Snow Bunny

This post can give a whole new meaning to snow and bunny used in the same text. Today I am hunkering down in a blanket, hot chocolate and my stitching and hoping the power says on. We are expecting a blizzard that started at 5:00AM this morning and is supposed to continue until tomorrow morning. The forecast is calling for 12 inches at my house and 35 mile an hour winds and bone chilling cold.

This was my patio about 7:30Am this morning

And this was the patio at lunch time.

We had about 4-6 inches by noon and it is not letting up. I am not complaining because just a few miles to the east of me they are getting the brunt of this storm and are suppose to have 24-30 inches

The bunny reminds me of spring and so I will just continue my stitching, watch the news and drink my hot chocolate.

I am doing a Turkey Work stitch using Appleton wool for the bunny tail. I am not going to cut these loops, so I want them all uniform in size and used a toy (think it is an old Tinker Toy) to keep the loops uniform in size. I stitch a row at a time around the toy and then remove. If you look at the picture I have diagramed the stitch to show how I do it. It is different than most books show it. Any of us in the Midwest that do this method refer to it as the Joan Lewis method of Turkey Work as Joan is the one who taught us this method. She claimed she found it in a needlepoint book but I have yet to find it and I do own a couple booksJ.

The jacket will be a combination of the VanDyke stitch stitched with blue #3 DMC perle cotton and an Encroaching Gobelin stitched with gold #3 DMC perle cotton.

After this I will start the flowers and carrots…if this snow continues and I have power I may post again later in the week.

I hope everyone in the path of this storm is staying warm and safe. And I hope all those of you who stitch stay warm, safe and stitch!  ttfn…sue

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The Eagle…is at the framer

Last week-end I spent marathon stitching, really it started last Wednesday. And as with any deadline of mine life seems to step in the way…until Friday it seemed that very little stitching was accomplished. Random stitching is so-o-o much fun. I love they way you can show direction and it is so cool that there is really no right or wrong direction. I think it stitches quickly too when one does not have to stop for the small daily interferences of daily life and eating & sleeping.  The body is a brick stitch over four and will take a bit longer since it is two ply Impressions…can you say lay, laid, laid. Did manage a dinner with my DH at son’s restaurant and stopped to pick up a wedding shower gift (wedding gift too…why make two trips).

Saturday became crunch day, I went to the framers and Monday is the drop dead day in order to have back by Sunday April 18th. Picked up the Eagle pin at the Scout office attended wedding shower, stopped by the grocery store and stitched the rest of the day. Finished the body and then put the remaining Random stitches over the body. Even manage to start the Bargello pattern for the wing.

Sunday attended church and remembered a favorite priest was celebrating his jubilee mass later that morning and having a reception…so I came home started dinner returned to church for jubilee reception, back home with time to stitch and then dinner with the family and finally peace and quite to stitch…Why does it seem to take longer too lay threads when you are under time constraints? But I stitched and finished at12:25 Sunday night/Monday morning. Finally bed and up again Monday morning at 6:30 attached Eagle pin and was off to start my week.

 

I have carpooled a grandson to and from school, been to the airport and back, dropped off the eagle at the framers, had a great lunch and now I am thinking about bed and a good night’s sleep.  Tomorrow is gift for my new granddaughter…not a stitch taken but it will be finished by Saturday so it can go to the framers to have back for the next weekend. 

ttfn…sue

Random Pictures

  RS - bunny  Easter bunny 2Easter time has lots of Random Stitched pieces. Bunny in yellow sweater was not meant to be a realistic interpretation of a bunny, but I stitched his fur like I thought a real bunny would look. On the face you can see all the stitches radiate from his nose. The ears are separated by a row of tent and are stitched to the contour of the shape. His paws were stitched in separate areas; each paw looked like I was three separate sections. 

 

Easter bunny 9b P&MeAnother whimsy bunny is the bunny in a carrot. His ears were Random Stitches and the thread, Peluche helped accent this stitch. In fact really long stitches could be used here since the thread had such great texture.

 

And my favorite bunny is Peter. Peter was a kit from Creative Needle (I think)… sometimes you still see him on Ebay. When I first went to work at a local shop, every Grandmother in our area stitched this bunny for her grandchildren…every grandmother but me. I just did not care for kits nor did I like the threads in this kit. Our store model sat right above our Epic threads and people would ask me how I liked Epic. I’d never tried it so all I could tell them was others who had stitchedEaster bunny 3 nddl Treas RS- Peter with it seemed to like it. One day Peter and Epic threads came together in my head and so this Grandmother bought Peter and stitched him. The only threads from the original kit were the threads used in his eye, nose and mouth. His fur is 5 Epic threads, blended together. He is my favorite stitched bunny and probably one of the best Random Stitches I have stitched so far. 

   Stitch Bag  Stitch Bag close up

 

 

 

 

 

Frame ToteFrameTote up closeThe Tailor of Glostershire on my stitching bags is also Random Stitch. Again I probably used 6-8 different Epic threads.

 

 

 

 

 

Eagle finishedThe Eagle I did for my Grandson he achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. The original canvas I bought on Ebay; I contacted the designer and was told the canvas was no longer painted and would not paint the multiples I requested! I wish I had kept the original canvas, but that’s another blog too.  Anyway, I used Caron Impressions for the white feathers on the eagle. I love the way he looks and if you notice where the white feathers meet the black body and wing…I stitched the white up to about an inch from the bottom, then I stitched the black areas, and then went back and stitched the rest of the white feathers.

Eagle head  Eagle Whie meets Black 

 

 

 

 

 

ABS Angel 8And really the hair on the back of this angel from ABS Designs (http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/ or http://www.absdesignsonline.com/ )is Random Stitch too…Random Bullion Knots. You can see hoe the stitch overlaps here; it does not split the threads but it is the same technique, Sure glad this was a small area.

