Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Taming the Tricky Stitch

Black Stitches on Cat Body

The bottom of the Egyptian Cat was a little tricky to stitch because a)  I am using a black thread (one ply of a strand of Colonial Needle's Persian wool) on a black area, b) the area itself is rather narrow with lots of compensation between the Egyptian collar's strands, and c)  the stitch itself turned out to be rather difficult to count correctly.  I have certain tricks to help with all of these.

When you stitch with black threads on a black area good lighting is essential.  This is a small area so I was able to stitch it in brief time periods during daylight areas.    If the area had been large enough I needed to work it at night when I normally do the bulk of my stitching, I might have used a white hand towel in my lap as well as good lighting.  I'm told red towels work equally well but I tend to use white as I have plenty of those stashed away in my kitchen.

I was able to use tent stitches in those narrow areas between the bottom body of the cat and the head where the collar covered much of the canvas.  Tent stitches are a life-saver in those areas!

Straight Lines That Curve
I ended up turning my stitch diagram and my canvas on their sides so that I worked this horizontal stitch vertically.  For me, a vertical stitch is easier to see and count for some reason.  The next time your stitch gives you fits, try turning it and the canvas a quarter turn.  You may be surprised at how much easier the stitch is to work when it is turned on its head.

Straight Line Curves On the Side

By the way, this optical illusion stitch was used by Tony Minieri on the background of a Debbie Mumm canvas and I diagrammed it from there. Thanks, Tony!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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© Copyright May 5, 2016 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.


  1. Love the lotus pillars too!

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you. This has been a lot of fun, Peggi. I'm now wrestling with the jewelry, trying to find the right balance of gleam without sparkle and the right scale. Wish me luck!