My fingers are still recovering from exercise 1, from pulling a large needle through woven fabric with thick tapestry wool threaded on to it.
Exercise 2 couldn't be as much hard work on my hands? Could it?
Exercise 2 asks me to make another sample, this time using pastel colours.
Mixing the colours so that a gradual colour movement occurs across the sample.
There are two methods suggested:
- To start with one colour and cover a small area, add a second colour and mix the two together equally, then add a third and continue until you have incorporated all the colours selected.
- An alternative: as you add the third colour, remove the first. As you add a fourth colour, remove both the first and second colour.
Having chosen my colours of thread: beige, dusky pink, blue, light blue, blue/green, light green; I need to decide on a background fabric colour.
I decided to photograph the threads lying against two different coloured backgrounds in order to make an informed decision.
Threads on a light background:
|A range of pastel shades of thread on a light background|
Threads on a dark background:
|A range of pastel threads on a dark background|
After looking at the photographs I have decided to use a black background, as the pastel shades look brighter and deeper against the darker colour.
I made a thread wrap of the colours that would be used in this exercise.
I started stitching with the beige thread first, then added equal amounts of pink.
As I continued to stitch I added a third colour, blue.
I realised at this point that I needed to write an order for stitching, so that I would remember the colour combinations that I was hoping to use.
- Cream, Pink
- Cream, Pink, Blue
- Pink, Blue - lose Cream
- Pink, Blue, Light Blue
- Blue, Light Blue - lose Pink
- Blue, Light Blue, Blue/Green
- Light Blue, Blue/Green - lose Blue
- Light Blue, Blue/Green, Light Green
- Blue/Green, Light Green - lose Light Blue
- Light Green - lose Blue/green
The finished sample:
|The finished sample: French Knots in pastel shades|
A close up of the finished sample:
|Detail of the stitches showing gradual changes of colour|
This clearly shows the detail of the stitches and the colour changes that happened by mixing the colours of thread gradually.
It is similar to the colour mixing exercises that were completed at the start of this project.
When black, white, grey and complementary colours were gradually mixed with a primary colour.
It is another example of the illusions colour can create when placed near another colour.
When the pink is mixed with the blue it begins to look more purple in colour.
When the pink is mixed with beige it becomes a lighter shade of pink.
When the darker blue is mixed with green, the green becomes darker - almost blue/green.
As the darker green is mixed with the lighter green, it becomes a lighter shade of green altogether.
No visual lines were formed because the colour changes were so gradual.
I liked the finished sample.
I liked the graduated colours and textures that were created when stitching the french knots.
I had to make a decision to use mainly stranded cotton for this exercise (one of the greens was a linen thread) to ensure that I had a full range of pastel colours - but, this has made me realise that I will have to go shopping for more sewing supplies.
By broadening the range of threads, and colours, available to me I will be able to be more inventive, and have more choice, when completing future exercises.
Today the effort involved in creating the large amount of french knots that were needed for this exercise was not quite so hard on my fingers.
I used finer threads, but I also did not pull as tightly on the thread wrapped around the needle - this eased the effort involved in pulling the needle through the fabric - and consequently eased my pain threshold.
The next stage of this exercise is to find an image from my drawings and sketchbook work which uses pastel colours.
This image will be developed into a stitched sample.
I now need to look through all my work to find that 'ideal' image.....
|Bottom: Colour effects using pastel colour|