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Stitchcraft Articles


  1. Anchor Linen Floss
  2. Brushed Lana Cat
  3. Swedish Neat Balls
  4. Blackwork Snow Owl by Cotton Pixels
  5. Anchor Fine Metallic
  6. More Gold Threads
  7. Rainbow Gallery Petite Treasure Braid versus Kreinik #4 braid.
  8. Field of Daisies and Honeycomb Aida by MP Studios
  9. Plywood Cross Stitch Kits by MP Studios
  10. Autumn Walk by Rose Swalwell
Earlier Stitchcraft Articles

Anchor Linen Floss

I found the subtle colours in this range very attractive so I thought I'd try out a few small samples.

The little ladybird is from a larger free chart and uses only a few colours. The thread itself feels more stiff than stranded cottons and is thinner so three strands are used from cross stitch over 14/28 count fabric rather than two. The coverage still isn't very thick and it makes a pretty little picture.

by Anne Peden on Wed, 31 May 2023, 08:31
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Brushed Lana Cat

Madeira Lana looks so fluffy on Bothy Threads kits, so it seemed a good choice when stitching a cat for our grandaughter.

This is a Jazz Cat by Lanarte and originally stitched over one using a single strand of DMC. I wanted to make it bigger this time so worked on 28 count over two with two strands of Lana. Some of the detail - hat, nose and the backstitched outline are still in stranded cotton. The hat is pink though because all little girls prefer pink.

When stitched, I used Madeira wire brushes to bring up the texture and the black especially came out very well.

by Anne Peden on Tue, 30 May 2023, 19:19
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Swedish Neat Balls

I've stitched many Christmas tree decorations and often feel they are spoiled by the finishing. So I was intrigued by Ink Circle's claim that these designs used a clever, origami technique.

I chose my own colours, metallic silver and navy Anchor stranded cotton and after a search through my odds and ends decided on crystals from an old necklace and navy velvet ribbon for hanging.

The finishing is indeed very clever. The design isn't cut out and the same fabric is folded on the reverse, trimmed and then slipped stitched.

Both front and back look very neat. The only problem I can see is that since the ornament is hung by a corner, then it will always be a diamond shape. Of course, that wouldn't be a problem with a pincushion which is another of my projects waiting to be completed.

by Anne Peden on Tue, 30 May 2023, 18:53
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Blackwork Snow Owl by Cotton Pixels

I decided to stitch this fluffy little bird on 14 count white plastic canvas and stitch a matching reverse but of course without the eyes and beak.

It turned out to be surprisingly difficult to stitch with white on white. When finished, I cut around the shape and joined the two pieces with Wisper W88 doubled using a loose blanket stitch. This covers the sharp edges on the canvas and gives a fluffy edge.

This was a quick design to stitch and used three cards of Wisper. Now it can hang on our Christmas tree or in the conservatory all year round.

by Anne Peden on Thu, 28 Apr 2022, 10:51
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Anchor Fine Metallic

The new Anchor Fine Metallic is a fine thread made from a blend of Viscose (65%) and metallised polyester (35%). It comes in 25 gram balls which are approximately 250 metres long.

Although intended mainly for crochet, it is a very versatile floss which doesn't split easily.

I thought I'd try it for a variety of crafts.

Crochet of course and the pretty flower. I also tried a more openwork design and although that worked well, it was difficult to pin out and not stiff so probably best used for more solid patterns.

Cross Stitch. I used it on 14 count Aida to stitch 'Merry Christmas'. It sits proud and still glitters. It wouldn't work for any higher count fabric and it would be better to keep the lengths shorter because it can fray if pulled through the fabric too often.

Needlepoint The star on plastic canvas was worked with the floss doubled and blanket stitch worked twice into each space around the outsides. I worked two stars in the same way and joined them with wrong sides together using gold beads. The sampler on 22 count petite point canvas was worked in a variety of stitches using single floss and double for the blanket stitch around the outside. Straight stitches like satin stitch don't cover well but those at an angle or cross do.

Hardanger. I used it on a small Christmas decoration in place of no. 5 pearl cotton.

by Anne Peden on Wed, 01 Dec 2021, 10:43
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More Gold Threads

Having tried out Kreinik #4 braid and Rainbow Gallery Petite Treasure braid, I decided to look at a few more gold threads. I used the same design as before a cherub by By the Bay Needleart on 32 count linen.

