Friday, March 25, 2011

WIP: Twilight Angel - More Overskirt!

I got in a few nice afternoons last week, wherein the sun decided to come and machete-hack its way through the ever-present jungle of grey clouds and shine on my stitching for a while. This made the conditions perfect for a little more Twilight Angel work!

Last time I posted, she looked like this:

And now, she looks like this:

As you can see, this piece is hard to photograph, due its subtle colourations. Once I move past the overskirt, things will brighten up.  The most challenging part of this for me wasn't the fractional stitches (I had to learn to come to a sort of stalemate with them a few months ago when stitching a large floral work for my Grandmother for Christmas, whereby I pleaded with them "I hate stitching you but I need you" and they sort of smugly said "of course you need us, and so you must stitch us, like it or not!" and so I had no choice. Doing something over and over may not mean you'll ever love it, but it does mean you learn to at least tolerate it when necessary, though it does not guarantee you'll do so with good grace).

No, the most challenging part of these few stitches for me was the half cross-stitches. Obviously, I can stitch them. But I've never liked the look of them. Here's a closer view:

The half cross-stitches are in the middle of the picture above. They are white, like the neighbouring whole cross-stitches to their right. Do you see what I mean? Half cross-stitches always seem, well, incomplete. I know half cross-stitches are an important tool in the kit of any stitch designer, and that they can be used very well to artistic effect, as I hope will be evident when I finish this piece. But I've never been able to stand leaving them as they are, and so in patterns that have called for them before - even in one where the background was essentially all half cross-stitch - I have gone back and filled them in with the other half, making them whole, despite my good intentions to resist doing so.

In Twilight Angel, half cross-stitch is everywhere - in the blue background, in the wings, and in the dress. And so I am doing my very best to stick to the design. When I first put these in, I thought they wouldn't stand even a few hours. But when I started stitching the white whole stitches around them, I could better see the effect that they will have. I think, when it's finished, that these half-stitches will serve to provide more gentle transitions between the shade colours of the overskirt and the bright highlights of the white folds. I hope.

So, for now, I am trusting in the great wisdom of Dimensions, and will leave them as they are. When the Sun sees fit to break out of its prison again, I will happily sit and bask in its welcome glow with my needle and my Angel in hand. However, as we are now in the middle of a raging blizzard, methinks it will be a while before that happens. Ah, Winter!

*flings back of hand to brow dramatically*

Hope this weekend provides lots of happy stitching times to you!


Flossy said...

That's looking lovely! such beautiful colours in it, can't wait to see more :D

Rainy Day Crafter said...

I think one of the difficulties with half cross stitches is that they really don't look good close up, which is obviously how you see it as you're stitching. Just tell yourself how good they'll look as part of the whole design once you've finished when you're trying to resist the urge to fill them in, lol! ;)

I'm loving the colours in this so far too by the way! :)

Karen said...

I heard about the nasty snow storm that hit some areas yesterday. How horrible! We got a tiny bit of snow and that was more than enough. I think if I see anymore white stuff I'll die! Yea, I know that's being a bit melodramatic, but I'm sure you know how I feel lol.

Personally, I like the effects of half cross stitches. It gives the stitched piece a whispy look that I enjoy. Often, it helps make the background stand out when you look at it from a distance. But I can understand why you would want to fill them in and make them whole stitches too! Close up they do look incomplete.

Aurelia Eglantine said...

Thanks so much for the nice comments!

Flossy: Aw, thanks so much! I'm glad you like the colours. There will hopefully be more soon, provided Mr. Sun decides to come out and shine :)

Rainy Day: You know, I think you're right. Sometimes when you work with something so closely it is hard to see the finished perspective. I'm definitely going to try telling myself that, and maybe it might work ;) I'm glad you're liking the colours too! They're really subtle, and it's hard to get a good picture, but they look nice in the light!

Karen: Eek, don't be talking! I'm trying very hard to Think Spring, but all that newly fallen white stuff (25 cms of the stuff!) makes it hard. I *totally* know how you feel :)

I've heard that half cross-stitch provides good distance perspective, but have honestly never left them alone to find out! So this will be a useful experiment, lol :)

CrazyStitcher said...

I agree with Rainy Day's comment about the half-cross stitches. When I started on my Golden Puppy project, and completed a few half-cross stitches, I thought they looked awful. However, after taking a step back, I've since changed my mind.

Twilight Angel is going to look so beautiful and sparkly when it's finished. x

Aurelia Eglantine said...

Thanks so much CS! I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one with the same problem. I can't wait to see your Golden Puppy :) It's such a cute pattern!

I appreciate your kind and lovely words about my Angel very much :) I've got my fingers crossed that I can do justice to her and make her as pretty as intended! And so far I am still resisting the lure of filling in the half stitches! This is a new record for me, lol :)