Here I have stitched the valley and its walls. Somehow when we are in the valley, it seems like there’s no possible way out. So I stitched the wall using parallel vertical strokes to give that feeling of being trapped beneath cliffs.
During this stage of picking the colors is when the key I painted on the canvas pays off. Just looking over the painted image it’s easy to miss colors. But the key means that I know just how many shades of each color are needed.
Before a DMC floss can be used, it must be prepared. At minimum, this means cutting the thread into usable lengths and putting those lengths on a thread card. Recording the DMC color number on the card makes keeping the colors straight across projects easier.
Start by slipping the paper bands off the skein and opening it up.
The first step to doing the stitching is to pick the fibers. Typically, I pick one kind of fiber for the majority of the design.
There are many choices of fiber available for needlework today. They have different feels (or hand), luster, colors. They require different skills to prepare and stitch with them.
For this project, I have chosen to use DMC cotton floss. It has a smooth hand that is nice to work with. It comes in a wide array of colors, which you can count on to be consistent from one lot to another. It is widely available. I have purchased a number of lots of various colors from retiring needleworkers, so I have a “library” of colors that I can choose from for any new project.
Here is the complete painted canvas. Now I can start picking threads. The key on the right shows each shade I will need, so I can make sure I have all the fibers necessary. But I will refer back to the original photo for fine-tuning of the colors.
One note: I have not been reporting my progress in real-time. Painting actually took me about a week, and since then I have moved on to stitching. I’ve been reporting in bite-sized chunks, both for your understanding and to break up the writing :-).