Schnookie Sometimes Stitches Too (Christmas Edition)

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.)

Christmas pieces, in a row

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).

The first one I made in this seasonal collection was the Snow Geese…
Snow Geese

I chased that one with an impulse-buy of the Christmas Camel kit…
Off to see the Bejesus

Then I busted out of my reliance on EB’s kits and stitched the Figgy Pudding from a pattern in one of her books…
Figgy Pudding

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.
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.
Detail of Camel

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.



Filed under Pins and Needles, Stitching

6 responses to “Schnookie Sometimes Stitches Too (Christmas Edition)

  1. HG

    I think you need to create a Maple Hoo Getaway weekend where your guest (me) can stitch and eat and watch hockey. You need to market this and charge through the roof (except to me).

    Your pieces are neat. I think that my grandma has done some pieces like this.

    When I was in Michael’s last week (yes, lame, I know. I’m scared to head into a real stitching shop.) and found two pieces that I may need to go get just to put in the craft room (read: Rubbermaid tote that doubles as my coffee table) just to have for later. You know, later being 15 years at the pace I’m going.

  2. Oh! A Maple Hoo Getaway weekend! That’s a great idea! And other than the cost of getting here, it’s totally free — just as CapsChick!

    I’m glad to have my suspicions confirmed that I stitch like a grandma. :P

    It is VITALLY important to buy the pieces you like when you see them. I mean, if they’re not in your craft room (I love the description of yours — it sounds a lot like Pookie’s craft room. My craft room is a teetering pile of boxes on a table in the basement, where everything was hastily and disorganizedly heaped to get off the floor when we had a flooding issue last Spring) when you want to start them some time in the next 15 years, then how will you ever get to start a new project? I hope to die with a second lifetime’s worth of unstarted projects in my basement.

  3. A well-stocked stitching stash is essential! A word to the wise, though? Keep it organized. I ended up being pushed to the brink of tears over my current project, so I was all set to put it aside in favor of some woodland santas but I was only able to find the linen, but not the threads or the chart. Stupid stash!

  4. HG

    I will let you know when I am able to book my MHG.

    Yeah… I thought about that connotation but it wasn’t what I meant at all!

    I haven’t been able to stop thinking about these ones so I will head out and get them. Once they are in the craft room, it doesn’t matter how long they sit there. I do believe that HR has fabric in her craft room since I was born but she actually has a room so that might be why… I have visions of my craft room all organized with shelves and peg boards and everything but then I think I wouldn’t do anything because I wouldn’t want to mess it up! :D

  5. Boomer saved the day and found the Woodland Santas and accompanying materials, so I’m happily stitching away on a Santa and sleigh! Yay! I also had dreams of a nicely organized stitching room, and we even have the perfect spot for it here, but… I guess we’re just not highly organized people! Part of our very-very-very looooong term renovation plans here at Maple Hoo include putting together an atalier-esque space with big windows and flat files and tons of little drawers and all that good stuff. I doubt we can get permits to add that to the second story, so we might have to settle for just redoing the basement so that it’s easier to find stuff (i.e. we’ll just have to settle for cleaning up all our junk!).

  6. HG

    Yay Boomer! I just took the lid off my craft room to see if I could find my next two projects that I already have and they are not in there so they must be somewhere in the second bedroom (which is really a room :P).

    Your idea sounds wonderful. You’ll have to put pictures of that in your advertising brochure.

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