Archive for category Stitching Pretty Presents

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!


Enjoy the Show by Carol’s Needle Sketches

Copyright Carol Bristow, Carol’s Needle Sketches, 2005. Distributed by Stitching Pretty Presents.


Enjoy the Show by Carol's Needle Sketches

Chart: This Carol’s Needle Sketches chart is printed over two Letter/A4 pages with no overlap rows.  The symbols are easy to see and easy to follow.  There are only two floss colours and the symbols are quite different. This design could easily be stitched without the requirement for a working copy.

Stitches: Pattern uses whole Cross stitch and buttons.

Materials: Thread Gatherer Silk n Colours silks, DMC stranded cottons and Just Another Button company buttons. Stitched on Wichelt 32ct “Amber” linen.

Designer’s Notes: “Of course life is bizarre, the more bizarre it gets, the more interesting it is. The only way to approach it is to make yourself some popcorn and enjoy the show.” Okay, I admit it! I designed this piece because I saw the buttons in a catalog, and just had to have them. Of course then I needed to design something so that I could use them. My stitching skills far surpass my drawing skills so I went searching for a good quotation and found this one, by David Gerrold. I loved his view on life, and so a chart was born.

Why I was attracted to this design: My life has had a couple of bizarre twists in it, or at least a couple of interesting points.  I need to remember to stop trying to control everything and sit back and enjoy the show sometimes.

So why haven’t I stitched it? I’m not sure whether I have the Silk n Colours thread for this, but the big holdup has been the fabric.  I didn’t like the plain Amber that was called for in this one, but I didn’t really know what else to use either. So although I have the popcorn button pack and maybe even the threads, it just sat waiting for the right fabric.

Which I might now have! In a visit with Julie a couple of days ago she gave me a gift of, amongst other goodies, a piece of Zweigart 28ct “Sparkling Promise” opalescent linen.  I think this will work!  We thought it would be perfect for Milk Minou, but unfortunately Milk Minou is too large for both designs to fit on the same piece of fabric.  I just have to choose between them!

Where can you buy it? I think Carol’s Needle Sketches designs are all Out of Print now. They used to be distributed via Stitching Pretty Presents but that appeared to have stopped a while ago and now that Carol has passed on, I don’t think anyone is publishing her designs. I suggest checking a LNS or ONS that stocks older charts or trying eBay. Or comment below and I will pass on my chart after I have stitched it.

Discussion questions: Which design would choose to stitch on the Sparkling Promise fabric?

Project Status:
7 June 2012: Partially kitted. Need to wait until the rest of my stash arrives to check if I have the Thread Gatherer “Dragon’s Breath” floss.