DMC · SODA Stitch · The Grey Tail · WIP

holding two papers with one stone

a delayed GiGi update and my reflections on the thread keys for SODA’s Alice in Wonderland

– – –

first of all I have to thank both the old & the new friends and followers that joined since the beginning of the year. it is so nice to see you stop by, read your thoughts in the comments & emails – you always put a smile on my face and help a lot with your input, so thank you so much for the time and care, I never thank you as much as I should. ❤️💐

secondly, I have to apologize to Jo over at Serendipitous Stitching because I’m two days late with the GiGi update – sorry Jo! but here it is! 🙂

Jo’s running a lovely monthly SAL called Gifted Gorgeousness and if you don’t know about it already you should really check it out – it’s impressive how giving our friends in the stitching world can be (and I must say I sometimes feel bad about myself and the little Scrooge in me 😉 )

now, because the project I promised to write you about is mostly stitched with threads that were gifted to me by my Grandmama I’ll hold two papers with one stone (I really don’t fancy killing birds, nor flying sheets of paper, to be honest) and talk about SODA Stitch‘s Alice in Wonderland.

my experience at this point is not bad at all, I’m actually very pleased with mine, but because some of you might be interested in stitching your own and knowing more about a project is always better than knowing less (especially if you know more before buying the supplies, not to mention start stitching), I’m just giving you a recap of what happened to me and my thoughts about it. 🙂

when I fell in love with this project a year ago I googled it to see how other stitchers had worked on it (see their WIP pictures, decide if using a higher count would work, pick a good fabric for it, etc.); unfortunately all the pictures and blogs I found never mentioned what brand of threads they were using, even the pictures of the bobbins didn’t have numbers on them or were turned the other way, but they always look consistent – and because many of these people were either French or American, I just assumed they were using DMC (which is the first option listed in the thread key, a contributing factor to my wrong assumption).

of course now we know I was wrong (better late than never! 😬 ). I can only assume they used either Anchor or Yeiman threads (the other two options in the colour key), at this point I have no idea – but I emailed Chibi Stitches, the official European reseller to know if they know which threads are used for the SODA models – if I hear from them I’ll let you know. the point is there is a discrepancy between the shades in the model and the DMC listed, it’s very clear in the picture I posted in my previous post, especially if you look at the greens, the pinks, and the main light blue in the lace border.

SODA Stitch - Alice in Wonderland
this is a detail of the cover for the Alice in Wonderland pattern: the greens shown are very subtle and delicate, the light blue is a baby blue, the medium pink in the roses is a fuchsia, whereas the DMC loose thread I laid on it as an example is an entirely different kind of pink. there are strong, bright colours here as well, especially the orange in the mushrooms, but if you compare it with the DMC listed it is not the same highlighter kind of orange.
WIP - SODA Stitch - Alice in Wonderland
here you can see the bit of stitching I made last week: the greens used for the DMC version are much brighter, the browns are different too, but all in all they look really nice, different, but nice. the pink is the shade that became problematic for me as I really don’t like that particular shade of pink.

I must say, it is not a bad combination of colours at all. one could go with it and find it exquisite, just like many of you said in the comments to my previous post, when I was asking about suggestions: they look really nice together (to some they even look better, and they would be rightful in thinking so) but if you’ve fallen in love with the piece on the cover, and want that delicate range of shades – the DMC listed in the thread key won’t give you that look.

they are far more bright and strong, sometimes they clash together rather than blend, and as it often happens with stitching it all comes down to your personal taste. I must say that once I add the backstitch to each section the piece makes a lot more sense, and most of the highlighter kind of tones form a really nice, tridimensional effect, but if you don’t fancy very strong, bright colours, or if you’re looking for what some of you very effectively described as a watercolour effect, you can’t use all the called for DMC.

now, had I known this before actually taking out the threads that I needed from my stash, and buying the ones I was missing, things would have gone differently. I would have taken out my DMC thread card, picked the tones I found closer to the piece on the cover, and that would be it – but because I had actually bought some of the threads, and had many of my DMC buried in that mess that is some my current stash, and realised about the discrepancy along the way, I had to deal with a WIP rather than a fresh start so here is what I decided to do last week.

