Ahhhhh. I love this color of blue! But I’ve never had a chance to use this particular blue silk thread, because it just hasn’t worked in any of my projects.
So I was Positively Delighted when I realized that I could finally incorporate this almost-electric-looking deep blue into the Mission Rose project.
It might be a little shocking at first to see the color – you might be thinking She’s nuts, that color won’t work!… but bear with me here!
Not only am I adding a new color to the project, or at least a new shade (of blue), but it’s a different thread altogether than the silk threads I’ve used so far on the Mission Rose.
This is Soie Ovale, a flat (untwisted) silk thread, in color #006. It’s a brilliant, bright deep blue. It shimmers and shines.
And because it’s Soie Ovale, it’s a little hairy to work with! Unlike the other twisted silks in the project that are much more manageable, this one takes a little bit more care while working with it.
(If you’re new to filament silks, this article on working with filament silks might be of interest.)
You can see above that I’ve taped the ends of the thread to the edge of my frame to keep them from flying about and getting too unruly.
This is what I’m doing with the thread. It is wrapped around inside stretched coils of pearl purl, to outline the very outside edge of the whole piece.
You can see that I used the same method to outline both frames, the inner and outer frame on the Mission Rose. But I handled the gold a little differently for each frame.
You can see the outlines from a little distance here.
For the outline of both frames, I used this gold thread:
Pearl purl #3 is a heavy, solid goldwork thread. I stretched it, and wound silk into the middle of the coils for both frame edges.
You can read about couching stretched pearl purl and silk here. You can also read this tip on threading stretched pearl purl here. Threading the pearl purl won’t work with a really long piece of pearl purl, but it works with shorter pieces.
On the inside frame, I used the darkest red thread I used in the rose itself – 4624 Soie de Paris. This is a twisted silk that is divisible into 6 fine silk strands.
For filling the coil of pearl purl, I used 9 individual fine strands of Soie de Paris, and couched the pearl purl down with one strand, over the colored thread between each coil.
I stretched the pearl purl almost double – not quite, but almost – so the coils are pretty far apart, and the red really shows up.
With the blue Soie Ovale, I doubled the length of the filling thread twice (so, four thicknesses of Soie Ovale in the middle of the pearl purl), and I couched it down with one thickness of Soie Ovale in each space between the coils.
To give the blue outline on the outer frame a slightly different look from the red outline of the inner frame, I did not stretch the pearl purl as much on the blue outline (so the gold coils are closer together), and I laid the thread down in the opposite direction to change the direction of the coils. You can see in the photo above how the red coils slant from lower left to upper right. The blue coils slant from upper left to lower right.
Why Blue and Not Red?
So, why the blue, and not just the red on the very outside of the piece?
The darker blue “finishes” the edge. It creates a dark line on the outside of the frame, so it holds the whole piece in. The red doesn’t do that the same way. And notice in the photo above that the blue doesn’t shock after all! It creates a dark outline with a hint of blue to it.
What’s Left to Do?
I’m not quite finished with this outside outline. It is slow going, working with the Soie Ovale. I’m working each side separately, rather than turning the pearl purl at the corners, because it creates a tighter, neater corner that way. Once the outside frame is completely outlined, I’ll tackle the inside of the outside frame (just the corners around the blue silk fabric and vermicelli work), and then place some finishing touches in the corners.
The Fluke – Again!
I have every hope of finishing the project this very day, should nothing strange interfere.
Remember this fluke I mentioned a few updates ago – when I told you that the electricity goes out every time I work on this project? Sure enough, when I sat down to it this past Monday, the power went out again. I know it’s ironic and coincidental, and I realize it has to do with the fact that it’s winter, windy, icy, and so forth. I couldn’t help laughing, though.
But hopefully, today will be The Day! Wish me luck!
If you want to see the development of the Mission Rose from beginning to end, check out the Mission Rose Project Index, where all the articles relating to the development of this project are listed in chronological order.