I’m soooo happy to see you. Are you ready for the Threadventure? Great! Hop aboard the Serendipity Express with me and we’ll take our magical virtual vacation tour bus to beautiful Seaside, Florida where there’s plenty of sun, sand, and surf…
And here we are! (Gee, that was quick.) 😉
Have you ever been to Seaside? It’s a charming resort town nestled on the Emerald Coast of Florida. (One look at that gorgeous water and you can see why they call it the Emerald Coast!)
Over inside the Serendipity Needleworks Facebook group, I asked you to guess what we’ll be exploring in Seaside.
If you guessed sandy beaches and sand dunes, then CONGRATULATIONS! You’re ever so clever. 😉
Sand and sandy beaches (and sand dunes!) can pose quite a challenge when it comes to choosing the best stitches and threads for your needlepoint projects.
Sandy beaches and sand dunes have a variety of textures. Sometimes, sand is smooth – like at the water’s edge. Sometimes it’s wavy and windswept as if nobody’s been on the beach in a hundred years. And then, there are those times when it looks all lumpy and bumpy – like millions of people have been on the beach all at the same time!
Let’s start by taking a look at smooth sand…
It’s super easy to execute – and it’s also easy peasy to compensate; a great jumping-off place. It’s one of those stitches that you can always count on and it’s a terrific choice for beginning stitchers (or if you’ve been away from needlepoint for a while).
Encroached Slanted Gobelin is a slightly directional stitch, depending upon which way you slant your stitches and it suggests a wee bit of movement.
Rainbow Tweed is a four-ply divisible thread; a blend of cotton (44%), wool (39%), and acrylic (17%). It absorbs dye rather unevenly and that contributes to its heathery look, adding subtle depth to your stitches.
Rainbow Tweed has 59 lovely colors and each card has a generous 10 yards. I recommend using 2 plies of Rainbow Tweed on 18 mesh and all four plies (or “as-is”, directly off the card) on 13/14 mesh.
Horizontal Interlocking Gobelin is also slightly directional – and it’s easy to execute just like its cousin, Encroached Slanted Gobelin. Since it’s a small stitch, it doesn’t require a large area to establish your pattern, either. Reverse the slant of your stitches to mimic movement in the opposite direction.
Overture is also a four-ply divisible thread, but it’s 100% Pima cotton. Each of the four plies is about the same size as Perle Cotton #5.
Overture has 41 exquisite over-dyed colors and each card has a generous 10 yards. I recommend using 1 ply of Overture on 18 mesh and 2 plies on 13/14 mesh.
I also recommend stranding Overture so that it lays smoothly on your canvas.
Terrific question! Stranding means to separate the plies of a divisible thread, and then put them back together again.
And when you’re working with an over-dyed thread, like Overture, match up the ends in the same order that you separated them so that the colors line up appropriately.
Here’s another tip for you, too – and it applies to all over-dyed threads…
When you prepare to stitch with each subsequent length of thread that you cut, thread your needle on the opposite end of the cut you just made so the color runs remain in sequence. Be careful to avoid leaving long tails when starting or ending a thread, too, since that also affects the color repeat.
Sand dunes are hills or ridges of sand that lie behind the part of the beach affected by tides. Dune grasses, like the sea oats in the picture above, anchor the dunes with their roots, holding them temporarily in place.
Whenever I think of windswept sand, my mind conjures up images of deserted beaches like the one in the picture below.
You may reverse the slant of the stitches to alter the direction of implied movement with Nobuko stitch, just like you can with Encroached Slanted Gobelin and Horizontal Interlocking Gobelin.
Capri is one of Rainbow Gallery’s newer threads and it’s available in two sizes: Capri 13 for 13 mesh canvas and Capri 18 for 18 mesh canvas. I’m using Capri 18 for the long stitches in the Nobuko stitch pattern.
Capri 13 and 18 are 100% polyester matte finish threads and are available in 46 colors. Capri 13 has 15 yards per card, while Capri 18 has 20 yards per card. I recommend using it “as-is”, directly off the card. There’s no need to use a laying tool, but you do need to apply Fray Check to the ends (or use a Thread Zap) since it’s prone to unraveling.
Glisten, another new thread by Rainbow Gallery, is one of my absolute favorites! I’m using it for the short stitches in the Nobuko stitch pattern – to add just a hint of sparkle.
Glisten is a synthetic blend thread – 65% Merino wool/35% polyester metallic. It’s available in 60 gorgeous colors and each card holds 12 yards. You can use Glisten “as is”, too, but you need to treat the ends for fraying – just like Capri – before you begin stitching.
Finally, let’s look at that lumpy bumpy sand – where lots of happy feet scamper along the beach.
like that in the picture below. The alternating direction of the stitches implies just the right amount of movement, too.
Woven Plait is easy to execute – and it’s relatively simple to compensate. Just be sure and work as many full repeats of the pattern as possible first.
Rainbow Linen is a 16/2 weight 100% linen thread. What does “16/2” mean? Great question! The “16” refers to the weight of the thread and the “2” tells you how many plies the thread has.
Rainbow Linen has 40 earthy colors and each card has a generous 20 yards. Use shorter lengths (approximately 15″) to prevent dulling the thread. You may use multiple strands of Rainbow Linen threaded in your needle to adjust for the amount of coverage you wish to achieve. (Note: I recommend using this thread on 18 mesh canvas.)
It’s another terrific option for lumpy bumpy sand and, since it’s a “small” stitch, it’ll fit just about anywhere. T-Stitch is simple to work and compensate – and it’s another one of my favorite “go-to” stitches.
Use either Capri 18 or Glisten to work T-Stitch for light coverage on a painted canvas, allowing the artist’s beautiful shading to show through. (Use Capri for a matte finish and use Glisten if you want a little bit of sparkle.)
Or, use both threads for full coverage. How? Work the diagrammed stitch in Capri 18, and then go back and fill in the gaps with Glisten.
It’s been so much fun sharing “sand-y” stitches with you.
Now, let’s hop on board the Serendipity Express and hit the road to our next Threadventure destination…
Before you go, be sure and tell me what you think we’ll be exploring in Asheville. (Don’t be shy…I ❤️ hearing from you and I read every single comment!)
When you leave your thoughts down below in the comments box, your name will be entered into a drawing for a FREE 6-month membership in The Stitcher’s Club, too. Not sure what The Stitcher’s Club is? Click here to find out more. 🙂
Until next time, happy stitching!
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