2019 SOTM: ANG Mystery

After much discussion and voting, the NJNA SOTM group chose ANG’s 2019 Stitch of the Month project designed by Debbie Rowley, Linda Reinmiller, Mary Knapp, and Pat Hartman for our 2019 SOTM project.  More information can be found on the ANG website (https://www.needlepoint.org/page/SOTM2019) using your ANG login and password information.

This project is a mystery!  We have absolutely no idea what it will ultimately look like.  We are given thread suggestions used by the designers but not which ones are used where – it’s an opportunity to use your creativity and trust your instincts!  There will be lots of “I wish I had” I’m sure as the year goes on.  However, it is a great opportunity for discussion and learning and a way to step outside our comfort zones!  Check out the July 20, 2017 video on the Needle Arts Mystery Retreat LLC Facebook page  at https://www.facebook.com/126832707361178/videos/1603655769678857/ which shows how the four designers “reveal” the project each year at the retreat.  It’s interesting to see what one of their designs looks like in the four colorways that they’ve chosen.

The first challenge for this year’s SOTM is picking a colorway and canvas since we have no idea what the project will look like.  The designers have suggested colorways based on what they did in stitching the models.  However, they do not always identify which color they used where.  This surely will generate a lot of discussion throughout the year. Noelle was surfing the web (do we still use that terminology or am we showing our age?) for help trying to pick colors.  She found a color wheel tool at www.sessions.edu/color-calculator/ that I’m sure will be helpful for many projects.

Our group continues to grow with this project – we’re now at 25 or 26 with a few continuing past projects!

Some stitching tips we’ve learned along the way specific to this project:

  • The My Feed section on the ANG website contains discussions about SOTM (as well as other topics) posted by ANG members.  You should see it in the My Profile box on the right side of the screen when you log in.
  • If you are using Debbie Rowley’s colorway, there are three threads missing from the Materials List – S211, S504, and S931; these are all DMC Satin Flosses.  There is supposed to be a correction posted to the ANG website but it’s not there yet.
  • Some tips from January:
    • When you are stitching the horizontal threads for the Teardrop in Step 1 make note that they are not symmetrical.  One side comes to a point!
    • Sue C. came up with a quick way to remember the weaving pattern in the Teardrop – the odd-numbered vertical threads go OVER the first horizontal thread and the even-numbered vertical threads go UNDER the first horizontal thread.
    • For the Crescent in Step 2, Rosie figured out that a 60-inch length of thread is needed to stitch the entire Crescent (four diagrams).  AND, pay attention to the numbering on those Crescents.
  • Some tips for June:
    • The first stitches are Eyelets and, as such, should be pulled to enlarge the common hole. Most of us didn’t pull the stitches. You can see the difference on our Facebook page.  The picture of Linda Reinmiller’s piece as well as those from Saturday are posted for comparison.
    • Page 7 of the instructions (at the bottom) – “To check your placement, position 1 is 1 thread up, and 8 right of position 32.”  WRONG!  Position 1 is actually 10 right of position 32.
    • Be sure to count each pinwheel!!!! Most of us spent just as much time ripping out as stitching. Even convinced one knew the pattern so didn’t need to pay attention once one got the rhythm resulted in lots of ripping!!
  • Some tips for August:
    • Suggested thread lengths for 18-count (Congress Cloth can be a few inches shorter):
      • Leviathan – 30″
      • First Partial Jessica – 15″
      • Second Partial Jessica – 30″
      • Third Partial Jessica – 45″
    • The Partial Jessica is stitched as you would a full Jessica – watch the wording in the instructions, it’s a bit misleading.
    • The Jessicas all lie on top of the base Leviathan despite what’s shown in the Master Chart diagrams.  Look at the stitched example on the instructions.
  • Some tips for September:
    1. Study the Master Chart and diagrams to be sure you are stitching in the correct place.
    2. Study the Master Chart and diagrams to be sure you are stitching in the correct place.
    3. Study the Master Chart and diagrams to be sure you are stitching in the correct place.
    4. This design is mirror-imaged on the diagonal not on the vertical and horizontal.
    5. Be mindful of the number of “left leaning” and “right leaning” boxes in the motif that you are stitching.
    6. You can carry your threads from one set of boxes to the next.  Sue C. recommends that you bury your threads when changing direction (from a right leaning to a left leaning and vice versa).
    7. On 18-count canvas, the recommendation is to use 2 strands of floss or silk.  On congress cloth, it’s 1 strand.
    8. The boxes are really small!
    9. Yes, points 1, 2 and 3 are the same to emphasize how critical it is to be sure you are positioned correctly on the canvas and that the motifs are “leaning” in the appropriate direction.  This is especially critical if you are not starting your stitching at the point nearest the center.
  • Some tips for October:
    1. Rosie downsized the suggested threads and it still feels too heavy.
    2. Rosie alternated threads on each petal – navy- green Kreinik – navy – green Kreinik.  Doing this – s needed 2 and a half times the stretcher bars in length of thread for each petal.  She did not alternate on each set of stitches – this just looked awful to her!
    3. Definitely not clear how to tie off the threads.
    4. Rosie found it easier to come over the tie downs from one, then under to two.  It seemed hard enough to get the threads in there without also having to avoid the Smyrna in the center.  Because she did this – she also worked both sides of the petal from the outside in.
  • Some tips for November:
    1. Our critical tip for this month’s stitch is to baste a line 3 threads up from the top Jessica Rose (August SOTM) and 3 threads to the left of the left Jessica Rose. The intersection will define your “corner”. Stitch 1 of the sheaf is 6 threads down from the corner. The drawing shows the basted lines in yellow and stitch 1 is circled in blue.
    2. The next tip is to count, count, count! The fans are not symmetrical AND they are not all the same number of stitches. Be sure to follow the order set forth in the directions.
    3. The Master Chart shows fan stitches woven through previous stitches. That is incorrect – see the diagrams for the individual steps.

You can follow NJNA’s 2019 SOTM progress on our blog here or on our Facebook page.