Funny Thing About Fiber - a Peek into Process

So, the interesting thing about fiber is a medium is that despite how floppy it is, it's really not all that flexible.

I've been working on creating a pattern for a triptych of a **fabulous** M-Class solar flare from the 28th of July. It think it's beautiful and lends itself well to a multi-spectrum treatment, and I'm really excited about this work, but it's been - pardon the pun - knotty.

Here's a painful reality I'm dealing with regarding my fiber art: I can't easily mix my own colors like I do my paint. I'm often asked if I dye my own floss, and it seems like eventually I will get to that point, but I am limited by space (and at this moment, expertise). So my palette is limited by the manufacturer's choices in many respects.

There are a few good thread/floss manufacturers out there, and a number of different types of fiber. I usually stitch with DMC or Sullivan, Anchor's usually popular but I found their palette isn't as varied as I need it to be.

For this solar triptych, my desire is to go BIG - it is Sol, after all. And after playing around with the different palettes and manufacturers, I decided that the DMC tapestry wool (instead of my usual cotton) had the richest color range in the reds/oranges/yellows/browns I would be utilizing. I was really excited to start stitching a sunstorm.

The problem is that wool doesn't quite have the luster that cotton does, which is not to say I will never use it, but that it light quality I wanted in this piece is something I'm not sure I can get with wool. So it's back to the drawing board, finding which combination of perle cotton or regular embroidery floss colors can give me the colors I would have had in the wool palette.

This is a fun, if somewhat painstaking process, of experimental color-matching. I've included tweeded colors (two thread colors in the same needle to "mix" the colors when seen by the eye) in every single one of my pieces, it just looks like this particular one is going to have *lots* of them.

Of course, I could always be a little less picky about my colors, but what's the point in that?

Source: about:newtab