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#OxCoPALs Summer Stash Buster Project #1 - Cotey

Hi Everyone,

We are going to be diving into the Oval Abstract Botanical project and starting with our amazing pattern designer, graphic designer, and artist extraordinaire: Cotey! 

Cotey designed three different patterns for us to choose from for this project. Initially we had contemplated releasing more than one, however we wanted to bring this project back to the PALs roots, The Welcome Mat. That project had been such a joy to punch because we were all able to infuse it with our personalities with no color palette or technique restraints. We thought it would be a lot of fun to do something similar and have it be our summer project as most people are traveling, cleaning out their houses, getting outside, etc. This project is small enough to even fit on a 14 x 14 Oxford Gripper Strip Frame, (you just may have to stretch the fabric at a diagonal) which makes it easy to travel with and "punch in the wild," on your front porch, in front of the a/c, or even in the car on a long road trip!

When Cotey first looked at this pattern she saw a calla lily and berry bouquet. She wanted to do bright, vibrant colors in her pattern. Cotey exclusively used a #10 regular Oxford Punch Needle to punch her Stash-buster project, so she decided to thread in some really beautiful shimmery novelty fibers into her project as a way to really add to the overall the look. 

Cotey started her Oval Abstract Botanical using a yellow green and a blue green for the border, as well as the leaves and stems. These pops of brightness bring your eye nicely around the piece. They also create some symmetry within and are very visually appealing. These greens play nicely off of the other colors that Cotey chose, especially the rich purples of the rug yarn and jewel tones of the novelty fibers. The ribbon that Cotey wanted to work with has fun pops of pinks, purples, and soft peach tones, she also wanted to use a shimmery blue thread.

There are a couple of different ways that you can work with novelty fibers. The first is to use a carrier. This is where you take rug yarn and your novelty fiber, in this case a ribbon, and thread them in tandem through your needle. Doing this allows you to punch with the two fibers at the same time and will often help the thinner slippery materials flow through the needle as well as lock into the monk's cloth. The second way is to double or triple the strands of your novelty fiber. This works much like when you use multiple strands of a worsted weight yarn through your regular point Oxford Punch Needle. It bulks it up just enough to flow through your punch needle and stay in the monk's cloth. 

Cotey at first used a carrier for her rug yarn and ribbon. She punched a few of the berries using this method before shifting to use the ribbon alone (she tripled the ribbon when threading and punching). By trying the two methods simultaneously Cotey could compare and contrast the end result to see which gave her the look she desired. Cotey found that using the carrier hid the ribbon. The pretty colors and texture didn't show and were taken over by the wool rug yarn. Cotey decided to finish using the ribbon tripled up allowing that to really shine.  

The next novelty fiber that she tried was in the calla lilies. This was a slippery shimmery thread that was quite thin, almost like an embroidery thread. She found that this was completely lost within the rug yarn, even tripled up. Cotey didn't even try to punch with just the thread as she knew that it would be too thin still and wouldn't hold the loops. She decided to just punch the calla lily blooms with alternating rows of a dark lilac and the flower border color, both one of a kinds from her stash.
When Cotey went to whip stitch her project, she wanted to bring in an added challenge. Could she whip stitch it with the ribbon? She approached it much like she approached punching with the ribbon, she tried it with a carrier. Using the same deep rich plum color that she used for the outline of her lilies, she threaded her blunt tipped tapestry needle along with the satin ribbon she used for the berries. She wasn't sure if the ribbon would get lost in the whipping or if it would stand out more against the purple she was using.

To her happy surprise the whipping was easy and had the exact effect that she was hoping for. It really carried the colors through the whole piece and played off the soft almost minty green that she had used for her background color.

Cotey's calla lily inspired Oval Abstract Botanical is really a lovely and bright exercise in color placement and symmetry. Cotey always does perfect work and her colors always have a purpose and are well thought out. She completed this whole piece without even using more than 2 ounces of any color. So if you have lots of smaller balls of yarn laying around, this is a great project!

Next week we will discuss Heidi's Oval Abstract Botanical or should I call it Oval Abstract Seascape? 

Remember, if you enter in photos of you in-progress or finished #OxCoPALs Summer Stash Buster - Oval Abstract Botanical, you are entered to win a #10 regular Limited Edition Bamboo Oxford Punch Needle. All those who enter will receive a free drawstring tool bag. 

Any questions? Let us know! 

Until next week! Happy Punching!


#OxCoPALs Summer Stash Buster - Oval Abstract Botanical
Click Here for the #OxCoPals Summer Stash Buster - Oval Abstract Botanical Digital Download



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