Archive for category Hardanger

The Faerie’s Needle by Michelle Ink

Copyright Michelle D Arsenault, Michelle Ink Needlework Designs, 1997. Distributed by Sitting Pretty Presents.

Faerie’s Needle by Michelle Ink

Chart: As with previous Michelle ink charts, I found a lot of difficulty making sense of the instructions placement on this chart. To start the whole chart pack is hand-drawn on pink paper.  The printed instructions are all in italics.  I’m sure this is quite “cute” but it does not assist in the use of the chart.

Stitches: Pattern uses whole cross stitches, fractional stitches, backstitch, Kloster blocks, needleweaving, satin stitch, button-hole stitch, centred doves eyes, cornered doves eyes and woven bars.

Materials: Caron Wildflowers, Caron Waterlilies, Leah #8 perle coton, Leah #12 perle coton, DMC #12 perle coton, Rainbow Gallery Splendor, Rainbow Gallery Nordic Gold, Kreinik, cord, Kreinik blending filament, Gentle Arts Sampler Threads, Needle Necessities floss (now ThreadworX), Mill Hill beads, Access Commodities beads and treasures. Stitched on Wichelt 32ct “China White” (or Platinum) Linen.

Designer’s Notes: “As the wizard’s inkwell tipped and magic spilled from it – so the eye of the faerie’s needle has magic flowing from it. Agnes Rose sits with her golden needle blowing bubbles – sparkling, glittering, magical bubbles. You see – as the wizard has his potions – Agnes Rose has her needles, and in this piece she is taking a moment to amuse herself with a simple child’s game. Each “bubble” has a different hardanger centre.”

Why I was attracted to this design: I’ve started the companion design Wizard’s Inkwell. So I bought this as the next design to do. Wizard’s Inkwell is blues and purples, while this one is greens and oranges. So I thought they would work well together. Also I thought they would be great Hardanger teaching pieces.

So why haven’t I stitched it?  Well I haven’t finished Wizard’s Inkwell yet. I have the same problem with both of these charts as I do with Haunted Hardanger.  Michelle Ink expects a degree of assumed knowledge in her stitchers that I just don’t have.  The  instructions are written as reminders for experienced stitchers familiar with Hardanger and this style of stitching. They are not written as guides for complete novices like me.

Where can you buy it? This Michelle Ink chart can be bought via your LNS or directly from Stitching Pretty Presents for $12.00 (US).

Discussion questions: I really wish designers would provide clearer photos of their designs as cover photos.  I know some may be worried that their design can be copied from a clear photo, but honestly, isn’t a really good photo more helpful to the stitcher and likely to cause more sales?  What are your thoughts?  Please don’t be afraid to disagree with me!

10 July 2012: Haven’t started kitting up.  Need to gird my loins and get back into Wizard’s Inkwell first!


Fell Sampler by Alchemy Stitchcraft

Copyright Christine Wilkins, Alchemy Stitchcraft, 2001.

Fell Sampler by Alchemy Stitchcraft

Chart: This Alchemy Stitchcraft chart pack  is printed over eight Letter/A4 pages. As with most specialty stitch band samplers, the chart only consists of one page, the rest are the instructions and diagrams for each band.  Alchemy Stitchcraft have provided two pages of quick band instructions for the intermediate stitcher.  They have followed this up with pages of diagrams and separate pages of instructions on Hardanger and Hemstitching for the novice.  I like this approach because the intermediate or advanced stitcher has the information they need right where they need it.  The novice stitcher has entire separate sheets of information to assist in particular bands before going back to the main design.

Stitches: Pattern uses Bargello, Ladder Hemstitching, Alternating Knot Stitch, Fan stitch, Wave stitch, Silk ribbon embroidery (rosettes), Straight stitch, Backstitch, Rice stitch, Long Armed Cross, Fern stitch, Kloster blocks, Greek Crosses, Woven bars, Queen stitch, Fly stitch, Vertical cross, Herringbone stitch, Algerian eyelets, cross stitch.

Materials: Anchor stranded cotton, Anchor Perle #8, Kreinik blending filament, Mill Hill Beads, Sampler Threads Overdyed Floss, Thread Gatherer Variegated Ribbon. Stitched on Zweigart 28ct “Smokey Pearl” linen.  The beads, overdyed floss and ribbon can be purchased as a Goody Bag with this design.

Designer’s Notes: In shades of dusky mauve and soft green, this mixed stitch sampler inspired by the wild beauty of the fells, incorporates distant bargello hills, silk ribbon and bead-work heather blossoms, a Hardanger stream, and bands of many different counted thread stitches.

Why I was attracted to this design: I have admired and lusted after Alchemy Stitchcraft designs for many many years. Christine’s use of colours and stitches gives such an atmosphere to her designs that I find lacking in many samplers. Actually thinking that through, that may explain why there are so few band samplers in my stash, I find more of them .. sterile.  They are technically a challenge but the pieces have no warmth to them!  Alchemy Stitchcraft Samplers do!

So why haven’t I stitched it?  This piece was a recent gift from Claire!  Like yesterday’s entry, this one will need to be finished kitting up.  Thanks to Claire, I have the Goody Bag as well as the chart, but I also need the Anchor threads, the fabric, the working brain and the courage to try all of those bands.  this one has drawn thread work *and* Hardanger! Ack! Help!

Where can you buy it? Alchemy Stitchcraft are no longer selling direct to the public, but Wye Needlecraft in the UK have the full range and all the Goody Bags. You can order direct from Wye Needlecraft, or you could ask your favourite LNS or ONS to contact Alchemy Stitchcraft and order this in for you.  You should pay around £7.00 (UK) for the chart and an optional extra £6.00 (UK) for the Goody Bag.

Discussion questions: Band Samplers – love them, ignore them? Do you love them because of the work you put into them or because of how beautiful they look on the wall afterwards?

Project Status:
2 June 2012: Need to finish kitting this and screw up my courage!