I am always trying to work out the best way to get subtle changes of color with these things. In some of my other works, I have felt that I was try to use too many colors, so these were experiments with fewer colors of thread, which in turn allows more rounds of each color combination. I thought that would draw the changes out more subtly. What do you think?
The red one has only two colors--one lighter, one darker. I'm using three strands of sewing thread, so with the colors labeled A and B, and changing just one thread at a time, I get this progression:
Only 4 different combos! I was able to make many rounds of each one, so the shading turned out very subtle, I thought. The pattern was a complete fail. It turned out to be worked as a spiral instead of closed rounds, and that confused me and made the color changes harders. I try to choose very simple patterns for painted doilies, so the colors are the main feature, and they don't fight with a strong design.
The second doily uses three muted colors, and I think I put them like this:
Just 5 combos, and in this case, none of them are solids. Every combo is mixed, again, in an attempt to create the subtlest possible changes. That one still looks stripey to me. Should I just learn to love stripes in my painted doilies?
I think more open, airy patterns are more stripe-resistant than solid blocks of stitches, so I'll be keeping that in mind for the future.
I need to try that two-color effect again, but I'm running out of thread. Aw, I guess I'll have to go shopping.