Monday, June 17, 2013

Finishing the Blue Tulip Tree

I love the feeling of finishing a project, and this was a long time coming. It took me 5 years to find the pattern (after seeing and falling in love with it on a friend's flickr stream), and nearly another to finish it. It was a big project and I worked on it in spurts here and there, like I do with most of my projects. I often have several on the go for this very reason.

A couple months back I was almost to the end when I ran out of yarn in several of the colours. I momentarily panicked, thinking this is a vintage crewel kit, and while there used to be the option to order extra yarn from the company - with an order form all ready in the kit paperwork, there's no way I'd be able to get that same yarn now. I scoured etsy and ebay trying to find a match, but it would mostly be guessing and hoping that the colours were right after all. I eventually took to searching craft supply stores. Through this search I came across a company called Appleton that offeres crewel yarn in about 250 different shades. This site has a colour cards you can order to compare colours (a little pricey at $35, but it saved me from spending even more than that ordering colours I thought would match). The yarn is available on many craft supply stores.

It was easy to compare colours and I got a fairly accurate match for every colour except for the lightest green. This meant that I subbed in the medium green in a couple places.

So worth the trouble of ordering the colour chart.

An issue I did run into was the colour charts are for both the tapestry yarn and the crewel yarn. The chart yarn was the right thickness and I had assumed it was the crewel yarn since the yarn that came with my crewel kit was the same. It turns out the crewel yarn is much thinner than the tapestry yarn, and tapestry is what I needed. It didn't end up being very noticeable, so it wasn't a big deal, but lesson learned - always check the gauge.

After all of that, I finally had my yarn to finish up this piece, and it is done! I blocked it, framed it, and now just need to hang it up.

I had to block it in sections because I don't have a large enough blocking mat (the finished size of this is 24" x 36"). I am normally lazy with projects and don't block them, but I thought it would be fun to show the difference between the blocked and not yet blocked parts to show how necessary it was.

Even though I used a embroidery hoop it still puckered badly. Blocking fixed most of it. The frame is just a cheap poster frame I got for 35% off at a local craft shop. I didn't want a heavy frame or glass on it, and there were no other frames in this size. I'd been looking at thrift shops for a while, but nothing right showed up.

I'm so glad to have this finished up. Now there are just a few more works in progress to get through before our baby bird arrives!