WIP - SODA Stitch - Alice in Wonderland
from top to bottom, you see 1. where I had got to when the colour drama hit the fan 2. all I decided I had to frog and went away 😭 and 3. the re-stitched portion with some new shades in.

because frogging backstitched areas is a royal pain in the ass, and it leaves a lot of fuzzy threads, I actually had to frog the lower portion of the Cheshire Cat even though I didn’t change the lilacs; same goes for a bit of the light brown: I didn’t change that but by the time I had frogged those areas the stitches looked so ruffled and hairy I simply had to take them out and do them again.

I was lucky enough to have a bundle of DMC random new skeins in a zip bag that hadn’t been buried with my major DMC stash, which came with the wooden box I got in July ’13 and they turned out to be life (and time!) savers 😅

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one of the pinks in this bag turned out to be a pretty darn good match to the dark pink/red listed and I must say I’m really pleased with the way it blends in, you can see it in the previous picture (in the bottom section), and also in the following snaps which I took in the past week.

WIP - SODA Stitch - Alice in Wonderland
once the backstitch goes in, that strong, heavy orange doesn’t bother me as much as it does while stitching with it 😉
WIP - SODA Stitch - Alice in Wonderland
hello, little chap!
WIP - SODA Stitch - Alice in Wonderland
I don’t know if you can tell by looking at the needle minder next to it, but this piece won’t turn out bigger than my own hand 🙂

– – –

as you can see I made some progress (I also lost my stitching mojo for a couple of days in between and, luckily, recovered from it), and basically compromised with what I had: I changed the dark brown, the dark purple, the medium and the light pink.

because some of you liked my colour choices, I wrote a PDF which includes the colours I’m using in this version (referred as option 1), the ones I would use in a second version I might stitch upon completing this one, and additional interesting colour sets that I found inspiring when writing this file.

colour options for Soda’s Alice in Wonderland <— click on the link here 🙂

by all means, if you have questions or doubts when deciding which threads to use or even buy for this piece, just contact me using the form in the contact me page, I would be happy to give you my opinion and thoughts about it. 🙂

I just wish I had learnt about this colour discrepancy before, so anything I can do to prevent others from unhappy frogging sessions will be a pleasure for me 🙂

as of this afternoon this is what my Alice in Wonderland looks like:

WIP - SODA Stitch - Alice in Wonderland
this is already an outdated snap as I managed to add eyes and shoulders, a bit of dress, etc.

– – –

all in all I cannot say that I’m head over heels about some tones, but they look more than alright once put together, and I wasn’t going to kit this up all over again anyways so I think I made the best out of it. on the other hand, as my friend Jo suggested, I might end up stitching it twice and gift this one to her 😀 we shall see!

what I had planned was to stitch a matching pincushion and scissor fob using portions of the main chart, so I might play with those colour palettes before stitching the entire piece again. I’m still not sure. one thing is certain, it is a very fast stitching so it won’t be too much work after all. 😅

another bit of info to those interested: in my opinion coverage when working on 40ct. using 1 ply of thread over 2 works just as fine as using 2 plies on 32ct. – even the backstitched details look alright and not too dense, although I would have liked to try those rose petals in a darker red rather than black but at that point I was so focused on catching up after the frogs that I decided not to spend any more time on that unlucky section.

– – –

after being asked to do a few “how to” posts about how I do this and that, I’m planning to finally start working on them, so if you have any questions about anything stitch related, from hand dyed usage, to how do you kit up stuff, or anything else – just drop me a line in a comment. I have been stitching for so many years now I wouldn’t know what to write about, and your questions would make such a great place to start 🙂

Taras just jumped on the keyboard and typed: saaz<z\\\\\

I’m sure it’s Cat for “ciao!” – it’s either that or “what about dinner, uh?” 😀

Taras 3/15

see you next time! ciao!



6 thoughts on “holding two papers with one stone

  1. I hadn’t realised that this is so small, I love small and detailed!
    I think you’ve done a good job of changing the colours, it’s so frustrating when the charted ones just don’t look like the cover photo.


    1. thank you, Jo!
      well, I should have mentioned I have big hands 😉 it’s about 100 x 100 stitches, which makes it 13,5 x 13,5 cm on 40ct.
      I know, it was very frustrating at the beginning, especially because I wasn’t expecting this kind of problem, but I’ve learnt to love some of its dramatic colour changes now. it’ll be slightly emotional to see it leave, but at the same time I will stitch another one straight away 😀


  2. I must say that all that frogging was worthy, the roses look stunning with the new choice of colours. You did a great job 💚 I’m the one interested in how to use hand dyed floss . Thank you dear!


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