Wednesday, September 16, 2009

King Arthur large Nutcracker

Yes, I’ve been away from my blog for a while. This Michigan winter was so long (snow from November to April) that I stitched more canvases than ever. Now they are coming back from the finishers and I have time to write a bit before the Florida snowbirds start coming in droves.

I love the JB nutcrackers because their faces are usually fierce, just like the Steinbach nutcrackers I collect. King Arthur was finished quickly, not only because he is on 13 mesh, but because the canvas lent itself to large stitches. The large stitches were a real treat, since I am usually poring through my books looking for very small stitches for 18 mesh canvases.

The King’s crown was stitched in Kreinik gold braid #16. I broke the points and the base into individual sections, combining whatever stitches fit the area. The base is made of two rows top and bottom of Smyrna crosses alternating with the Mosaic stitch. The five rows in between were stitched with the Crossed Rice Stitch from June McKnight’s book of border stitches. I glued the rhinestones in place and anchored them with Jessica stitches.

His hair, mustache and beard were stitched with Silk & Ivory. His hair is done in Encroaching Gobelin over 4 and his mustache is the Stem/Outline stitch. For the beard, I stitched Plaited Gobelin, illustrated in “The Needlepoint Book” by Jo Christensen.

His cape, cuffs and coat border are stitched in white and black Angora in Giant Brick. I still haven’t decided whether to brush the fur with a soft toothbrush. And yes, Ruth Dilts and Joan Lohr were right (and why wouldn’t they be)—you can’t use a nap brush on Angora—it shreds it.

The center section of gold was done in reverse Mosaic with a full Mosaic centered down the middle and the sides ½ Mosaic stitch.

The main body of the coat is a 3-part stitch. The main stitch is a Mosaic in Silk & Ivory. The second part of the stitch was done in Patina, 2 stitches framing each side of the Mosaic, leaving a blank intersection. The third part is a cross-stitch done in Kreinik #12. The sleeves are stitched in alternating rows of vertical slanted Gobelin over 2 in Silk & Ivory and vertical tent in Kreinik #12.

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