Sunday, May 27, 2007

Which Way Is Up?

One difference between needlepoint and cross stitch is that needlepoint is directional -- the stitches go from the bottom left hand hole to the top right hand hole. Cross stitch starts with this pattern, but puts an additional stitch on top of the first stitch, ending up with a square of thread with no strong directional effect.

When I started this pattern, I contemplated picking a direction and keeping all stitches oriented in that direction. But actually that would undermine the four corner symmetry that the pattern has. Instead I decided to treat each pineapple motif as its own design and orient the stitches in a way that would reinforce the pattern. What that means is that each corner is a mirror reverse of the stitch across from that. The top right motif seems to have the stitches in the right direction, but the top left hand side shows the stitches going from lower right to upper left. If you rotate the motif clockwise so that the top left motif is now that top right motif, the stitches now seem to be in their regular pattern. I am glad that I decided to do this as I like the way it reinforces the symmetry.

Another interesting item about this needlepoint is using Persian wool again. Many years ago, persian wool, a fuzzy twisted thread, was the only thread used in needlework. Now needlepoint has a plethora of choices from silk to metallics to heavy cottons and rayons. It's been a long, long time since I have stitched a needlepoint with wool. I really like the way it fills the stitch and lays down consistently. I picked it for this project because I have a lot of it, but I think I will deliberately use it for another needlepoint, a desert scene, that I would like to start this year.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

I see what you mean about the "directional" look. This is looking great!