Seeing Red and Starting Over
Have you ever stitched a hand embroidery project, and been less than pleased with the results? But every time you look at the hand embroidery stitching, there is a battle between the your good stitching self and bad stitching self. The good says, “It could be better. If you take this out, you know the mistakes, and it will be much better.” The bad stitching self says, “It’s ok. You can hardly see anything wrong with this. No one will look at it as close as YOU do. You are being too picking. It’s just fine. Leave it and move on.” These two stitching selves must think they are at war sometimes with the way they carry on. If they fight hard enough, they can bring progress to an end in sections of an Ecclesiastical Project. They can leave one stuck in the middle of the war until you start seeing RED.
And so the war waged, with neither side being able to gain ground, much less come to a reasonable decision on the merits of leaving or redoing stitching.
The catalyst for the war:
An innocent spool of metallic thread. (Please do not mistake the problems with this one spool, and assume that all spools of like cord suffer the same ills). When this spool of Metallic cord was purchased, I thought it was the Japan Thread in size one, similar to the Silver Japan Thread in size one. The threads, although they are both very fine, are different. The difference must come in the way the threads are made, but that is beyond my knowledge.
The Red Cord was used to couch the Red Passing thread. It worked great from the start, for about 3 stitches. Then, as the metallic cord was pulled through the fabric, the cord separate, showing the white core. The instant the core was visible, the stitching went from great to disappointing. I have never had a metallic thread react in this manner. I thought I must be doing something wrong. But what? The thread length in the needle was checked: it was short enough, shorter than normal due to being metallic. Was the thread catching on something from the bottom side? NO! That was all fine. Needle? Well, perhaps a Japanese Needles might help, but I don’t own one. But the thread was not separating at the needle. It was separating as the thread was pulled through the fabric. Would a silicon lubricant work? Perhaps, but at the risk of making a stain on the fabric.
So what to do? The white core was only visible close up, but from anything more that two feet away, it was not visible. Still, every time I looked at the thread, it was visible to me. Try as I might to ignore it, there that white core was, peeking out, nagging away to be removed and stitched again with something else.
The battle between the two sides raged on, lurking in the background, until on day, with scissors already in hand, stitches were removed before I could stop myself. What a sign of relief to see that white core disappear! Suddenly, everything looked good, (at least for now).
The red metallic passing thread was stitched again, this time using a silk embroidery floss. Red on Red for the Omega, and Black on red for the Alpha. There is a bit more to go on each letter, but Peace reigns once again in the sewing room. The good stitching self won the war, and there are no regrets. The improvement in the Ecclesiastical Embroidery was worth the battle. *
Solo Dei Gloria
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*NB: The cord has been used in the other colors and they stitch fine. The problem seems to be isolated to this particular spool of red cord.