Even though I’m nowhere near done, I’m pretty happy with how this Michelangelo cross stitch piece is going so far. I think the original drawing is being rendered quite nicely in cross stitch, and the motion and direction of my drawing strokes are coming out well so far in the piece.
There are a few things I’ve learned so far with this piece. I think I should have compared the colours as rendered in my pattern-making software with the DMC thread chart I have. In the pattern, it seems like there is a slight bit more difference between each colour, so the colours seem richer in the pattern. In the actual stitched piece, a few of the grays are very close in shade to each other, so the differences in colours and the detail in the confetti stitches (random stitches of one colour scattered across a section) are lost a bit. I’m also not sure why, but when light comes through the piece you can see that I’ve been working horizontally in blocks of ten rows, as you can see horizontal banding in the stitching. It’s not really obvious when light isn’t coming through the piece, and I’m hoping that will get sorted out once the piece is washed and ironed. I’m assuming it’s just the directional tension from working first in one direction, then in another that’s causing the banding.
I am happy however with how the parking is going. I’ve tried working horizontally one row at a time and parking my threads as I go (bringing a thread up to the next stitch it appears and letting it hang down, ready for the next time you use it), and it made me bonkers. I found it was quite hard to keep track of which thread was which (even in a small piece with only a few colours), and I hated all the threads hanging down as it made everything look messy (and sometimes got in my way). Right now, because I’m working in blocks of ten rows horizontally and usually twenty rows vertically, I’m able to work across that entire section in one colour and park the thread into the next section out of my way. I prefer to work one colour across an entire piece at a time, but as this piece is so big I can’t do that. Working in small chunks and parking my threads into the next section seems to be the best compromise I can come up with. I’m still learning and experimenting what works best for me and for the size of the piece I’m working on (it will be 14″x20″ on 14 count Aida fabric).