Hello, stitchers! Serena here again with a blog series this time! I’m calling it My Magic Hour: A Product Tour (like an artist’s “best of” tour but I can still be in the privacy of my own home to bring it to you!)
So, what is a “product tour”? It works thusly: I use a product and tell you the nitty gritty plus some tips and tricks for those hoping to use it the same way I did! Stitch along at home, won’t you?
For my first post, I’m very excited to bring you a review of 28 count Opalescent Lugana! Now I’m stitching one over one (using one thread and one stitch at a time) on this fabric. I recognize it is not only not the regular way it’s used, but, also, a privilege for those with young eyes or still have good close-up vision. Now, I’ll say it now (but it does bear repeating) that you do need very good light for those itty-bitty stitches.
It’s probably the most eye-catching fabric with all its sparkles and glitter-look. After looking at its 14-count counterpart I can tell you the secret of how they make it glitter, because some of you may be saying, “Glitter? Doesn’t that get everywhere?” Like I thought when I first saw it in linen a few years ago. Its glittery look works a lot the way Etoile does, which means it is normal fabric with the shiny filaments interwoven into it.
For those of you who listen to the podcast, you know I’ve been working with Opalescent fabrics for a little while so, this is technically a first impressions because many of you remember my Pride project model stitch that I did last year on 14 count Opalescent and various bits and bobs since. But not only is this my first major high-count project, but my first lugana project!
Enough with the preamble. You want to know how it stitches! Let me tell you! It is fantastic! It’s a great challenge with its tiny little stitches, and I’m happy to say the sparkle is noticeable, even in the fine corners. I’m using a DMC size 28 needle, but you could probably have an easier time using a 26 because the 28 catches the filaments on its tip which is a little bit sharper than the 26. But, I’m stubborn.
It also has a good weight to it. I started using an 8” spring tension hoop, but was afraid of damaging it so I switched to my Q-Snap. After taking off the hoop, it wasn’t damaged but I still like the Q-Snap better (I find it a little easier to use, overall).
Tips and Tricks:
- Have good light. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. It’s best the light comes from behind or about you or your project, somehow. So, a stand light over your shoulder is best!
- Use new floss. This is important for stitching over one. My mother and I share a stash, so some of our threads are older, and I was using an old skein of DMC #307. It, irritatingly, kept disintegrating. This is less important when using two threads, but for one thread project, use newer flosses
- Mark your pattern frequently. Every few stitches or so, especially before you really get into the swing of things. This is key because of how hard it is to count the stitches before you get used to it. I do this because I’m very bad with counting and numbers, but it’s still a good idea in this situation.
- Don’t be afraid of turning your project over to try and see where to put the needle in. If you’re using lugana you’re probably not a beginner and far beyond this novice tactic, but I do this especially when there’s a filament in my way and I have to jiggle my needle around bit
- When pulling your thread through the fabric, keep your thread perpendicular to your fabric at a 90-degree angle from your fabric. This is important no matter what Opalescent you’re stitching on.
I love using this fabric and I will look for more places to use it in the normal course of my stitching! I don’t do a lot of seasonal stitching (as my mother does) and she tells me that it would make for excellent Christmas stitching. Ornaments and larger projects alike!