This week we’re stitching the yellow pumpkin in the center, near the top. I thought this pumpkin was more yellow-orange than yellow and my thread choice reflects this. I used an unidentified silk floss fro The Thread Gatherer and Vineyard Merino in M-1192 Golden Dunes.
It’s stitched in the damask pattern Houndstooth, below. Houndstoth checks are naturally tiling patterns where the checks in one color fit into the checks of the other color. M. C. Escher did many patterns like this. If the tiles are turned as they are done, these designs are called tessellations.
Damask in Progress
It can be a bit hard to see what the stitching looks like in progress once it is finished. After all, this is meant to be a subtle technique. In the picture below, you see what the design looks like partway through.
For me, the easiest way to stitch most damasks is to stitch everything in one color first. I used wool for this step, You can see it on the right side of the pumpkin. After this is completed I stitch the second thread, seen on the left side.
Filling in with the second thread can be harder than you might think. I find three things help me:
- Thin your threads slightly. I used three strands of silk floss instead of four.
- Work under strong light. It can be difficult to see single unstitched intersections. With a strong light, this is easier.
- You will miss intersections. Go back and fill them in as soon as you find them, they re too easy to lose of you don’t.
About Janet M Perry
Janet Perry is the Internet's leading authority on needlepoint. She designs, teaches and writes, getting raves from her fans for her innovative techniques, extensive knowledge and generous teaching style. A leading writer of stitch guides, she blogs here and lives on an island in the northeast corner of the SF Bay with her family
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