Greetings from Down Under! The pattern I am working calls for 2 strands of DMC thread of different colors. I will be using 3 strands for the project. Which color should be the 3rd strand? Thank you!
Thank you for your question, Gigi. Using two strands of different shades of thread is called tweeding. It can give a lovely effect to a piece of embroidery or cross stitch. It can also be used to add a metallic thread to normal stranded cotton or floss to add a subtle glint to the stitches. I did this in my dragon designs, adding a blending filament to the floss to give shine to the scales.
If the designer has specified two shades to be used in the needle at the same time, she or he has carefully picked them to give a certain effect. Adding two strands of one of the colors instead of the single, could change the overall impression that the mix gives.
For example, let's say that the pattern calls for light blue and pink threads. If you use them both together the work will have a mauve or lavender look from a distance. If you add an extra blue, then the overall impression will be of a more bluish shade. This may well be acceptable to you, so only you can make the decision as to which of the two shades to "double up on".
Another idea would be to add a neutral tone, such as a cream.ecru or even black (depending on how light or dark the mixture appears). This would not change the color so much but would still alter the appearance of the work.
Would I be right in assuming that you are using three strands because you want a more dense effect to the embroidery or cross stitch? Another option would be to use a finer fabric, with more threads per inch so that just the two threads are sufficient.