Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Cat in Wool

Lotus Pillar CloseUp

Last time I talked about my Egyptian Cat canvas, I promised a good look at the finished lotus pillars with their silk ribbon tops. Here you go!

Now it's time to turn my attention to the cat.  I have Colonial Needle's Persian wool in black to use for the cat, but what stitch?   The cat itself is a stylized one, not realistic, so I decided I would skip the traditional stitches for fur in favor of something with pattern or texture.  But what?

I found the answer on Facebook with an optical illusion stitch Tony Minieri used in the background of a Debbie Mumm canvas he wrote a stitch guide for.  I thought it would give the perfect illusion of texture on my cat.  Here is what I came up with.  The photo is black and white so you can see black stitches on black canvas.  It's a light coverage stitch with the unstitched voids between stitches creating the illusion of a curve.

By the way, I separated the Persian wool into three plies and stitched with only one.  Tapestry Fair's Egyptian Cat is on 18 count and that works best for that size canvas.  The thread itself has a very tight twist, making it quite durable in basketweave, but if you do another stitch using just one ply, use a larger needle than usual as the needle will abrade the thread in the eye and cause it to separate if you use the size needle you are used to on 18 count.

Tony's Optical Illusion Stitch

I worked this stitch on the bottom of the cat up to the collar.  I switched to tent stitches in the spaces between the collar rows and also used tent stitches on the cat's neck.  You will never guess what stitch I used for the cat's face and ears--skip tent!   This isn't a traditional stitch to use with wool, but this isn't a traditional cat.  Skip tent in my Colonial wool looks great.

Skip Tent Chin

In this photograph the cat's chin only is worked in skip tent.  However, I have finished the face except for one ear by now.  Next time I post I hope to have finished the ears and nose and perhaps the eyes so I'll be ready to start on the cat's elaborate collar and headpiece.  Stay tuned!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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  1. This worked out well! I am stealing the idea of showing black stitches on black canvas!

    1. We all help each other out with ideas. That's the power of the Internet!