Sunday, 9 October 2011

Design Memo -- Harlequin (or nine-patch diamonds)

I have received requests now and then for the design interpretation for certain designs, mostly advanced ones, and while I do not wish to encourage you to try the new designs while you are still not ready for it by posting advanced design here, it's not very practical for me to answer to the requesters by sending an e-mail one by one and some cases the requester did not provide me with the way to contact them by leaving a comment anonymously without the link to their e-mail addresses or blog posts/web pages.  So I have decided to give you a design memo of the most requested one today.  Although I freely share the design memo with you, it is still my intellectual property and I would like you to respect it.  It is not my intention to imply that any one of you would abuse it, but I just wanted to make a statement so that no misunderstanding would arise at later date, is all.  You would be horrified to know how serious the copyright infringements are on the web.  Having said that, here we go: 
Skill Level:  Advanced
Required technique(s):  Forward stitch, back stitch, and weaving
Number of stitching path(s):  Two and then later becomes four
Design period:  Two sections
Design repeat:  Two sections
Number of round(s):  Single
Number of colour(s) used:  Four

This design is a kind of my original.  The reason why I affixed "a kind of" before "my original" is I cannot be certain that anyone had ever made it before I did but I stitched the design without referring anything, so this is "a kind of" my original.  I call it "Harlequin" because it reminds me of Agatha Christie's "Mysterious Mr Quinn" which based on the Italian masked character, Harlequin. 

The design consists of the centre part of nine-patch diamonds and framing and you have to determine before you start stitching how many stitches you are going to make in one section.

My framing takes six stitches so subtract six from the number of the stitches in one section and the reminder is the number of stitches you are going to stitch for the centre nine-patch diamonds.  It may not be very convenient number for you to form nine-patch so you have to adjust it by:

1) Adding or taking a stitch or two from the total number of the stitches of the section.  Although this is easiest, you may have some difficulty to pack extra two stitches in a section, especially the section is already too packed to start with. 

2) Changing the number of the sections i.e. narrowing/widening the section.  Please note that the number of the sections has to be an even number as "rounding" will not work for the design.  Also please note that the number of the sections will affect the shape of the diamonds, i.e. the more sections, the skinnier the diamonds become.

3) Making the ring size smaller/bigger/shorter/taller, possibly in conjunction with changing the number of sections.  Although It involves most tedious work, you get the best result.  However, if your thimble has to be in the specific size, then it's not an option for you.

Start stitching with two paths and weave 3x3 as you go to form nine-patch's.  As this is nine-patch diamonds, the colour of the second stitching path appears at the four corners and centre small diamonds, so make sure to stitch with the right colour for each path.

Then start stitching the framing commencing from both sides of the portion you have already stitched, therefore the number of your stitching paths now becomes four, stitching alternatively and all in the same colour.  Stitch a row in the first path with back stitch starting from the left side of the first path of the diamonds, then in the same way stitch the third path, then the second path with forward stitch starting from the right side followed by fourth path.  Thread the different colour and stitch the second row in the same fashion, and for the final third row, change back to the colour you used for the first row.

As I stitch the diamonds portion all by forward stitches so the threads lay slanted in the top and bottom triangles however, if you opted for back stitches, back-to-back with forward stitches, then it appears as V-shaped. 

Wish you happy stitching!