Saturday, March 6, 2010

Update from Other Stars and Kirk & Hamilton Stitchers

Other folks are blog-stitching Tony Minieri's Stars or a Kirk & Hamilton piece and I wanted you to know they've posted updates on their work on the Internet.

First, Donna is reporting about the Stars experience she is having.  Right now she is still settling on colors but I think she's on the right track.

Donna also found out whose Stars piece she admired at the Woodlawn Plantation exhibit last year.  Small world!

Sara Leigh, who belongs to the same stitching group as Donna, has her colors chosen.  They are cheerful and give me hope spring is on the way.  (Maybe.)

Robin King is stitching a small Kirk & Hamilton cat design.  You can watch her progress stitching the cat and its pumpkin balloon on the Needlepoint Study Hall blog.

Anyone else?

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at
Archived Yahoo 360 postings at

Eyes, Nose, Ears, Tail and Candy Cane

I've added quite a few Stash Credits this morning based on all the stitching I did last night on the candy cane dog.  Elmer is holding his candy cane now.  It's sort of awkward looking but that is how it was painted.  I am beginning to think this is not actually candy, but is a stuffed dog toy that has been through the wringer.  One of my dogs loves stuffed toys and even sleeps with them, but none are in particularly good shape after a romp with Suki who is a powerful Akita.  The candy cane may well be a much-loved dog toy being presented to Elmer's owner as a sign of affection.  That thought makes up for the slightly off-kilter and lumpy rendering of the candy cane.

I laid 2 or 3 (depending on the area's width) long lengths of white Very Velvet along the length of the candy cane and at the crook, then covered this with 3-4 layers of ribbon floss in my favorite color -- 142F-2 White.  Ribbon floss is easily snagged even by rough spots on your fingers and needs to be laid to keep the twists from making the surface of the candy cane rough. Use short lengths. Once I got the Very Velvet covered to my satisfaction, I wrapped the length with red Silk Lame Braid.   I could have used the red Crystal Braid that was used in the stocking top and toe, but I thought I'd use Silk Lame Braid to perhaps add a little more interest to the design with a slightly different red.  It was hard to get the Silk Lame Braid on the top of the candy cane smoothly.  Another ribbon floss in red might have been a better and smoother choice, but I like how it turned out.  A dog's toy won't be perfect after it has been well loved, after all.

Elmer's red collar was stitched in the same Vineyards Silk and Sheep's Silk I used for his stocking cap. The stitches on each end were long slanted ones which the center stitches were upright.  Whether leaning or upright, all stitches covered the red painted area of the collar.

His dog tag is three shades of Rainbow Gallery's Coronet Braid, which I love for its shine.  The shadow on the right is in the gold and silver mix called Vatican Gold 83B, the center highlight is the Pewter 85B, and the rest of the dog tag is the yellow Arctic Gold 82B. In all cases I used outline stitches and size 8 Coronet Braid, which fits 18 count canvas nicely.  Coronet Braid is somewhat stiff so you will need to coax it into position with your needle or the tip of a laying tool but it shines like the dickens in artificial light.

Elmer's nose is done in two threads:  the dark brown Mandarin Floss M821 and the tan Impressions 1136.  I laid a strand of the darker Mandarin Floss across the top of his nose, then wrapped it with short vertical stitches in the same thread.  The bottom of the nose is just slanted \ / stitches in the tan Impressions.

Elmer's eyes are ringed with the dark brown Mandarin Floss, then the yellow parts are done in Kreinik yellow gold #028 (size 8 braid).  I finished up with the black and white highlights in black Impressions 0020 and a white wool from my stash that is not labeled (I think it is Silk & Ivory).  All the stitches were tent stitches except for the black Impressions. There I used a cross stitch to not give too much direction to Elmer's gaze.

I finished by stitching Elmer's ears and the tip of his tail in packed stem stitches with more of the black Impressions.  All this takes a very long time to tell but it was only a few hours of stitching.

The next part is to tackle his fur.  I want to use a stitch for his fur I haven't tried before, and will test stitch two possibilities this morning before everyone is up here and the day officially begins.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at
Archived Yahoo 360 postings at