First I tried out Madeira Metallic a twisted thread which may be split into strands. That just didn't work well at all as it was difficult to split and once split unwound too easily. I'm afraid I gave up with that one.

Then I used Anchor Lamé. The floss comes with twelve loose strands and I worked with three strands. It didn't unravel at all and the only problem was making sure that all three strands were pulled through.

Lastly, (so far) I used two strands DMC Light Effects E3821. That was the most difficult to use and split and unwound a lot. I didn't condition it but then I didn't use conditioner with any of the others. Finally, in frustration I split it to one strand doubled. That helped a bit but by that time I was working with very short lengths.


The Anchor Lamé and DMC Light Effects covered well and the problems aren't apparent from the front so I've added an image of the reverse. I'm a bit embarrassed about how untidy the back of my work is.
by Anne Peden on Tue, 07 Sep 2021, 10:54
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Rainbow Gallery Petite Treasure Braid versus Kreinik #4 braid.

It's been very difficult over the last fifteen months to obtain Kreinik #4 braid.

I decide to try out Rainbow Gallery Petite Treasure braid as an alternative to see how it worked on 32 count linen. I used a design by By the Bay Needleart of two cherubs. The one on the right was stitched in Kreinik #4 002 gold and the one on the left in Petite Treasure braid pb03. They look almost identical but I did find the Rainbow Gallery floss more flexible and easier to work with.


Rainbow Gallery have a wide range of colour in Petite Treasure Braid 99 shades, 13 high lustre, 9 shimmer colours and one glow in the dark. The cards have 25 yards of floss and Kreinik #4 has 12 yards on each reel. We may not be able to get all the colours available, but we will certainly try to increase our stock and hope that customers consider it as an alternative for floss not currently available.

Here is a list of approximate matches (* closest possible) for the colours we already have in stock.

Kreinik #4 Petite Treasure Braid

001 Silver PB04
002 Gold PB03
003 Red PB07
005 Black PB05
007 Pink PB13* or PB30*
009HL Emerald PB20*
013 Beige PB50
018 Navy PB18
026 Amethyst PB12
027 Plum PB27
028 Citron PB01
029 Turquoise PB43
032 Pearl PB10
041 Confetti Pink PB15
051HL Sapphire PB08
092 Star Pink PB205
100 White PB23
152V Vintage Sienna PB48
308 Colonial Red PB19
713 Pink Mauve PB60
1432 Blue Ice PB09
3202 Cat's Eyes PB26
5001 Brass PB14
5005 Gold Coin PB30
5008 Leprechaun PB68*
5011 Elfin Green PB57*

We have just heard that there has been a substantial increase in the wholesale cost of Kreinik #4 braid.
by Anne Peden on Wed, 30 Jun 2021, 18:53
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Field of Daisies and Honeycomb Aida by MP Studios

Having decided not to stitch the honey bee on wood as the kit came, it seemed a shame to waste the materials.

MP studios Honeycomb 14 count Aida seemed ideal for the design so I used that. I worked in two strands throughout, some in the whole cross stitch and some in half cross stitch. An interesting feature is the half cross stitch bottom left to top right on the left wing and bottom right to top left on the right wing.

The fabric ironed well and retained its stiffness. The honeycomb background is more hinted at rather than realistic and sets off the design well. It would be a good choice for other 'bee' designs.

by Anne Peden on Sat, 26 Jun 2021, 17:54
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Plywood Cross Stitch Kits by MP Studios

MP Studios have a range of items made from plywood.

There are floss organisers and mounts. I looked at their designs for cross stitch which have regular holes for cross stitch and other open shapes. They finished design may be backed with patterned paper sandwiched between the stitched wood and a plain backing piece. I decided to stitch the design called Field of Daisies which has a realistic honey bee.

Some of the pattern is stitched in whole cross stitch using three strands and I began with that. For the first colour I used the needle provided, possibly a petite as it was hard to thread. I just couldn't thread that needle again so I tried a normal tapestry size 24. That worked for the first colour but then I realised that the eye of the needle was bent out of shape.

Stitching twice with three strands into the same small rigid hole clearly is a problem and time consuming so after a few needles, I'm afraid I gave up.

We won't be ordering these kits even though they are very attractive.

by Anne Peden on Sat, 19 Jun 2021, 18:09
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Autumn Walk by Rose Swalwell

This long stitch kit is worked in Anchor tapestry wools which come in cut lengths and skeins. Each colour starts with a knot to the front of the canvas which is later trimmed. The advice is to work through adjacent areas so that one side of each stitch is into a shared hole and the other into an empty hole. So different from the advice for silken long stitch.

