stitchalong last bit

•December 10, 2017 • 3 Comments

The last bit is his hat.

If you have the kit there will be some fuzzy white silk for this bit, but if you’re using your own materials a nice thick wool thread will do.

This is really a variation on the couching we’ve already done, so it’s not too challenging.

First bring the thick thread up at the edge of the area to be filled.

Then use a piece of ordinary white sewing thread to couch it down, but instead of couching it nice and flat as previously, couch it into fluffy little puffs

until you’ve filled the entire area.

and he’s finished!





stitchalong shiny bits

•December 3, 2017 • 1 Comment

Ok, So now we’re going to sew down the gilded leather bits.

With the kits I provided a genrous amount of gilt leather, but I haven’t cut it into the scales along the back. This is so you can make up your own mind as to what shape scales you’d like, I’ve used a gentle scallop, but you could use quite an agressive spiky pattern if you prefer – I’ve included enough leather so you can cut a piece of both and then decide.

Cut the scalloped row slightly longer than you think you need it, it’s best to sew almost to the end and then trim the last bit once you’re sure how it will fit because the way you sew it down can later the length.

Use a strong cotton or linen thread to sew down the leather. Anchor it at the back, and bring it through to the front of the work. Your first stitch should be through the back of the leather, but try not to break the front surface (a leather or glovers needle with a triangular point is best for this). do this at the end of your scalloped row.

You need to allow the scallop to bend, which it will mostly do at it’s narrowest points. Couch over the narrowest points to hold it roughly into place, trim it to shape, and then if you feel you need to do so add a few stitches through the back of the leather to anchor the thicker parts of the scallops.

You just have to use your judgement as to where to lay the scallops along the neck.

You also need to cut a little star out of leather and sew it onto the end of his tail, or you could use a lovely sparkly button if you prefered (I saw some whacking great swarovski ones in Bonds the other day for about six quid each which would have looked spectacular for this, and at that price you can only reallly afford one…)

The gilt strip is couched down in mcuh the same way as the rest of the leather. Start each row with a little stitch through the leather in order to stop it sliding about (it will move around if you don’t) and end each row the same way, but in between all you do is couch it – you don’t need to go through.

Again, don’t cut the end until you get to the end. Use a pair of small scissors to snip it away just before you sew the end down. It’s best to do the longer streches of gold first, and then fill in the short bits with the leftover bits in order to avoid having to join two pieces in the middle of the row.

I did the dragon with gold and the present with silver, but with the kits there should be enough to swap them round if you want – I’ve given you more strips of each than you need.

We’ll do his hat next week and then he’s all ready for Christmas

stitchalong, Dragon face

•November 26, 2017 • 1 Comment

Sorry I keep posting on Sundays rather than the promised Fridays, I’ve been full of cold and by the time I struggle through a week of work my brain os too fried to blog coherantly on Friday evenings – trust me, this is better.

For this we will be using split stitch as a filler, rather than as outline. It’s the same basic stitch, but packed tightly together.

Direction is very important. Go over the back so you can do rows of stitches all in the same direction, never back and forth.

Start by using you dark thread to outline the basic framework of the face- ear, eye, nostril and mouth. I’ve used two rows for each here, don’t worry if it looks a little heavy right now as it will be blended with the rest of the face.

His ear is a nice easy place to start, just go round and round from the point. Notice that I’ve not tried to fill right up to the edge as I’m leaving room for the gilt leather strip at the end. Note also how densley packed the stitch is.

Next bring a stitch out right by his ear and define the long curved line that runs down from his brow to his nose.

Fill in the nostril with a few tiny rows of stitch. When you come up to fill a space always come through a stitch and go down into another, your aim should ultimately be that no individual stitch stands out, but rahter they should blend into a harmonious whole.

Next take your needle out again by his ear and define the bulk of his cheek.

To fill the cheek work always in the same direction. come out by the ear and down by the eye. Always remember to split a previous stitch when starting or finishing a row.

work three or four rows this way

When that starts to feel a bit crowded, bring the row round into a smaller tighter circle and keep going to the centre of that spiral

Then work short rows down to fill the rest.

