In yesterday’s post we began our analysis of my most recent finished project, analyzing it according to the questions in The Needlepoint Book. As we should expect there are weaknesses in the design and colors on the canvas. One of these, a weak focal point, was changed by concentrating all the attention-grabbing threads on the flower that was the focal point.
Today we’ll finish up the analysis.
A variety of stitches was used in this design, pretty much one for each of the main colors. All areas in a particular color use the same stitch. Five colors use Tent Stitch: yellow, medium pink, blue, pale yellow-green, and tweeded green. Except for the stem color, pale yellow-green, two colors in this list do not occur in the same flower, but they are scattered around the design, making plenty of places for the eyes to rest.
The stitches are all diagonal and similar in size; this helps keep the many stitches coordinated and contributing to the design.
Because the focal point (the large pink flower) is also the biggest flower in the piece, we see the stitches most extensively here, contributing to this area’s importance. Because all the other stitches are about the same size, none of them compete with these choices.
Because the stitches all have a direction, they do not create static points. The picture plane is flat, allowing the stitches to be the same size.
Jo’s list does not address a problem I often see in needlepoint: the question of stitches fitting. Most of the time a stitches fits if three full repeats of the stitch can be seen. One stitch per color was chosen deliberately to show how this works (larger flowers) and doesn’t work (smaller flowers). To see this in action, let’s look at the hot pink areas. On the largest flowers there is plenty of room, we see more than three repeats of the stitch throughout. There is enough space here to get a feeling of the stitch. If we turn to the other two hot pink areas we are not so lucky.The flower on the right edge barely hold three repeats in any direction. The other small flower holds almost three in each direction.
The question arises: does this stitch fit?
Yes it does, but only because one area of the stitch is large enough to establish the stitch and pattern. Because of this we see the other areas as if they were pieces cut out of the same fabric. We “see” the implied pattern of the whole repeated stitch.
This trick is important to remember when a design has many areas the same color in different sizes.
Because the background is a neutral black it does not affect the color scheme. A black background serves to make the other colors brighter because of its extremely low value and intensity. These aspects of black also make it recede visually.
That holds true even though the chosen background thread, a very thin metallic, is a thread type that rarely works well as a background. The stitch chosen, T Stitch, reinforces this because it is small and open, also helping the background to recede.
No embellishments were used on this piece. My intention is to finish it as an inset for a purse, so embellishments would be a problem.
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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