The stitching was fine although I was a little short on three colours. That could have been because I looped them over the back of the work and didn't finish off and start again, so possibly my fault.
Autumn Walk
I finished off with a little silver floss in horizontal long stitches. The metallic floss immediately unravelled but still had the desired effect. There was another length unused so I could have tried again.

Bothy Threads, who now manufacture these kits are very good at sending extra floss very promptly if required.
by Anne Peden on Mon, 26 Apr 2021, 13:15
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Earlier Stitchcraft Articles ...

CXC Stranded Cottons ... Julie had heard a lot about this floss and decided to order a set from China to review.
Iced Lemonade by Madame Chantilly ... There are three charts to choose from and I decided on the largest.
Glorafilia Tartan Westie Tapestry Kit Facebook Giveaway August 2020 Terms and Conditions ... Arts and Designs Glorafilia "Tartan Westie" Kit Facebook Giveaway - Terms and Conditions.
Witch's Shoe by Sue Hillis ... If the shoe fits wear it
Poppy Biscornu by the Tiny Modernist ... A brightly coloured pin cushion worked in whole cross stitch and backstitch.
Winter Warmth by Panna ... Gamma is a Russian compamy who have been trading for 27 years.
Mirabilia Designs "Queen of Freedom" Chart Give-Away February 2020 Terms and Conditions ... Arts and Designs Mirabilia "Queen of Freedom" Chart Facebook Giveaway - Terms and Conditions.
Rock Cat by Lanarte ... This is a delicate little design worked in half cross stitch, one over one on 30 count linen.
Winter Ruby Christmas Tree Decoration by M P Studios ... This kit's instructions are in Russian with English translations.
Nasturtium Fan by Needleart World ... This was my second Needleart World kit but much smaller than the last and on 14 count Aida.
Chickadee by Heritage Crafts from artwork of Valerie Pfeiffer ... The kit by Heritage Crafts has large scale black and white charts on facing A5 pages.
Wonder Invisible Thread by YLI ... This thread is suggested by Nora Corbett for adding beads to her designs using a size 10 beading needle.
Bird with Sweets by Permin ... A sweet little design instantly recognisable as liquorice allsorts.
Tulips - Silken Long Stitch by Rose Swalwell of Derwentwater Designs ... This is a pretty long stitch design of flowers from the Silken Long Stitch series.
Lanterns by Riolis ... This a very pretty oriental design with red, pink and green lanterns of different shapes hanging from Spring flowering branches.
Magic by the Oven Company ... Magic is a counted cross stitch worked on 14 count black Aida using three shades of stranded cottons.
When plastic canvas is useful ... I came across a crochet pattern for a nursery rug in the shape of a cartoon snail.
Turtle Family by Anchor ...
DMC Etoile ... DMC's latest threads Etoile arrived this month.
Blackwork Birds ... Many years ago, possibly forty, I embroidered a picture of goldcrests.
Embroidering Birds ... Many years ago, possibly forty, I embroidered a picture of goldcrests.
Damask Square by Ink Circles ... I love these symmetrical designs and the subtle shading in DMC Color Variations 4150 Desert Sand.
Mirror Case by Eva Rosenstand ... I decided to stitch this handbag mirror for a small present.
Snowberries by Haandarbejdets Fremme ... This is an Assisi style design with the background stitched and the leaves and berries unstitched.
Review of Koi Carp by Needleart World ... These kits are from the Grafitec company who produce traditional screen printed needlepoint canvases.
Review of Grafitec Needlepoint Canvas ... Grafitec canvases are screen printed in full colour.
Swedish Weaving ... Swedish weaving is also known as huck embroidery or huck weaving and became popular in the US during the 1930s and 40s.
Outline stitches in Blackwork ... Until recently I used backstitch to outline areas in blackwork.
Golden Crown Mark 2 ... Having learned from my first attempt at making a dressing-up crown, I decided to make a smaller lighter version.
DMC Coloris ... We thought we'd try a design in the exciting new Coloris by DMC.
A Golden Crown ... Our three year old granddaughter said ' Gran, I need a crown' .
Uses & Care for Kreinik Metallic Ribbons ... Applications: crazy quilting (hand and machine), crewel, cross stitch/counted thread, doll making (hand and machine), fly fishing, kids' crafts, machine embroidery/bobbin work, machine embroidery/couching, needlepoint/canvas work, plastic canvas, ribbon embroidery, stumpwork, weaving.
