Alrighty then, here I go with my crewel shading! I’ve outlined each heart in split stitch, and you can see above that I’ve penciled in arrows to show shading and stitching direction. You’ll see that on most I’ve also divided the shape into three parts – this will help guide me on where to start blending into the next shade.
Now, full disclosure: I have done a little bit of crewel shading before – a little, little bit. Once at a Royal School of Needlework workshop, where I learned the basics of this type of shading, and a little on a big project I will be showing you soon. So I’m familiar with the basics, but haven’t done enough to feel good at it.
I’m stitching the first in the most obvious shading direction – from tip up to the top, working with the curves. As I described in my &Stitches tutorial, the first wave of stitches cover and tuck around the lower outline, then the following stitches work up by coming up through the previous ones.
I’ve filled up to the the first color line-ISH – can you see it peeping through behind those stitches? Some of my stitches go past it, some stop short of it. That’s the whole long-and-short part of long-and-short stitch. Now I will switch to my middle shade and some of those stitches will go below the line, blending the sections.
Around this ‘blending line’, I won’t work with just one shade at a time – I’ll have both shades threaded and just stitch with both here and there until the shift is even and smooth. If you’re stitching along, I know that doesn’t really seem helpful, since I haven’t shown the shading in progress yet, but it’s kind of one of those things that you have to work yourself and see happen.
Give it a go and if you get into trouble, I’ll show you more next Monday!