This week we are taking the time to talk about Cotey's beautiful triptychs: Cocktails and The Avocado.
Cotey is amazing at making patterns. It is one of her super powers, of which she has many. The first pattern that she designed, indeed the triptych we were all originally going to punch, was the Cocktails pattern. We were each going to take three of the drinks and punch our own versions of the drinks that we liked best. Then as we were discussing things, we didn't want people to feel like they were pinned in a corner with this one, plus we really wanted to see what others would create. Cotey, however, stuck with the cocktail idea, wanting to create something that brought to mind happy memories of times out with her friends, self-care, and reclaiming a sense of self. On top of that, she wanted to create something special for one of her favorite people.
Narrowing it down to three drinks was fairly simple for Cotey to do. She picked her favorite drinks in order from left to right: Cosmo, Rum Punch or "Pirate Drink", and French Martini.
You can see her color inspiration for her triptych here. She was looking to use soft feminine pinks along with a more bold ruby color for the cosmo and a deep purple for her rum punch. To play off these colors, her background needed to give them a fresh pop without detracting from the main element of her triptych. Working through this, she finally settled on a lighter and brighter green with a soft periwinkle for the border.
Her color palate is really a great one for the summer weather. It's very refreshing, just like the drinks that Cotey has chosen.
You can see how Cotey is grouping her colors, each color combination is beside its respective panel. This will allow Cotey to see the flow of the panels and make sure that they all sync up.
Unlike the rest of us, Cotey punched the border of her triptych first using a #10 regular Oxford Punch needle. Cotey punched 5 rows all the way around the outer border and between the panels. It give it a very nice, very distinct frame around each panel.
You will also notice Cotey's use of the stem stitch in her panel borders and her outer borders. Remember, this helps the loops stand up nice and tall and creates a crisp clean border all around. To punch the rest of her triptych Cotey decided to use the #14 fine Oxford Punch Needle
for her background and the #10 fine Oxford Punch Needle
for her drinks. Making the loop height the same on the main aspect of the triptych and the border adds great dimension to her project.
One thing that Cotey struggled with on her triptych was the shading in the glass portion of her drinks. Originally, she was going to use black for the reflections in the glass. As she started to punch it, it wasn't looking quite how she wanted it. She found that the black was too strong and looked very blobby.
Switching gears, Cotey decided to use a green that was a shade darker than the background color. She hoped that this would make the reflection through the glass look more realistic and like the light shining through.
That's why the green works so well on the glass and gives it a natural look. Employing this through the rest of her piece. Cotey was able to fill in the three panels fairly easily.
Another issue that Cotey mentioned she had was when she would switch what part of the project she was punching. Because she was using different needle sizes for each aspect of the triptych, Cotey would find that she had punched a whole area using the wrong needle size. What she found helped to combat this was to have her background needle already threaded and ready to go.
Using multiple needles also works well if you are doing shading in a piece, much like Cotey did in the drinks. She used a gentle color gradation for the liquid in her drinks. She kept multiple #10 fine punch needles
threaded with the shading colors, this way she could easily punch her way through the color shifts.
You will also notice Cotey's stitch placement in her background. She punched two rows, then skipped a row. This was her adjusting her fine stitches for her yarn thickness. When she did this, she made sure that she wasn't overpacking her stitches and that the background was filled in properly.
Cotey's finished Cocktails Triptych is a really cheerful and summery piece. The colors she chose, so different from her normal jewel tones, stand out and make the whole look lighter.
For the Avocado Triptych, Cotey pulled almost exclusively from our school stash yarn, as well as used some of the yarn that I had pulled for the Floral Triptych. She wanted to keep the color palate very simple and natural.
The Avocado Triptych flows from seedling, to plant, to fruit. Cotey decided to punch this exclusively with the #10 regular Oxford Punch Needle
and to keep the details and shading minimal, creating a more simple pattern. She had also wanted to create a botanical that was different from what is typically seen.
As you can see, Cotey added small bits of shading on the seeds in the Avocado. She also added a fine line of shading around the bottom of the halved avocado. She left the border and background simple, yet she did use the darker and more grey background color sparingly to just give an extra level of dimension.
This project came along fairly quickly and easily, and shows that you don't have to use a fine needle to complete these triptychs. She and I both wanted to show that you can keep patterns as simple as you want, regular needles work just as well as fine, and that the sky is really the limit for what you design these triptychs around.
There is just something so quintessencially summer about sitting outside on the front porch with some guacamole, some really good salty tortilla chips and a margarita on the rocks. It sounds like a perfect way to watch the sunset. Add in a good book, knitting, or a good punching project and I am set for hours!
Next week I will talk to you about Christy's Bunny Summer Triptych. Sadly, the Bunny Triptych is not a pattern that is for sale. Her process is one that involves a lot of color changing while she is in the throws of punching. Stay tuned!
How are your triptychs coming along? I can't wait to see everyones finished projects! Let us know if you have any questions or comments and remember to use #OxCoPALs when posting on social media so we can see your amazing triptychs.
I also want to say a big THANK YOU for all the wonderful comments and emails that people are sending in in regards to the blogs, posts, and projects. We work really hard on these and are having a blast and I am glad to hear you all are too!
Until next week!