October 09, 2011

Specialty Stitches

Greetings, all! A couple of ladies have arrived: Ruthy Rogers and Anne Anthony. Ruthy is going to be a huge challenge, but I think she's going to be well worth it. I am stitching Ruthy using 36 count Lakeside vintage examplar and AVAS. Scarlet Letter samplers generally don't specify a fabric, and I had a hard time deciding between examplar and tundra (which is a gray/green/blue, if you're not familiar with it). It's almost beside the point since most of the sampler is covered in stitches, except for the border.


We got into a scuffle right out of the package. I'm determined to do this sampler as the original was done, using the filling stem stitches. They add a texture and interest you simply will not get from cross stitches. Although this sampler can be done in all cross stitch, I don't recommend it. I think something will be lost--the lovely crayon-y, naive folky look. Plus you'd have to be willing to do quarter and half stitches. But my initial stab at the filling stems was not encouraging. Note this closeup of my first attempt. Disappointingly sparse. You can see the outline stitch and the fabric between the lines. The photo of the stitched sampler shows lush, full stitching. I didn't want my stitches to look like a bad comb-over with scalp showing through. Hmmm.


So I continued stitching the counted part of the sampler with one thread and doubled the thread on the filling stem sections. Ahhhh--much better. Plus, it has the added bonus of filling it faster. A couple of cautionary words, though: in order not to go astray, you need to outline each of the motifs to be stem-stitched; and you really need to follow the directions in terms of stitching the counted cross stitch sections first. They will serve as kind of a frame or scaffolding, so that you can attach the stem-stitched sections; otherwise you will not be able to count accurately. I will stitch a section of cross stitches, then add the stem-stitches sections to vary things, and will move through the chart that way. One of the fun aspects of the stem stitches is that they don't head off in a consistent direction. The chart shows the direction they're stitched. The end result will look like random fill-in, which after the nice predictability of our normal, neat cross stitching, goes "against the grain."


Taking a step back to see more of the design:


I'm still working diligently on Sarah Hatton McPhail.


She has specialty stitches too. From the top: the first row is a row of long-arm crosses in a tan color, over-stitched with blue diagonal stitches and finished with a stem stitch in gold above and below the crosses; the script alphabet is cross-stitched in blue and then those stitches are four-sided stitched over in gold floss (blue and pink in the top row that I haven't stitched yet); the next row down is a series of long-arm crosses; beneath that are capital letters in tan four-sided stitch; then below that are gold rice stitches outlined on two sides with blue.


Anne Anthony arrived in all her splendor. I subbed out the linen for Lakeside Pecan Butter in 40 count. Those little over-one people are going to be a bear to stitch, I imagine.



I spotted Carriage House's "Noah" stocking at In Stitches. I've been meaning to start it forever, so I picked it up (along with the "Virtuous Woman" stocking). No specialty stitches, although I'm sure the finishing will be a challenge.


Forty count Lakeside (Examplar) using NPI as charted. The coat's a snooze, but I'm looking forward to getting to the animals.


I got this out again. I stopped it because I wasn't fond of the over-one coverage on 32 count, but really, I think it looks all right. So I re-kitted it, having cannibalized the threads. One problem--I had not noticed when I stitched it previously that the yellow capital letters should be rice stitches. I really like rice stitches, and I think these letters would look better done that way. Trying to decide whether to take them out and re-do, or just leave and continue with cross stitches. Oh well, not fatal either way.


Here we have a nice example of a bunny loaf. Peaches: "I am not loafing!"

May your week have ample opportunity for loafing and stitching!

24 comments:

gracie said...

Love the stitces!~ I also like specialty stitches...worth the time.
Peaches looks so comfy!

The Fab Furs said...

Looks like a lot of detailed stitching is in your future. Peaches is not loafing, but sending you vibes that each bun wants their own Noah Stocking for their holiday presents, but please to make the buns more prominent and have each bun represented in their real colors on their stocking.

MarchAnn58 said...

Woo Hoo your needle is really moving this week. I love how that stem stitch looks doubled. Keep up the great work.

Cari said...

