April WIPocalypse – Part One

Which specialty stitches do you love doing on projects?  Which do you dread?

I like most specialty stitches. I started learning them while stitching designs from Just Nan and the Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament issues, and both had great instructions for all sorts of stitches. When I started to needlepoint a few years back, I learned how to use special stitches to make painted needlepoint canvases more interesting when I stitched them, and I have reference books I use for ideas regarding stitches that are good for sky, water, buildings, etc. I love the look of a needlepoint canvas with different stitches.

My favorite stitches vary, depending on what I’m doing. I tend to like Rice, Herringbone, Algerian Eye, and Rays when working on linen. When I’m needlepointing a painted canvas, I often find myself using Byzantine, Diagonal Mosaic, Cashmere, and Scotch stitches. I sometimes use “light stitching” on painted canvas, where the effect is more about giving the color that is already on the canvas a bit more interest than to completely cover it.

I also like to learn new crochet stitches, though I’m not as accomplished a crocheter as I’d like. I want to learn Tunisian Crochet and how to make Broomstick Lace. I’m also starting to work with crochet thread and smaller hooks, so we’ll see how that goes.

As far as stitches I dread, there are only a few:

  • I refuse to make Bullion Knots – and I have a good reason. I made lots of them on a freestyle piece I made several years ago, and something about the way I was making them gave me tendonitis in one hand, and it took a long time to go away. I love the look of them, but it’s just not worth it.
  • My Queen stitches look horrid on linen, but not as bad on canvas, for some reason. There is probably a trick to making these that I haven’t yet learned.
  • I was scared to death of Hardanger for years, but took one of Julie Norton‘s classes at Celebration of Needlework two years ago and am a little better, though I should probably take a refresher course or sit down with my work, as I haven’t worked on it for a while.
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