Sunday, November 8, 2015

Specialty Stitches

Lately I've been stitching on the border of this piece.  I like it because of the specialty stitches and the beautiful silks used in it.  Here's a close-up of some of the stitches:

From left to right across the top, they are: the green/teal ones are Rhodes stitches, done in the traditional way as squares; the blue between the two metallic is a Rhodes stitch variation, done as a rectangle with three strands of floss; more Rhodes stitches in teal; eyelet stitches in cranberry (these are my favorites because the stitches are pulled tight to open up the center hole); Rhodes again; and eyelets again.  Below those, on either side of the cross-stitch flowers are another Rhodes variation, done as small rectangles.  I really like the way they look like little pillows or jewels. I use this blog when I need help with specialty stitches.  Her photos and explanations are terrific and easier to understand than the instructions that come with most kits or charts.

This is what the almost-finished border looks like on the right side of the piece:

The specialty stitch at the corner on the far right is another Rhodes stitch variation.  This also shows one of four little cats (representing the Egyptian goddess Bastet) in the design.  The cats are stitched with one strand of floss over one thread of fabric, called "one over one".  One over one is perfect for these cats because it gives more shape and detail to them than regular two over two stitches would.

I say the border is almost finished because I've finished the stitching there, but I still have to add beads.  This piece will have thousands--yes, thousands!--of beads on it when it's completed.  The small empty spaces in the border are where tiny beads will be stitched.  The rectangle stitched in gold metallic will get three cube-shaped beads inside it.  Still more tiny little beads will represent stars in the night sky in the corner design to the right of Bastet.  I'll attach all those beads at the very last, when all the stitching is done.

You can see a photo of the finished piece here, but I think it really doesn't do justice to what it will look like in person. I've never seen this piece "in real life" except as I'm stitching it, which is part of my motivation in completing it--I want to see what it will look like!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Jump Around

I managed to get some stitching time in despite having to work a lot this past week. 

I had planned to work more on the border with the specialty stitches, but decided to stitch the little trees and bushes instead.  One of the things I really like about this design is being able to "jump around" and stitch small sections of it.  At the end of this week I'll have several nights off and I hope to be able to spend my evenings stitching.

Sunday, September 13, 2015


I made some progress on Egyptian Garden this past week.

Here's a closer look at the herons and the flowers, which might be my favorite part of this piece.

I just love the colors in the birds and the flowers, and the way the variegated silks in the grass and the flower stems look.  I made a couple of little mistakes, but I don't think they're noticeable.  I counted wrong somehow when I was stitching the flower stems, so they're not quite like they should be on the right side.  My mistake doesn't affect the overall piece or how it fits together, so I left it rather than re-stitching some of the stems.  I also realized that I looked at the chart symbol wrong and that the herons' legs and beaks are supposed to be dark brown rather than cranberry.  I like the cranberry better, so I left it!

Next, I think I'll work on that corner border with the specialty stitches.  I'm excited to see what the piece will look like when both of those corners are done.

Monday, August 24, 2015


Hello, and welcome to my new blog.  I'm starting this blog as a way of having a journal of sorts about what I'm stitching on, as well as what music I'm enjoying, movies I'm watching, or audiobooks I'm listening to while I stitch.

I used to cross-stitch a lot, but several years ago for various reasons I lost interest in it.  Recently while cleaning out a closet I came across my bin of WIPs (Works in Progress) and I decided to start stitching on them again.

The first piece I'm working on is called Egypt Garden, by Chatelaine Designs.  This design came out in 2005 as an online chart and stitching group, and I started stitching on it back then.  I realized when I dragged it back out that it was probably 2008 or 2009 the last time I worked on it.

This is what it looked like when I found it a couple of months ago:

Terrible photo, but it's the only one I have that shows the whole piece.

I decided to start working out from the border in the top right corner, right to left.  This is what it looked like after about three weeks of stitching:

Better photo of the colors.  The evenweave is hand-dyed, so it's variegated.

A couple of weeks ago:

And this is what it looks like as of last week:

This design uses a lot of variegated silk threads and has beautiful colors in it, so it's fun to stitch.  I'm hoping to make good progress on it this week.