Progress Report: When Witches Go Riding

One week of working on “When Witches Go Riding” has passed, and I have quite a bit to show for it:

When Witches Go Riding Week 1

In the past, I’ve struggled with what fibers to use on Prairie Schooler charts. I always did Christmas charts in DMC because of the need for a true Santa Claus red. But for others I’ve used Au Ver Au Soie to mostly fabulous results. Just last year, though, Boomer stitched up a Fall piece using a Belle Soie conversion put together by the fine folks at the Attic. It turned out stunning.

Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves Details

When the time came to pick threads for this chart, I couldn’t get the vivid Autumn orange from that piece out of my mind. I thought, “A Halloween orange needs to glow. It can’t be flat at all or else the spirit of the season just will not convey!” The Belle Soie is variegated dyed silk, and it’s super soft and luxurious. I’d been using Belle Soie on another project, but had gotten frustrated with it. The black threads kept disintegrating while I stitched. Not cool! I decided to chalk it up to a lemon batch of silk, because Belle Soie Lasagne was the perfect Halloween orange and was simply too good to pass up.

Using the Lasagne as a starting point, I then identified that I’d need a moon yellow, a spooky black for the outlines and the cats, and a nice dark red for leaves and the house. Check, check, and check. Belle Soie had perfect colors for each of them — Butterscotch, Noir, and Cranberry. Then I found the perfect linen, a nice piece of 36 count Edinboro in a colorway called “Dirty”. (No, it’s not blue, but as we established in comments the other day, it would have been pretty cool if I had chosen a medium blue linen for this. Next time. Heh.) I was all set to leave it at that when I realized, “Oops! The chart calls for green and brown, too!” For some reason that I can’t remember, I pulled Au Ver Au Soie for those. Anyway, I was committed, at that point, to taking Belle Soie for another spin.

Fortunately, it’s turning out perfectly. The black thread is nice and strong and doesn’t pull apart at the slightest touch. Deborah at the Attic had suggested I might have had a nick in the needle that was pulling on it to make it fall apart. I think I got defective thread. In any event, this time the stuff works like a charm (provided I don’t have to rip out more than three half-stitches). It floats through the air it’s so fine and light. The color tones are subtle but striking (provided I’m careful about ending the thread when the variegation gets too wild, but more on that in a future post). The thread lies perfectly flat and even without much effort (thanks in part to the Edinboro linen).

When Witches Go Riding Detail

As awesome as the fibers, colors, and design are, though, I think my favorite part of working on this project so far is that my Sanjou tortoiseshell scissors match perfectly!

Tortoiseshell Scissors

Written by Pookie



Filed under Pins and Needles, Progress Reports, Stitching

14 responses to “Progress Report: When Witches Go Riding

  1. hg

    Those are beautiful pieces. Well done, ladies, well done. I can’t wait to see yours framed, Pookie!

  2. Give the way our framer works, it won’t be ready to go for a while, but that’s okay! It’ll be ready for next Halloween, and that’s all the counts!

  3. hg

    I love it. I need to get working on the mystery project. I think in between cooking lasagna and watching the Amazing Race, I should be able to get it done.

  4. Oooh, lasagna! That sounds good! I need to remember to ask Schnookie to make that more this winter. Have fun watching the Amazing Race!

  5. hg

    Lasagna is done; Amazing Race is done; mystery project not done… Oh well… Lazy Sunday it is.

  6. Hey, there’s a lot to be said for lazy Sundays! And making Lasagna counts for doing something productive, so it’s not a full-on LAZY lazy Sunday. :D

  7. Ooh, these are gorgeous. Look at how far you got on these! Both you and Boomer’s work look fantastic (as per usual of course).

    I am full on addicted to the non-DMC floss now. I really need to find a needlework shop near my house.

  8. I am full on addicted to the non-DMC floss now.

    Isn’t it fun! Sometimes the variegation can be annoying, but most of the time, I just love the quality of the colors in the Weeks Dye Works and the Gentle Arts. I don’t think I sent you any Crescent Colors, but they’re pretty awesome too — those colors are little funkier than WDW and GA.

  9. Isn’t it fun! Sometimes the variegation can be annoying, but most of the time, I just love the quality of the colors in the Weeks Dye Works and the Gentle Arts.

    Oh, it’s gorgeous! I started on one of those Quaker Christmas smalls and totally abandoned Icebergs! for that. The floss has made it so much fun!

    Seriously, I could stare at that floss all day. Pretty. :D

  10. I’m so glad you’re loving the floss! I’m glad it found a good home, and I can’t wait to see the Quaker ornament finished!

  11. I can’t wait to see the Quaker ornament finished!

    As soon as I get a little farther on it, I’ll have to take some progress pictures for you. With that Lakeside Linen it looks amazing. I’m so thrilled! Thank you again!

    Your present was a little wonky getting here, so I haven’t dropped it in the mail yet, but hopefully it’ll go out tomorrow and you guys will get it in the mail by the end of the week!

  12. Oooooh! Present! I can’t wait! :D

    And I also can’t wait to see the progress on the Quaker ornament. I’m so glad you’re enjoying it!

  13. Dear Pookie,
    I know it is maybe unusual to reply on an older post. But I am looking for the pattern on both of these prairy schooler pieces but am not able to find them.
    Is there any change you know where i can buy “when witches go riding” and “Autumn leaves no 132” ?
    I woul very much appreciate it if you would be so kind to answe me.
    thank you.


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