Before I go on telling you what I’ve been up to with the Colors of India project, I wanted to give you a tip about working with gold and silk on silk fabric. Not only are these fibers expensive, they don’t respond well to oil and dirt that we might have on our hands. Each time I embroider, I wash my hands, I scrub them with the sugar and oil scrub so they are as smooth as possible and I wash them again but still…it’s inevitable that there will still be something on my hands that might damage the fibers. As we work, our hands could rub against the already stitched areas and may slightly fray the silk. Moisture and oil from our hands will get on the gold threads and this speeds up the inevitable process of tarnishing.
Here’s a tip that will help keep your work clean and looking its best for a long time.
When I have to work over an area already finished, I usually lay down a tissue so my hand rests on the tissue rather than the silk or gold threads. If I was using a hoop, I might even consider wearing a plain white cotton glove on the hand I hold the hoop with. That’s where the most contact will be with the fabric and already stitched threads. I would NOT try to wear a glove on my stitching hand! Recipe for disaster!
Since I’m using an Evertite frame on my System 4 needlework stand, I also take advantage of being able to turn the frame as I work. It didn’t occur to me to do this (wanting to work “right side up” all the time!) until I’d had the frame and stand for a while. Sometimes I just CAN’T think outside the box!
The rose colored flower is coming along nicely and I am so glad I chose these colors – they’re beautiful and rich!
The entire flower on the right side will be worked in threads in the color family Persian roses. For the bottom petals I’m using the three darkest colors – 165, 166 and 167. These will all be worked in long and short shading, the darkest thread being closest to the center of the flower.
Here you can see both the first row of long and short shading as well as the second and third rows added to half the petals. The MOST important thing for me to remember is to go deeply enough into the previous row of stitches when I’m doing the next row.
Like many of us, I struggled to be happy with long and short shading. As I do it more, I get better. I think it’s the one stitch that never looks as good as I think it should when I do it. There is a LOT of long and short shading in this piece – I decided to work it that way intentionally! – so by the end I should be better and more confident!