Thursday, October 8, 2015

A completed background!

This past week, the weather here has been pretty dismal, making it difficult to distinguish the colors of the foliage in the background of the Nutcracker/Packages stocking.  But hooray!--the background is finally done, and the rest of the stitching should be fairly easy.

Ornament hooks were added in tent stitches with Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #001.  The largest nutcracker's crown was worked in diagonal oblong cross stitches with Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #002.

There's a three-inch cuff that needs to be stitched, so I'll work on that next in between wrapping up another column for Needlepoint Now.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Reaching the top

I've been away for a week, attending the last and most special September wedding--that of my oldest son.  The darling guy who 15 years ago brought home a puppy one night, asking "Ma, can we keep her?" finally brought me a daughter.  And she is a keeper!

Obviously, I couldn't take Nutcracker/Packages on the plane with me.  In fact, I didn't take any stitching, just a book.  But it sure was good to feel a needle in my hand when we returned home.

The largest nutcracker's tunic is now completed, trimmed with Kreinik #12 tapestry braid 002 in tent stitches and Smyrna crosses.  Sheep's Silk Old Gold was used in satin stitches for the epaulets and diagonal mosaic and reverse diagonal mosaic for the collar.  The red arches and band on his crown were worked in tent and slanted Gobelin stitches with red Petite Very Velvet.

More progress has been made on the background, with the section between the two brown branches at the top left almost finished.  And that lovely white line at the top of the photo marks the outside edge of the painted design!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Still scrolling

It was just a matter of time before the largest nutcracker got his face--or part of one, anyway.    His eyebrows and mustache will be added later, but at least there are a pair of twinkling blue eyes looking at me!

Work continues on his red tunic, with only one sleeve left to go.  The bottom of his tunic now has a little trim in tent stitches and Smyrna crosses using Kreinik #12 tapestry braid 002.

The background on the right now reaches the middle of the red ornament, with the left side almost at the same level.  With one more scroll, I'll actually be able to see the top of the painted design area!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Scrolling along

Daytime stitching enabled more work on the background, which now reaches to the middle of the blue ornament on the left and just above the hook for the gold ornament on the right.

The middle nutcracker now has cuffs on his sleeves, worked in an interlocking/encroaching Gobelin stitch with vintage red DMC Medici wool.  Kreinik #12 tapestry braid 102 and 080HL were added to complete his belt.

The section between the largest nutcracker's tunic and pants was filled in with a woven stitch with Sheep's Silk Old Gold.  The bottom of his tunic and his glove were worked in an interlocking/encroaching Gobelin stitch with two values of red Impressions.  There's a lot of red in his tunic, so I've started on the sleeve on the  right in hopes there's enough thread in my stash to finish this area.

I'm making a shopping list of threads I'll need to finish the areas I've skipped as I make my way up to the top of the canvas!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Seeing the light

A couple of glorious, sunny mornings made it possible to work some more on the background of the Nutcracker/Packages stocking.  The foliage now reaches a little above the brim of the middle nutcracker's helmet on both sides of the stocking.

The trim on the front of the middle nutcracker's tunic was added in tent and Smyrna crosses with Kreinik #12 tapestry braid 102.  His belt was started with Sheep's Silk Old Gold in satin stitches, with more Kreinik metallic added in the buckle.

Sheep's Silk Old Gold was also used for the top of hit boots in a Double stitch, and for the epaulets of the smallest nutcracker in satin stitches.  The little nutcracker has a helmet and belt now, stitched in basketweave with black Petite Very Velvet.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Nutcracker/Packages: Filling in

The face of the middle nutcracker is finished, using DMC floss in satin stitch for the nose and cheeks and vintage black DMC Medici wool in satin stitch for the eyebrows and mustache.

Next up was his tunic, stitched with Vineyard Silk Classic Celestial in basketweave so it was easier to compensate around the gold frogs down the front.  His epaulets were worked in a satin stitch with Sheep's Silk Old Gold and trimmed with Kreinik #12 tapestry braid 102.

His pants were worked with Vineyard Silk Classic Pewter in alternating rows of tent stitches and slanted Gobelin stitches over two threads.  The pant leg of the largest nutcracker was stitched with Felicity's Garden Baby Squirrel in rows of slanted Gobelin stitches over three threads.

Rummaging in my stash, I found three shades of green that would be suitable for the foliage in the background:  Burmilana for the darkest green and two shades of Impressions.  I popped a few stitches in around the middle nutcracker and will add to these when stitching light is at its best.  There's plenty to stitch in this area of the canvas alone, so I'll continue to raid my stash and fill in larger design elements before moving on.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Heel, toe, up I go!

When folks start to stitch a canvas, they generally start at the top and work down.  But that practice isn't chiseled in stone--some stitchers start in the middle and work their way out to the sides.  On the Nutcracker/Packages stocking, I started stitching at the bottom where the expanse of solid background is largest.

Three strands of DMC floss 3760 in basketweave covers the canvas nicely and creates a lower profile to highlight decorative stitches which will be placed next to it.

With this much background done, I stitched the face of the smallest nutcracker so I'd have a happy face to look at.  More DMC floss was stitched in basketweave, with the cheeks and nose worked in a satin stitch.  Eyebrows and mustache were created with an interlocking/encroaching Gobelin stitch using some vintage DMC Medici wool.

I've started in on the face of the middle nutcracker, and when it's finished, will probably move around a little using threads from my stash.