stars. DO you remember who designed it?

Jackie
http://needleworkerssamplings.blogspot.com/

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Jenna said...

Cool. Nice to see examples of how to tone down the overdyed effect sometimes. I did find it interesting, though, how much of a lavender strip you still got in the third sample (as you pointed out).

Oh, and you said "third" twice on your sample stitch counts. Just had to be a brat, since no one commented on it yet. I suspect you're trying to see who is paying attention. ;)

Sandy In Montana said...

Thanks for all of info, Anna. Time to break out a few of the dozens I have in my stash and start playin'.

Take Care & Happy Stitching
Hugs, Sandy

Delfi said...

I prefer the tweeding method myself since I do not like the stripey look but instead of stripping from the same cut of fiber and laying them ass end to each other, try stripping from two different cuts of the fiber. Thread has a grain and your stitches will pull much more smoothly through the fabric and are less likely to knot and tangle if you stitch with the grain. I always run thread through my fingers in each direction before plying/stitching. One direction is always smoother than the other...unless you have calloused fingers! lol

Peggy Lee said...

Ya know...I'm lucky if I remember to cross every X let alone worry about in what direction I'm headed with my threads! Your tutorial (experiment) was very informative though. I liked it!
I'm still sitting here with a blank look on my face. If I'm made to think and stitch at the same time the results aren't usually good!

Robin said...

Thanks Anna, for doing the experimentation for us. With overdyes, I ususally stitch one stitch at a time as I don't want to loose any of the varigated effect, but I actually like the result of your second example the best. Here's to learning and trying new things!