Updated August 12, 2022.
When we think about challenges in needlepoint, we don’t often think that a limited set of colors is a problem. At least it’s not high on my list. Way too much background? That’s there. Odd shapes where there will be lots of compensation? That’s there. Too many tiny little spaces where the temptation to use Tent Stitch is great? That’s there too.
One difference between modern needlepoint and the needlepoint of the 70s is that today we expect to have variety in our pieces. This comes from different stitches, threads, and colors. Our needlepoint doesn’t look flat. Restricted color palettes, especially if there isn’t lots of room for textured stitches, can look flat and dull.
There is an easy way to fix this. Use threads with more than one texture in those colors. For example, if your borders are in stranded silk, a relatively matte thread, use pearl cotton and rayons for the focal point.
The different textures will add life to the stitching.