Monday, February 3, 2014

Blue Russian: Fur Cuffs

Wrist Fur Cuffs

Welcome back to the next step in working the Northern Light Santa!  It is time to start on the fur trim.  I did the wrist fur first.   The trim around both wrists is done in small French knots (one wrap) mixing a strand of the white Petite Silk Lame Braid with either white or gray Wisper, depending on what shade the fur is in that area.  Use as small a needle as possible to help keep the French knots small. I used a size 22 needle.  I came up in one hole and went over a thread into a neighboring hole to help secure the French knots.

Before you stitch the mitten holding the staff, do tent stitches between the thumb and the rest of the mitten. Then work your French knots around the wrist from the mitten working toward the outer edge. Keep the French knots away from the thumb area so you don’t overwhelm it. In other words, don’t stitch a French knot over the canvas thread nearest the mitten. Once you finish the French knots on both wrists, check the staff and fur wrist trim to see what background stitches you need to add to this area. You may find you need a few more than you originally thought.   If you look in the photo above, you can see gray to the right of the staff just below the fur cuff.  I will probably stitch that in the blue outer robe colors instead of covering it with background stitches.

Also note that the mitten holding the lantern has some fur area paint showing under the mitten between the lantern handle under the fingers.  I haven't stitched that spot yet as I was waiting to see how the front of the robe turned out.  I thought it possible I would just use the robe stitches there and cover the fur trim paint, but I decided that these need to be stitched in French knots.  It's easy to overlook this area, so I just wanted to point out it is there.  Remember, I am making this up as we all stitch away, so I do change my mind about areas or have to wait and see before I can tell you what I did.  Sometimes things work, sometimes they don't, but it always takes a little time to know how things will turn out!

Not everyone likes making French knots.  If you are among that group, consider using Colonial knots instead.  (They won't be as small as the French knots since they have two wraps so you will need to be especially careful to keep them away from that thumb.)   Here are instructions. The first link has a video, the second has step-by-step photos.

Because the ermine trim and the front of Santa's robe are going to take so long, I decided to make this a short lesson.  Once you finish your French knots fur, continue stitching and beading your background.  For some bonus fun, take your Blue Russian into a dark room and watch the beard, eyebrows and the wrist fur glow in the dark!  Glow-in-the-dark thread isn't just spooky, it is icy, too!

By the way, I reorganized the Materials List so that everything was grouped by manufacturer.  I thought this would make it easier to print off and shop from. As I add new threads, I'll put them in bold so you don't miss anything.   Questions? Email me at chillyhollow @ and I'll get back to you by the next day.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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