The One Strand Effect

Back in March, one of my Market releases was this, titled Landscape:

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I wrote about it here .  Recently, I was contacted by a stitcher who had purchased the pattern and was stitching it using the Gentle Arts threads that I had used.  She said that she had run out of one (Sugarplum, which is the blue and the color with the most number of stitches in the pattern).   Understandably, this is troubling, especially when stitching with an overdye thread and wanting dye lots to match up.  I really paused reading her words, given that I felt that I really would have written in the pattern the need for two skeins if that’s what I needed, but I had no memory of needing that much.

To my thread collection I went.  Found my Sugarplum and, sure enough, there was still plenty left from my first and only skein.  This stitcher’s email did mention that she was stitching on 28 count and I had done mine on 32 count, but I knew that small difference could not account for such a huge different in thread usage.  And then it hit me:  I had done something a little unusual with this design.  I chose to use only one strand of thread on 32 count (instead of two strands, which would be much more typical) to give a light, airy effect.  And then I went and checked the pattern.  Oh, my!  I hadn’t written that piece of information on there!  (I have now updated the pattern.)

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So, I thought it worth this blog post for two reasons.  Number one, to try to get the word out that if you are stitching my Landscape pattern and are using two strands of threads on whatever count fabric, you might likely need 2 skeins of Sugarplum if you are using the Gentle Arts threads that I did.  But also, number two:  just like encouraging stitchers to try different fabrics, threads, colors, whatever, to make a project their own, here I am now suggesting that you think about when you might change up the number of strands you stitch with.  Typically as stitchers we focus on this question when we are thinking about coverage, wanting “good coverage” of the fabric with the number of strands of thread.  But why not think in the other direction?  Why not contemplate that sometimes a piece might lend itself to a “light touch” that a one-strand-on-32-count could bring?

If you are interested, my Landscape pattern can be purchased here as a paper copy and  here as a pdf.

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