Much, MUCH better now. This project was bumming me out last week, but we’re much happier together now. I’m loving this crewel stitching so so much, it’s all I can think about!
The shades are still not showing great in photographs, but I did fix the first heart (the lighter blues) by bringing the lighter shade down further and treating it like a two-color heart. And since this is a sampler, it actually worked out ok to see how to work two-color shading in a shape, and how to deal with a thread color surprise on the fly. I’ve included the photo below, despite the nighttime-lighting awfulness, because it actually shows the shading in that first heart better than any of the daytime photos I’ve taken:
The next blue heart, with three darker shades, worked just like it was meant to (shown below in progress). This one I shaded from top to bottom with no curves, and it was an absolute joy to stitch!
Now I’m starting the third heart in soft peach-y shades, which I kind of suspect will be very, very close to each other but hopefully different enough to be visible. I’m quite addicted to this sampler now, I expect to be finished by next Monday, so only slightly behind schedule!