Uses & Care for Kreinik Braids ... Applications depend on the thickness of the braid but include: appliqué (hand and machine), blackwork, costumes, crazy quilting (hand and machine), crewel, crochet, cross stitch/counted thread, doll making (hand and machine), fly fishing, hardanger, kids crafts, knitting (by hand), lace making, machine embroidery/bobbin work, machine embroidery/couching, machine embroidery/in the needle, min
Kreinik Cable ... Applications:
Blending Filament ... Applications :
Transferring designs to fabric for surface embroidery ... We were recently asked how to transfer your own design onto fabric to embroider.
Seasonal Blooms by Brittercup Designs ... I've liked these designs ever since I first saw them so took this opportunity to try Winter.
Witching Hour Ornament by the Prairie Schooler ... This cute design took only a couple of evening to stitch.
Milkweed Butterfly and Flower ... I have stitched some Thea Gouverneur designs before from her two lovely books
Embroidered Table Covers ... Hand stitched printed table covers always look lovely on your dining table.
Rico Design Hooded Baby Towels ... These baby towels make lovely gifts and can be used from birth and for many years.
Easter Rabbit by Eva Rosenstand ... Eva Rosenstand kits are now produced by Permin of Copenhagen and the key and instructions are in the same format as their designs.
Iphone 5 Phone Covers by Anchor. ... This is a quick and easy project worked completely in whole cross stitch on silicone covers.
Flexihoops ... I decided to use one of these frames to mount the reversible Little Owl from the Classic Embroidery pattern.
Review of Little Owl, blackwork kit by Classic Embroidery ... This pretty little design is sold as a 'weekender' and certainly can be completed in a weekend or a few evenings.
Review of Believe by Designs Works ... A pretty little design of the word with fairies and beads.
Review of Woodland Winter by Rose Swalwell ... A pretty little design from a seasonal set.
Review of Gardener Chick by Heritage Crafts ... Heritage Crafts have lots of birds and flower kits converted from the artwork of Valerie Pfeiffer which are very pretty and timeless.
Review of Cow - Sheep- Pig - Bull ... We decided that it would be a good idea to stitch a few different suppliers' kits to review them for our customers.
Quaker Style ... Crewel work was very popular in Europe during the sixteenth and seventeenth century.
An Introduction to Bargello ... There are lots of names for this style of canvas work including
Half Cross Stitch ... Some cross stitch designs have areas of
Band Samplers ... Band Samplers are a very old form of embroidery dating back to the Late Middle Ages.
Swedish Weaving ... This traditional craft had a revival in the 1930s and 40s and is becoming increasingly popular today.
Something a little bit different ...
Ribbon Embroidery ...
Counted Beadwork ... Beadwork was very popular in Victorian times when it was used to decorate evening dresses and bags and in furnishings such as cushions and footstools.
Assisi Embroidery ... Assisi embroidery comes from the Italian town of that name and was once used to decorate ecclesiastical linens.
Blackwork Easter Egg - a simple example. ... There's nothing very complicated about blackwork.
Would you like to try hardanger ? ... Some of you have recently expressed interest in hardanger, so we decided to research the subject a little and look for a few products.
New Baby? ... News of an expected new baby is always very exciting, and not just to the parents-to-be!
Miss Potter - Renaissance Woman ... Hollywood has seen a ready market for adaptations of British childrens' classics - Alice in Wonderland, Winnie the Pooh, Peter Pan, and so on, but now director Chris Noonan has made a new movie based on the life of the storyteller rather than the stories.
Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat ... ... Or perhaps, «gravitationally challenged», but it just doesn't scan.
Searching for Golden Threads ... I had a long search to find the
Mounting Your Embroidery On Card ... This is a short piece with advice on mounting your embroidery on card for framing - what type of thread to use and how to do it.
What Colour Is Blackwork? ... Blackwork is over four hundred years old
Not Another Embroidery! ... There are many, many cross stitch and embroidery designs and kits out there.
Goldwork ... Goldwork embroidery
Stitching Techniques And Tips ... An introduction to working cross stitch, blackwork and needlepoint designs with some useful tips and advice for beginners.
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