Monday, July 18, 2011

HAED hints - English version

When I started my HAED (dragonling) project in January, I was looking for good advice to help me in such a huge task. Most of them was simply the "do not give up, keep going" type, so I had to learn on my own.

First of all the fabric: HAED suggests 25ct over over one. I tried it, but I did not like it at all, so I took the advice of the kind lady in the craft shop and I chose 18ct aida. I stitch with 2 floss to cover it well, so I use more floss and the final picture will be bigger, but at least it is fun to stitch!

Concerning the pattern: I bought the coloured version with the bigger size. It costs a tiny bit more, but much better to follow, and it is easier to find the neighbouring signs. Disadvantage that it is slightly hard to distinguish the dark marks (eg midnight blue vs black) sice the background is almost similar to both, but this comes back triple when you do not miss the confetti ones! You can use the many sale opportunities to cover the difference - any holiday and HAED goes down 25-30%...

I mark the rows on the fabric before I start to stitch a new page. I use normal pencil to draw 10x10 squares, but I mark every 50x50 with green and the end of the page with pink one. It is a little colourful, but since the stitches cover the whole area they are not visible afterwards and it helps a lot not to miss the line...

I do not like the special markers, because they disappeared in 1-2 days, and I hate to redraw them all the time. I made a red frame of the design stitching in every 2nd hole and changed the line in every 20. For this framing I also left out a line to make it easier to take it out at the end. In the 1st picture the pink and the green is quite unvisible, because during use they tend to disappear from the fabric (4th column is green and the pink is next to that one)

Needle: I have never thought that needles count, but I have realised during this project that they can make a difference! I use the smallest ones (26, 28). And I started to use huge amount of them, because I think it is impossible -at least for me- to change the floss in the same needle! The needle organiser is Pako, and I was really hesitating to buy 2 to cover the 100 different colour, but now I am positive that they were a real good investment.

I wrote the DMC numbers under the signs, so it is easy to upload the needle if the floss is used up, I do not have to chech the whole list consisting of hundred symbols... I have organised the list by colours, blue, red, yellow/brown, green, grey and tried to put similar symbols next to each other, eg blue uses 4,5,6,7,8 and 9 as symbols, they are coming in such order.

The whole package in the beginning and after a few hours of work:

Floss: I used to stitch with Anchor and first I converted all codes from DMC to Anchor. After a minute of thinking I realised that colours are the main feature of HAED, and converting them distorts the whole design, so serious decision took place: I have started to collect DMC :))) I keep all the different colours in white envelopes, I write the number and the symbol to the front. I also write the number to the upper right corner, keep them in numerical order in my stitching basket, therefore I can easily find the needed one.

I use round hoop, but for this project I also bought a seat frame (Elbesee), because my hand was quite tired keeping the whole fabric. I did not want to buy a normal standing frame because that tooks the whole room what my son also needs, and no device has any chance against a one year old boy...Since the dragonling is not too big, it fits to the hoop and I can comfortably stitch with both hands.

During stitching I finish one page from the pattern. I usually stitch 4-5 squares of 10x10, I start with the bigger blocks of the same colour there, finish one colour and change the needle (floss). For the big blocks I use the seat frame, for the confetti I simply keep the hoop in my hand, because it is quicker to start and end the floss. Since we are talking about HAED, bigger means more than 10 stitch together...
That is for now, I hope you have found it useful. If you have any other good advice do not hesitate to leave a comment!

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