Who You Callin' Variegated?

Who You Callin' Variegated?

As part of my Metallphabet release, I needed to stitch a sample.  Just to show that Metallicosity knows no bounds, I decided to go as bubblegum as possible with a Miley Cyrus lyric, and I used a variegated floss in Carmine Red (DMC Color Variations 4200, to be exact)

I came in like Metallica's Wrecking Ball

I came in like Metallica's wrecking ball

We all know that variegated thread needs to be stitched using the English method rather than the Danish method. Huh?? In order to keep the color consistent, each X needs to be stitched in its entirety (English) as opposed to a row of ///// followed by a row of \\\\\ (Danish).  Otherwise, the top leg could be a very different color from the bottom leg.

That's the easy part, but for the backstitching, I wanted the color to flow with each letter. So how do we accomplish that? To begin with, I opted for longer lines so the backstitch colors wouldn't stray too far from the colors of the primary Xs. For each letter, I stitched the primary stitching, then separated the strands, and used them *both* to do the backstitching as I went along.

For this letter "I," each strand came up through a different hole after finishing the last X. The thread on the left went across the top, while the one on the right went down the right side.

Next, the top thread went down the left hand side while the bottom thread went across the bottom.

Finally, both threads came back together through the same hole for the next letter. This provided uniformity of the color change, as can be seen in the word "came."

In some cases, the two threads didn't travel the same distance. If the ends weren't too far off, I compensated by having the longer thread travel a greater distance than the shorter thread on the next letter. In some cases, they were as much as two centimeters off. Needless to say, this would have caused the color changes not to line up. When this happened, I anchored the backstitching under the letter that I had just finished and cut the thread. To realign, I lined up the leading ends, trimmed the tail ends to match, and rethreaded the leading ends through the needle.

The end result is that the colors of the backstitching looks pretty seamless alongside the primary stitches. It pops even more thanks to the amazing hand dyed aida from Kaylux Fabrics.

Got some cool variegated work you're proud of?  Send me a pic so I can ooh and aah over your talent.  Oh, and don't forget to get your shot of Metallication here.

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