Project Stitchway

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I’ve watched a few of the Science Channel’s new program, Through the Wormhole .  The last episode I watched was about how our universe began.  There were these two physicists that theorize that there are infinite parallel universes, and when they bump into each other every few billion years, it creates a new big bang over and over again, since before our universe and will continue to do so waaaay after our universe.  This means there is another dimension beyond the ten that string theorists like Erik Verlinde maintain there are, for a total of eleven.  Hoo-boy.  I can barely manage four.  Oh, and then there was the guy that playfully suggested we’re all Sims. 

What I learned from the show
1. Physics maeks my brayn hert.
2. Physicists’ brains must produce natural hallucinogens.
3. I prefer my parallel universes fictional and stable.

Parallel universe
In one of these fictional parallel universes, I’m sure stitching is more popular than knitting.  So popular, in fact, that there’s a Project Runway clone reality show about stitching…Project Stitchway.  Actually, it probably has a better title, because the parallel stitchers/TV producers are more clever than me.  I can’t imagine any universe where I would audition for a reality show, for a variety of reasons which all boil down to one: I shun the limelight.   Oh, and there’s the fact that when it comes to making my own choices for stitchy projects, I’m slow to make decisions.  The fan blogs would be quick to pick up that I’m too much in my own head.  If there was an incredible fluke and I was cast in a stitchy TV competition show in said parallel universe, and one of the projects was my current one (with the challenge being modify a top designer’s freebie, say), the outcome would have been completely different from what happened.  I would never have had the time to meander through my imagination searching for “just right.”  I would have gone with my first choice, shown below (at least mostly), and crossed my fingers not to be “frogged.”  😉

After selecting four shades of gray, this is what I chose.  I thought it was a good choice for Blackbird Designs’ Souvenir de France, as I modified it to celebrate the Tour de France.  The daily leader/winner of the race is awarded a bright yellow jersey each day–the maillot jaune (French for yellow jersey, heh), or if you’re a hip, cycling American, the Mellow Johnny.  The gray is for the road.  Mile after mile after mile.  Oh, wait, it’s in Europe.  Kilometer after kilometer after kilometer.

Back to the real world
I was excited about stitching this while watching the Tour.  I showed the husband the pattern, fabric and floss before I started.  That’s when a simple idea took a lot of detours, including a dead end.  Oh, did he get excited!  He had ideas–and requests.  Even though I showed him the yellow fabric and told him why I’d chosen it, he wanted the motifs to reflect the jersey colors of the different competitions.  I thought that was a great idea.  Yellow on yellow didn’t appeal to me, but I was married to the yellow fabric idea.  He actually wanted a bike in each color.  Oy.  Getting a bike pattern wasn’t easy.  It had to be stitched over one.  And he expected me to stitch a polka-dot bike?  Stitch it yourself, Mr. Big Idea. 😛 

The dead end.  For my first attempt I found 36-ct Buttercream.  I was happily stitching one over two.  It wasn’t until I’d stitched a fair bit of the design that it occured to me that just because a skein of white fabric shows up nicely on a piece of fabric, it doesn’t mean that one ply will stand out, too. 

Back to the beginning, Vizzini! 
It took me a long time to make a new fabric choice.  What size fabric?  What color?  Should I switch my floss choices for different shades?  I ended up keeping all of my floss choices, and chose 32-ct. Rue Green, which is green like my 1994 Camry was green…meaning not so much.  Oh, sure, in the right light, when you squint, and do a quick-take, maybe green will come to mind.  Whatever the fabric is called, I’m very happy with my choice.

Vitals: Souvenir de France freebie, designed by Barb Adams of Blackbird Designs.
Stitched two over two on Rue Green linen. 
Fibers used: DMC–4045, 4075; GAST–Tin Roof; WDW–Icicle, Romance

The first edition of The Tour de France was held in 1903.  The yellow star is for the yellow jersey awarded to the overall winner.  The green cross is for the sprinting competition.  The pink and white is for the “king of the mountains”–that jersey really has red polka-dots, but it looks pink on TV and I liked the Romance floss.  The half-star is for the best young rider, cyclists 25 and under. 

The next challenge.  I knew from the start I wanted to make this a flat fold finish.  I spent an hour in the fabric store trying to choose the fabric.  Here are two choices that very nearly made it.  I think either choice would have been OK, but neither one felt right.  This is what I mean when I say I’m too much in my own head.  Every choice is important.  I don’t know how designers do it.  I just don’t.

Next on the agenda: Find the patience and time to finish this in the next week or so.

5 thoughts on “Project Stitchway

  1. The Tour piece looks terrific! Well worth the time you agonized over all those choices. I hate it when the floss looks like a great choice when you do the floss toss, and then turns out to look so different after you’ve done the stitching. I have some of that Rue Green fabric too and I think it’s an inspired choice for this piece.

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