So we’ve all been wowed in this space by the handiworking skills of Pookie, Boomer and Kate the Great, and today I finally felt compelled to take some pictures of a few pieces I’ve finished in my day. (And yes, the instant Thanksgiving is over we start slapping our Christmas stitching up on the walls. There’s nothing that improves the “Christmas at Hogwarts” feel of life at stately IPB Manor quite like it actually being Christmastime.)
Unlike my sisters and mother, I don’t like to work counted cross stitch with silks on linen. I’m a Victorian cross stitch girl, which is kind of where needlepoint and cross stitch meet. It’s worked in wool, over canvas, and while it’s not necessarily traditionally required to do so, the stitching is generally worked over the entire surface of the piece so there isn’t any visible canvas. I’ve found a few designers I like, but my favorite (and the most popular) by far is Elizabeth Bradley. All four of these pieces were stitched with her supplies, and three of them were stitched from kits (which come with a full-color chart, all the necessary yarns, and a painted canvas).
And felt sorry for myself one day when accompanying Pookie and Boomer on a shopping spree at The Attic, our favorite stitching store; as they were loading up on silks and linens and charts, I picked up the kit for this Christmas Rose.
I like to joke that my needlework is just bobo stitching — while Boomer and Pookie work their exquisite pieces on tinier and tinier fabric counts and with fancier and fancier silk fibers, I’m there puttering along with wool on ten-count canvas. But several forays by both of them into my Victorian cross stitch turf has proved that it’s not as easy as I think it is. It’s apparently tricky for some to maintain a steady, even tension to get the stitches to be consistent and even without being so tight that the canvas is visible through them. It’s also not easy to make the stitches look even when there are color changes or irregularly shaped color blocks. I’m staggeringly slow at these things (a small piece like these here will take me about eight weeks, and that’s when I’m actually motivated and not, say, writing game diaries for IPB), but I don’t feel like I’m bragging too much when I say my finished product is not half bad.
Oh, and it merits mention here that every one of these pieces was vastly improved by the gorgeous framing done for them by the good folks at The Attic. I just love how these all turned out.