Once weekly needlepoint sampler using the stitch templates provided by Sheree Lantz in her ‘A Pageant of Pattern for Needlepoint Canvas’w

Mrs Lantz refers firstly to the group: Mosaics. Then the stitch: a flat. Refer to page 129. The design is a 13th century mosaic pavement pattern from the Baptistery in Florence.

The Baptistery floor dates from the 13th century. The white, green and red marble and stone floor I saw when in Florence had replaced the previous crushed brick floor paving (cocciopesto.) Annamarie Giusti, in her book, The Baptistery of San Giovanni in Florence, describes the flooring as made up of ‘…a series of marble ‘carpets’, lying side by side.’ Also, that the floors were laid down by ‘…the craftsmen of Ancient Rome…’ using the opus tessellatum technique. The term ‘marble carpets’ describes very well what I saw, but I have since struggled to identify which geometric patterns have influenced each of Mrs Lantz’s sampler designs. With more time in Florence to photograph and log, this might be achievable, but alas, the real world beckons. So, this pattern looks the closest to my sampler below, or at least reminds me of it! Wish I could ask her…

This is my ninth sampler. I’ve used three shades of Appletons crewel wool (maroon, pale blue and a teal), as well as a Kreinik silver metallic thread, to create a more eye-catching effect to help emphasise aspects of the pattern.

Loveday Epic crewelwork sampler by Nicola Jarvis’s

There has been so little time to stitch over the past four weeks, but wonderful times have been had in Florence and Winchester!

But, today I started on Mr Woodpecker. All shades of grey and black with a splash of glitz and crimson. A little more bling than Nicola might prefer, but I’ve used a very fine red metallic braid by Kreinik, and a black and silver Madeira thread I purchased at the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching show this year, to do the seed stitches and some of the couching. Although far from perfect, I’ve really enjoyed my afternoon and Mr Woodpecker looks much happier!! Me, not so much, I will never try to unpick seed stitching again, better to live with what you didn’t do well enough!

I’ve now stitched the head with French Knots using a single strand of black Appleton’s. This is a wonderful stitch that is so easy to do, but it is difficult to get a nice curve. I used lots of little single twists to fill in the small gaps to achieve a better curve. That works well I think.

I then did the Vermicelli couching on the underbelly using a single strand of grey Appleton’s thread and the black and silver Madeira. I’ve learnt that I find it very difficult to do random! With Vermicilli couching, you should couch your stitch down in a random pattern without crossing over another thread in the area in which you are stitching. I don’t mind my stitching of the belly, but I don’t love it, it could be much better. Perhaps I’ll take it out at the end? I feel there is too much white space.

The head is now completed and most of the wing. Really struggled with the slanted satin stitch last night. I’ve stitched this section numerous times, but had to get it right last night, as I was running out of wool! So, I visited Mary Corbet’s page on this stitch, and it gave me the boost I needed to go on, albeit not very well! But, as with everything, once you get into the rhythm, your stitching gets better. I keep a stitch diagram to my left which reminds me how to get the direction of the stitch running at the right angle. This visual reminder works best for me. I still need to complete the black satin stripes on the wing, the rest of the seeding and the claws. My aim is to complete Mr Woodpecker by next weekend. But, a very busy work schedule looms forebodingly this week!


On another note, although below freezing, with the clouds looking heavy with snow, it’s still light at 4:20pm, and I am beginning to think what seed potatoes I will plant this year!

Trees in canvas stitch by Rachel Doyle

This is my first canvaswork kit and was designed by Rachel Doyle who is the author of the Royal School of Needlework guide to Canvaswork stitches. She is also a tutor for the School.

Rachel states the source of inspiration for the kit is the trees at Hampton Court Palace. The kit is a sampler of stitches including: tree stitch; John stitch; Scotch stitch and double linked cross stitch. The wool is Appleton’s which I have learned to love as I complete my Loveday Epic Crewelwork project by Nicola Jarvis. All of these stitches are new to me! Can’t wait to start.

