Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I don’t know, what color do YOU think it is?

A little while ago, I decided to join the Fiber Arts Street Team on Etsy. The main thing that interested me was their monthly challenges. I figured the challenges would be a good way to encourage myself to stretch a bit beyond my usual work. The January challenge this year is to make something in a color that is new to my shop. While I was brainstorming on this, I realized that I have always worked with solid colored thread. Not just thread, but even in my crocheting, I always used solid colored yarns. So I decided that for something different, I would use variegated thread for my challenge piece.

In crocheting, knitting, sewing, and other single-thread crafts, use of variegated yarn/thread results in blocks or sections of color that blend from one to the next. It is an interesting effect, although not one that has generally appealed to me—hence the fact I have never used it. However, bobbin lace is different. Since so many different threads are used, with most of them at different points in the color blend, I knew there wouldn’t be definable color sections. But I didn’t know how the lace would actually end up looking. I chose to work a bookmark, so that there would be plenty of chances for the threads to move around and the color changes to become evident. I worked it in embroidery floss (2 strands to reduce risk of breakage), DMC 4140. Because separating off strands for the lengths I needed is difficult, I decided to work the fans in half-stitch to eliminate the need for vastly longer threads on the worker pairs.

As I started, it was interesting to see that the first fan was predominately brown, and its opposite was predominately pink. As I continued through, the colors mixed more and color sections were not so well defined. I think I need to reevaluate the number of twists I use when working this design. Usually, when working in continuous half-stitch (the fans), the thread traveling across gets switched out every row. However, I noticed after a while that the same bobbin was always the one in that position—which isn’t good when you haven’t wound on enough thread for one to continuously weave back and forth! So I kept an eye on my bobbins. Whenever one seemed to be getting low, or I just felt like changing the colors in the fan, I’d add or drop a twist at the edge in order to ensure that the other bobbin in the pair was now the one travelling. I don’t know how obvious this is when looking at the lace, but at least I didn’t run out of thread and have to hang in any new bobbins!

Because the colors sort of remind me of milk chocolate and strawberry cream (and because of an entertaining thread on the Etsy forums which suggested that items with food names seem to get more attention), I’m calling this a Strawberry Chocolate Truffle bookmark. Yum.

5 comments:

Cindy said...

It turned out beautifully!! Congrats on your challenge! Sometimes it doesn't hurt to try and you did it well!!

Giggles said...

Looks great! The yarn I'm using for a shawl right now is pretty close to that "color" as well. The label says it is "barley."

rdrop said...

very pretty bookmark. how long does it take you to make this? looks very complex. *nods*

Guzzisue said...

hey, this looks so similar to this http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3461/3182422098_8a6858c672_o.jpg great minds think alike! Why don't you check out stitchin fingers who have a lacemakers group http://stitchinfingers.ning.com/group/lacemakers
I love the idea of using different threads in lace to make it more contemporary, great bookmark, well done :-)

the rikrak studio said...

your bookmark is AMAZING!