Cadbury’s Hardanger and other matters of colour

I know they say chocolate and stitching don’t mix, but I’m not so sure. Last week a friend gave us a box of Cadbury’s Milk Tray (and no, he didn’t scale our walls action-hero style to deliver it), and it just happened to sit on the coffee table when I put down the last Guildhouse model that I was stitching. Don’t they make a pretty picture together?

Milk Tray and Hardanger

I have sinced finished the model (and the Milk Tray, but let’s not dwell on that), and although the course unfortunately will not run this term I’m very pleased with how the design came out; the solid off-white thread works well with that deep purple hand-dyed fabric, I think. I had to play around a bit with the beads to find the right number per square filet – 12 seems to fit best on Hardanger fabric.

The last Guildhouse course model

My week has been rather colourful in other ways as well. For one thing I was trying to find a combination of Caron Wildflowers and beads that I could use for Double Cross 1 (previously known as Guildhouse course 2b). I used fairly bright green for Double Cross 2, and wanted something a bit more pastel for its counterpart. Eventually I settled on Caron Orchid with Mill Hill Shimmering Lilac.

Wildflowers and beads

And then there was the decision about a card for an aunt (not the one who irons, this one is my husband’s) whose 80th birthday we will be celebrating tomorrow. She is a lady of character and does not do old-lady beige or wishy-washy pastels (although let me hasten to add that I actually like both beige and pastels; they’re just not something I’d choose for her!), so I picked a Round Dozen variation I stitched some time ago in a variegated thread that combined mauves and purples with small splashes of bright fuchsia pink. But what colour card would go with that? I toyed for a moment with silver, but that made it look rather washed out; and then I tried one in Cross Stitch Heaven’s Raspberry shade which picked up the bright pink in the thread.

Unfortunately it didn’t look very good behind the cut areas, where it seemed to clash with the filling stitches. Now if you ever run into a similar problem, there are several options. One is to place a square of paper or felt behind your stitching in a colour which shows off the cut areas better than the colour of the card you are mounting it in. This has the advantage that paper and felt come in lots of colours, so plenty of choice. But if you want either white or black behind the cut areas, I’d recommend Vilene (or iron-on interfacing, or whatever it is called generically). Some time ago I got a large piece of very thin black Vilene to use with coasters, and I’ve found it invaluable in cases like these. Here is the result with the Raspberry card:

The 80th birthday card for my husband's aunt

The last colour issue to crop up this week was what colour Soft Cotton to get for friendship bracelets. Somehow I seem to have volunteered for tonight’s Youth Group, because “you do things with threads and would you know an easy way for them to make friendship bracelets?” I carelessly let it slip that I knew how to do (make? work?) a finger cord, which needs no equipment apart from, well, fingers, and was asked to come and demonstrate this to the young people rather than simply teach it beforehand to the people who normally lead Youth Group. How did I get myself into this?

Anyway, I decided on half pastel and half bold shades so that the young people can all choose colours that suit them. Unfortunately I didn’t get any yellow, which with hindsight I think would have been a good idea, but these eight colours should give them a fair range of choice. The second picture shows “one I made earlier” to time the process (about 15 minutes for a 20cm length of braid). I’ll try and get some pictures tonight of the bracelets they make for themselves!

Soft cotton for friendship bracelets Bracelet made from soft cotton

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