Oh I so love me a bunny loaf... ADORABLE... I love to stitch animals so I have CHS Noah stocking as well. I'm going to stitch it straight up as a sampler instead of a stocking. I've been sitting on my hands trying NOT to order Ruthy. Isn't she stunning? I fell in love with her the minute I first saw her. And your Sarah and Anne A. are lovely. You are such an enabler...How could you??? Hugs good friend!!

Catherine said...

You always pick amazing projects!! Love all those specialty stitches - could be because I'm not the one doing them ;)
Thanks for sharing!!

Susan said...

WOW! Everything looks amazing. Ruthy is certainly a challenge but will be amazing when finished.

Elizabeth Ann said...

The sampler is very exquisite, I have never seen beautiful stitches like those before. It will be amazing when done!

Laurie in Iowa said...

Ruthy looks fabulous. Love the stem stitch using two threads... great coverage. I'm going to enjoy watching your progress and this sampler. I'm so glad you're leading the way in stitching Ruthy.
All of your current projects are great. I have yet to stitch one of the CHS stockings... but I do have all the charts.
Peach makes the perfect bun bun loaf.

marly said...

Wow what a great post. Your stem stitches look really good and this is going to be so interesting to follow. Sarah's stitches are also interesting to see and she is such a soft beauty. Then there's Anne. WHAT??? The people are over one?? Well, there are three samplers this wimp won't be attempting.

Vonna said...

I read all about Ruthie and thought OH YEAH until I read about the stitches...ugh. I love your start though! And the CHS stockings, I love them so...I need to start one myself...I have all the patterns....bad me!

Mindi said...

Wow, Ruthy Rogers is looking great. I had seen her, but shied away when I saw all the stem stitching. It seemed like a huge challenge, since its something I haven't done before. maybe I'll just have to push myself.

I'll definitely have to get Ann Anthony, as a sister to Elizabeth Sheffield. I love the idea of both of them hanging next to each other.

I really look forward to seeing Noah's stocking grow. I love those CHS stockings.

Margaret said...

Gorgeous!! Ruthy looks great with the double strand stem stitches. Still freaks me out though. lol! Sarah is gorgeous as always. And yes, I remember that piece with the tulips. I think that was about the time I started following your blog! :D

Penny said...

Your stitching is beautiful! I don't know if I would ever enjoy doing all of those specialty stitches, so I will just enjoy watching your progress. :)

mainely stitching said...

Wow, Glenna, you're a brave one! It's looking lovely!

Jan said...

I can't decide if you're brave or insane! LOL! All those specialty stitches.
I think you should frog on the other piece and put in the rice stitches. I think you won't be satisfied with it unless you do.

Rabbits' Guy said...

Love that Peach!!!

My gosh you make that cross stitching seem hard. Don't you just thread a needle with some old colored floss and poke it in - back and forth? (Ouch - BL - don't hit me again .. ouch ...)

Sylvia said...

Wow, what a feast for the eye, Glenna! Thanks for sharing all you hints on Ruthy!

Michelle said...

Oooh, eye candy!!! I'm absolutely loving how Ruthy looks. I think specialty stitches really add so much dimension and texture to a piece, and you're right that Ruthy's stem stitch gives her that bonus! I do think the two strands looks much better though. Sarah is looking amazing!

Dona said...

Happy Birthday, Glenna! Hope you have plenty of time to sit and stitch on your great projects.

Siobhan said...

Beautiful, Glenna! Seeing your photos and reading your tips gives me hope that I might get up the courage to tackle The Essamplaire's Sarah Talley at some point. All of your WIPs are stunning!

Daffycat said...

Whoa, Ruthy looks ginormous! Very pretty start!

Peaches looks so cute sitting that way. Reminds me of the way cats tuck all their toes in and muffin top over to snooze.

woolwoman said...

First I love the Gone Fishing in your new header and in your previous post - i've been working way too hard and behind on blog reading. I admire you for tackling that new SL sampler - WHEEE - I loved it at first glance but when I saw the stitches used I said No Thank you and just moved on. Sarah McPhail is gorgeous as is all your stitching. Melody

Michelle May (Shell) said...

Love all those beautiful stitchies! Oh my! However....bunny loaf is soooooooo fabulous! ;)
xx, shell

Brigitte said...

Wow, Glenna, this sampler will look very extraordinary. So beautiful!