I was so pleased to receive this as part of my Christmas box, so thank you Nina And Dave Brown.

Once weekly needlepoint sampler using the stitch templates provided by Sheree Lantz in her ‘A Pageant of Pattern for Needlepoint Canvas’

Mrs Lantz refers firstly to the group: Mosaics. Then the stitch: a flat. The design she states is medieval mosaic, a raised Square (Cross).

The source inspiration for the design can be found in a Hans Holbein painting from the 16 century. Mrs Lantz tells us that the ‘…the mosaics themselves predated their painted representations.’ Refer to page 119.

I have searched through each image of a Hans Holbein painting I can find online (both older and younger), and the only painting in which I can find an image that is suggestive of the pattern on page 119 is the pavement mosaic in The Martyrdom of St Paul (1504), the elder. I’ve not had the privilege of viewing this painting, but it’s a bit gruesome for my liking!

This is my eighth sampler. I’ve used two threads of a mustard coloured 2-ply Appletons crewel wool and two threads of a dark brown Perle thread I purchased at the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching show in November 2017. I’ve not worked the piece exactly as Mrs Lantz has suggested, and have added French Knots to the sample, because it’s a favoured stitch. Where I worked the sampler was also important, in my mother’s bedroom, in my sister’s house in Winchester, on Christmas Eve.

Nicola Jarvis Epic Loveday Crewel Work project

Oak tree, trunk and branches and ivy tendrils:

Over the past three weeks, I’ve spent my evenings stem stitching parts of the trunk, branches and tendrils. It’s a stitch where you find your own rhythm and stitch length. I love the focus and discipline needed to do so much stem stitch all in one go. It brings peace as well as building my tree of Loveday of course.

A chance sighting of a robin redbreast in my neighbour’s garden last weekend focussed my attention on Mr Robin. So, I started his under belly in soft shades of brown. I’m beginning to feel more confident with my long and short shading, but still a long way to go. Satin stitch and graduating satin stitch remain my nemeses, but practice is leading to improvement!


Nicola Jarvis Epic Loveday Crewel Work Sampler

Busy at work this week, so progress has been slow. But found the time to complete the Acorns and stems. Prompted me to think about the origin of the word Acorn, which I used to collect as a child on my home from school. Wikipedia includes the following:

The word acorn (earlier akerne, and acharn) is related to the Gothic name akran, which had the sense of “fruit of the unenclosed land”.[21] The word was applied to the most important forest produce, that of the oak. Chaucer spoke of “achornes of okes” in the 14th century. By degrees, popular etymology connected the word both with “corn” and “oak-horn”, and the spelling changed accordingly.[22] The current spelling (emerged 15c.-16c.), derives from association with ac (Old English: “oak”) + corn.[23]

x IMG_1131 acorns small to large

Here’s my version! I’ve tried to vary the colours to help make the acorns pop. I’ve included some shading on the uppermost acorn. Split stitched the outlines. All the acorns include laid work, which are held in place using the Bayeux stitch. I’ve also stitched the first of the insects this weekend, Mr Buzzy Bee…his body should have been completed in plain satin stitch , but I wanted to add some texture. Unfortunately, my skills don’t extend to using Turkey stitch in such a small area, which I think would have given the body a plush effect!


Once weekly needlepoint sampler using the stitch templates provided by Sheree Lantz in her ‘A Pageant of Pattern for Needlepoint Canvas’

Mrs Lantz refers firstly to the group: Mosaics. Then the stitch: a flat. The design she states is medieval mosaic. The source inspiration for the design can be found at Sienna Cathedral. Mrs Lantz tells us that the ‘diagonal bars are slightly narrower, otherwise the sampler square duplicates the pattern.’ Refer to page 96.

Though I cannot source the exact pattern, Sailko’s photograph, taken in October 2011, gives a flavour of the rich and intricate patterning on the walls, ceiling and floors of the Cathedra. In December 2017, I intend to spend some time actually sourcing this pattern myself.

This is my seventh sampler. I’ve used two shades of 2-ply Appletons crewel wool.