Next come up on top of the first line and work down and round his nostril again for a few rows. Blend in when you hit the cheek and come out again by the top of the ear.

Then come out at the other side of the forehead and work down round the outline, mouth, and chin, going back into the cheek.

work that same line round until it begins to touch, then fill in the jawline with short rows, making sure to always work your rows in a unified direction

Fill in the remaining wedge of forehead by working down from the base of his hat. Work one row on one side and then one on the other, taking care to blend them at the tip of the triangle where they meet.

Use a little more dark thread to give him some eyelashes, then work a few white highlights to bring his face to life. (Often I do the white first, and fill around it, but it’s almost impossible to photograph white on white, so in this case I did it last, but either way is fine)

Gilt leather strip next.

Bodleian/ ABC news

•November 20, 2017 • 17 Comments

I heard from the Bodleian last week. My Abc scroll has been chosen for display as part of the “Designing English” exhibition, which is at the Weston Library in Oxford from 1st December.

I haven’t won a prize though. But you can all feel free to go and see it and mail back to tell me mine was the best anyway;)

If you’d like to cheer me up and/or contribute towards the fee I’m going to have to pay to wordpress very soon because the blog is currently at 97% capacity. I have some jolly spiffy seasonal greetings cards with our favourite Christmas wyrm on them.

They have festive red envelopes, and are five pounds for three, or ten pounds for seven. post being one pound uk, two in Europe and four pounds elsewhere (sorry, post is getting shockingly expensive to the states).

speak up if you’d like a paypal invoice (I think once I pay for bloggage I can insert buttons again)

Stitchalong – oops I missed a bit

•November 19, 2017 • 4 Comments

I did the snowflakes last week and was so distracted by prep for the re-enactor’s market I forgot to delinieate the split stitch outline.

There isn’t very much because most of the outline will be done by shiny stuff.

Use some red to outline the small box and the candy cane…

When using split stitch for outlining a filled area always make sure you go up and down right through the edge of the filled area – if you leave a gap you will see it, so make it tight up against the completed area. This goes for the counted work as well as the laid and couched.

Then use brown and yellow to outline the dragonbear, dolly, and red present.

You can see that the lines delineating things like the edge of the box are just wowrked straight over the top, and you just have to eyeball them. Add a few white contour lines  as highlight.


Next Friday we’re going to look at the Dragon’s face.


•November 11, 2017 • 12 Comments

We are away for the weekend, and I found a tiny hole in my favourite cardi, so whilst Gareth was in the shower I repaired it with the wools from my handbag embroidery project

Is embellished knitwear on trend again this season?

stitchalong snowflakes

•November 9, 2017 • 6 Comments

off to the TORM early in the morning, so posting this now.

We’re going to move on to split stitch for the next few installments, starting with snowflakes.

Quick split stitch how too. I’ve taken a set of pics using chunky knitting wool because trying to photograph the stuff I actaully stitch with is a nightmare, so the stitches are a bit bigger.

bring the needle out from the back

Then take it back down again. When using finer wool you want the stitch to be about 4mm long

then go back up halfway through, splitting the stitch in two

Take the next stitch along so that half of it covers the existing stitch and the other half extends along the line.

make sure not to stretch the sttiches out. Ideally the back should look like a row of backstitch

And now for the snowflakes.

Please don’t stress out about making the snowflakes perfect, remember that no two snowflakes are ever alike, and that they can be a bit “organic” looking.

You want the first line to be about an inch long/ten pence piece sized/about the length of the top knuckle on your thumb (it’s not an exact science). Then cross it with two other lines

If you make each line about six stitches long that should be about right.

THe rest is done just with a basic stitch.

Make a diamond between each line with two stitches. don’t make these to big

And finally add some feathery bits to the ends of the lines. make sure to bring your stab stitches out from the split stitch so they blend.

Then scatter whole or partial snowflakes around the present as you see fit

I just took delivery of some rather spiffy cards with the christmas dragon on – does anyone want to buy any?