Thursday, January 3, 2013

Who Gives a Hoot?

Apparently, I give a hoot.....or 9 to be exact!  I finished Lily tonight, my 9th Raymond Crawford owl.  She is pretty in pink and was just about 100 too many French Knots for my taste!  My fingers are numb from all the french knots!

Meet Lily

Oops, now I am seeing that there are about 8 french knots in the lower right corner that I left off.  I will get right on that.  Obviously, I am loving these Owls.  Many of the Needlepoint bloggers refer to WIPs (works in progress).  Well, count this as one of mine....completed tonight, Day 3 of 2013!  

Obviously, I will not keep this pace up as I am ticking off all the smaller things that I have on my list.  It is funny that I am so reticent to begin again on the Stocking for henry.  I have quoted her before and I will do so again, " I can't think about that today, I simply go crazy if I do.  I'll think about that tomorrow." (Thank you Katie Scarlett O'Hara Hamilton Kennedy Butler .......obviously, you suffered from indecision and procrastination as I do!)

More to stitch tomorrow!  Cheers!


  1. It looks so pretty! I love pink and yellow together. How did you do the ruffles on her head? I'm about to do French knots tonight for the first time and a little nervous. I've practiced on some doddle canvas and think I have the hang of it but I'm a perfectionist. :-)

  2. Thank you, Whitney! You will be an instant pro at French Knots! The key is minding your tension! With what thread are you stitching them? That can make it more of a challenge at first.

    The ruffles are so easy and give you a big effect for little effort.

    Step 1: Choose a ribbon and coordinating floss (you can use any ribbon). I think that River Silks has great colors for this and it comes in 4mm and 7 mm depending on what size ruffle you want. But, as I said, it can be a non-stitching ribbon.

    Step 2: Cut a length of ribbon about 3 times as long as your desired area and a piece of the floss the same length approx. Knot the end of the ribbon and bring it up on the edge of the area that you want to cover. Secure the floss on the back of the canvas and, using a chenille needle, bring it up in the same hole as the ribbon.

    Step 3: Using the chenille needle, take a basting stitch down the entire length of the ribbon. Not directly in the ribbon's center, but just inside one edge. Do not torture yourself trying to make even basting stitches, just similar in size.

    Step 4: Cut another length of floss (not nearly as long) and, using the chenille needle that you just basted with, thread up and secure this thread on the back of your canvas and then come up, once again, in the same starting hole. Set that needle and thread to the side of the canvas.

    Step 5: Gently pull on the basting thread, thus, gathering the ribbon into folds.

    Step 6: When you have created the desired density of folds and length of gathered ribbon to fill the canvas area, begin tacking the ribbon into place with the chenille needle and floss that you have stowed to the side of your canvas. These tacking stitches should not show as you will place them in the folds of your ribbon. The chenille needle will help you pierce ribbon AND the canvas threads, making it possible to control the fullness of the ribbon. When you complete the area, cut the ribbon and basting thread and tuck the end of the ribbon under one of the folds with tacking stitches.

    As a perfectionist, which I am certainly not, but might strive to be one day, I can tell you where you might get "hung up"! The basting stitches ~ they will never be seen, so do not stress about the uniformity of them! The gathering process ~ you will want to gather the ribbon tightly and then gently loosen the gathers for the desired density of folds in the ribbon. As you can tell on my owl, the ribbon is more loosely gathered over the left eye, than it is over the right eye. I could have hidden this with some cleverly placed tacking stitches to move the ribbon more tightly together, but as I said, I am not afflicted with the perfectionist gene ~ as much as I wish that I were!

    I hope that this makes some sense to you! Follow-up questions welcome! Good luck! Once you do this, you will find many fun places to use it! Enjoy the french knots!!!

  3. This is great! Thank you so much. I have some River Silks ribbon I'm using on another project so I'll use the left over and try it out on a doodle canvas. I'm such a ruffles and bows girl that I know once I figure out how to do this I'll want to put it everywhere!

    I'm using boucle for the French knots. I was about to do them last night but chickened out so pulled out another project instead! I'm a huge perfectionist and want to practice them some more. ;)

  4. DANGER, WILL ROBINSON! I feel it necessary to tell you that Boucle is the absolute worst thing to make french knots with....especially for a perfectionist! You will not be able to get them uniform in size because the nap of the thread will keep you from creating a consistent tension. When i saw your post, I called two of my Stitching BFF's to see if I was crazy and they both said to warn you of the abyss that you may be falling into with boucle french knots!! Another difficult thread for french knots is Neon is so slippery that it is difficult to get it tight. You can get a varied knot look by doing some french knots and some colonial knots with Burmilana, Impressions, Vineyard Silk, etc etc.
    Should you choose to go forth with the Boucle, I wish you the greatest success and look forward to seeing the outcome! Cheers!

  5. Thank you. :-) I tried again last night and it's THE. WORST. THREAD. EVER! It's so slippery that I was able to do about only 1 in 10 as the knot just slipped through the canvas as I pulled the needle through. I'm waiting for my LNS to open this morning so that I can get something different. I think I was sent the boucle (the shop kitted the canvas for me) because of the color variation. I'm doing a greenery/garland thing hanging over a window and it's in a few shades of green. So the color is perfect. But obviously the nice lady who kitted my canvas totally overestimated my knotting ability! I'll let you know what thread I come home with. :-)

  6. It is hard to get a big color variation with French knots even when they are worked with OD threads. I work at Needle House here in Houston and we would probably give you a couple of different threads to make the FK with instead of an over dyed. You can even use floss, it iwll work fine and you can add in variation in color with the different colors. Let me know what comes of the adventure!

  7. I got Impressions in two shades of green. I'll FB message you a picture when I'm finished. :-)