 

  Lucy complete

And here is Lucy…finally stitched. Lucy has 8 or 9 Epic threads for her fur. I like this Lucy but she is nowhere as cute as the real Lucy! My family thinks the needlepoint is wonderful, but then they like most things I stitch. lucy back 2I am showing you the back side too…I know this is not something we do very often but I want you to see that I am not methodical about where the Random Stitches are placed.

 

 

 

 

But the very best piece of Random Stitch I have ever done is Leopold (Leo just would not do) the Lion.

Leopold 1Leopold 2

  He lives in New York with my friend Linda H. She gave him his own chair in a special place in her home. Leopold took almost a year to complete and he had at minimum 15 different Epic threads in his mane…a couple of these threads were just dye lot changes. Dyelot changes happen with space dyed and overdyed threads. Leopold could almost walk off the canvas, he is beautiful! I loved him even before he was finishhed into a big pillow and got his own chair!

 

 

 

 

 

And this is the Long & Short of Random Stitching!  ttfn…sue

 P.S. May not be back for a couple days, I have two student handbooks to update.

How I Random Stitch

dog #1 starting pointsBefore I ever stitch, I Goggle pictures of animals if I am not familiar with the animal to see how nature makes this animal’s fur/feathers grow (I did this for the eagle, Leopold, (more about these later) and I had the original picture I used to have Lucy painted). I look at the canvas and get an idea of how I want the fur to I look and visualize the stitched piece.  I visualize how I think the areas move or change and I begin to divide the areas into sections. You could make a copy of the canvas and draw lines on the copy to help if you are not a visual person. I look for starting points in the pictures; ( See the top drawing at left: everything somwhat radiates from dog #2 direction of furthe red dot but the red T are some of the parts in the fur…just like the parts in our hair.) Then find the best starting point on my canvas. Sometimes there is more than one starting point and sometimes it is not a point but a line or area. There is no one correct way…ever had a bad hair day?! (second drawing are suggsted stitching lines )  Then Unlike the diagram I am showing, I work in small sections. I will randomly pick an area and stitch the first line of fur (for our discussion the purple stitches shown on the diagram) then I will stitch the blue stitches. I fill in this area or sometimes will do several of these divisions (see Lucy picture yesterday); dog #2 direction of stitchingthen I fill in these areas. I save the single overstitches until large areas are completed; then you can see the areas that need a different color or need to be lighter / darker.I try to make all the stitches work as I am stitching but I have done my fair share “Frog Stitching.”  I have even taken complete areas out, but like any technique, the more you use it the better you get. But the beauty of Random Stitching is that if you have the general direction of the fur correct, you can add subsequent layers of additional color to help make the fur realistic.

 

I do Random Stitching a bit different, but does that surprise anyone who knows me.

  • Long & Short  for blog #1: I use a Chenille needle (I use a Chenille needle for much of my stitching, but this is another day’s blog). Chenille needles are sharp and will pierce not only the threads but the canvas as well.  #2: And I stitch from the lower to the upper (clean hole to filled area.) I do this so I can change the direction of the line and still connect to previous stitches. Notice I did not say filled hole, you may not be using a filled hole…I have even been known to pierce the canvas threads if need be. I usually use a minimum of two strands/plies of thread when I am stitching the base layer and I try to split these strands/ plies as I stitch. The base of my Random Stitching is done the way diagramed but then the stitches on top are randomly stitched and can come up anywhere and go down anywhere.

     Another secret is the thread. I use mostly Epic yarns for my fur (http://www.epicyarn.com/index.html ). I have also used Felicity’s Garden and Newport Harbor threads from Rosebud Designs (http://www.rosebud-studio.com/yarn-menu.htm). All these threads have dyelot changes but when you are doing Random Stitch this doesn’t matter as it would if you were stitching a background with this thread, you want the subtle changes of color for fur.

     This is a brief general method of how I stitch Random Stitching. My best advice, jump in and try it, practice, practice, practice. Next blog I’ll show you some of the feathers and furs I have stitched.

    ttfn…sue

  • Week-end Stitching

    LucyFriday I was looking for something in my den and found “Lucy.” I had not forgotten about her…hard to do since she is at my feet all the time…but her needlepoint had just gotten put aside …out of site out of mind. All that was left to stitch was Lucy’s fur…so this weekend I stitched lots of Lucy.

     I am one of those people who like to do “Long & Short” stitch. Some stitchers are put-off by the term “Long and Short” Stitch, others go into stitching shock at the mere mention of this stitch…the only thing worse would be to tell these stitchers to use Marlitt. I learned very quickly to avoid the L&S words whenever possible, instead I prefer “Random Stitching or Directional Stitching.” These terms do not seem to strike terror in the eyes of stitchers; their eyes do not glaze over and sometimes you can even get them to try the stitch before they realize that this might be the dreaded L&S.

    I also think that Random Stitching is one of those stitches you have to be in the mood to stitch. If you are up tight (been there) or tired (been there too), you may not be open to the creative free spirit needed to stitch Random Stitch freely.

    Bk Creative NddlptOne of the best books in my library about creative free stitching  is Robert Cates’ book: Creative Needlepoint.  I bought this book many years ago at an ANG Bookstore but I have seen it on Amazon at different times.  I loved the way he stitched his designs freely and experimented with threads, textures and stitches. He bent the rules and colored outside the lines!

    So this week I am going to blog about Random Stitching. I’ll show you my method of stitching,  how I decide where to begin and  I’ll also show you some of the different pieces I have stitched.

    ttfn…sue