July 30, 2006

French Blue

I started stitching the project I bought in France, with the floss supplied, and discovered that it was not only not colorfast, but the color was rubbing off onto everything. This called for an immediate quest for different floss to the LNS, Everything Cross Stitch, in Fredericksburg, where I purchased two skeins of Needlepoint Silk, Color 747, "French Blue Range." It's wonderful to use, with a pretty sheen and soft hand. Best of all, it doesn't bleed French Blue color over everything it touches. The only problem is that two skeins won't even begin to do it; I'm going to have to order some more from somewhere. The LNS wasn't sure when they'd get their next order, and seeing as I've used the better part of a skein already, I'm going to need it sooner rather than later. There is always the possibility of a slight color variation because of a different dye lot, but I can live with that.

The design itself is a fairly quick stitch--or so I thought. I hadn't paid that much attention to the color photo of it, and they didn't have a model hanging in the shop where I bought it. So imagine my surprise when BF said casually "that's going to take you forever."

"I don't think so," I replied, "look how fast this first panel is coming."
"Yeah," he said, "but what about all that extra stitching over the top?"

Aaak! Extra stitching? It seems that the design, when it is finished, receives a top-dressing of back stitches. I never noticed. Imagine a sheet of graph paper superimposed over the design, with each grid stitched in with a single ply of the silk, the effect being of looking at a scene through a screen. Yup; endless backstitching. The instructions, written in three languages, don't refer to the backstitching at all, which is a rather critical detail to leave out, don't you think? The English instructions say: "Use 2 strands of floss among the 6 twisted strands"; the French instructions include a clause that the English instructions don't have ("sauf indication contraire"--unless otherwise indicated), but nowhere is there a reference to all that backstitching. The instrustions also say, "Once you have finished, wash your work delicately and then iron it humid backside."

It's 97 degrees out, but I'm stitching under the ceiling fan, in an air-conditioned house. Let us be thankful to Willis Carrier, who invented the air conditioner. These look cool, don't they?

This is Yazziebear who says she worries about having a humid backside:


catandturtle said...

Yazziebear is a sweetie. I can't believe the first floss ran just from touching it. That is not good. I can't imagine many people use that tread twice. The project looks great. Ann.

catandturtle said...

I was just reading more of your blog and saw Chester's twin, Little Friend. I can't believe how much they look alike. :)

Anonymous said...

EEK!!BACKSTITCHING. I hate backstitching ALMOST as much as I hate doing one over one on a high count linen. The start of the piece looks lovely though