Putting the mountains in “Dragon of the Mountains”

This weekend I have been steadily working on my dragon. It’s nice to see – finally – that this Chinese dragon isn’t called “of the Mountains” for nothing.

Photo Feb 11, 16 03 20

The “mountains” are just multi-shaded triangles but they’re good enough.

I’m also having fun with the glittery gold thread. The dragon’s claws and teeth are done in metallic gold thread. There will also be beads soon enough, which also decorate the claws as well as the background.


Squirrels Under Glass

I have finished version 2 of the autumn biscornu with the squirrels on it. My partner saw my biscornu and demanded a square version in a frame. I got a cheap frame at the dollar store, sewed the cross stitched square onto some canvas fabric, and just stuffed it all in a frame, just like that, and it was done.


Now we just have to see if the receiver of this gift finds a place to put it. If he does, I’ll buy some card stock to give the fabric a stiffer back and call it all done. If he doesn’t, I’ll be glad not to have bothered fussing with a stiff backing for the fabric and turn it into a pillow.

The (kinda sorta) black work biscornu

This week I’ve begun another biscornu. This one is ever so (not) creatively called “Red Monochrome Biscornu and Scissor Fob” by the designer (with a long-winded name)  Marie-Ann Rétholet-Mélin. The poor dear is plagued by excessive hyphenation, too.

Funny things and jokes aside, this pattern is a fine example of what you can do with modern black work and some cross stitches. I’m having lots of fun with it. Here’s my progress on the biscornu:


It’s just a lot of geometric shapes combined to create an overall complex-looking design. Oddly, the title of the pattern has “monochrome” in it but the thread is actually a DMC multi-shade. Also, it combines cross stitches with back stitches, a sort of “modern black work” in the sense that it is not possible to do the old-fashioned black work here, with all running stitches. It isn’t necessary, either, considering that only one side will show.

I did not follow the instructions exactly as the pattern indicates, and neither should you if you decide to buy this and stitch on it. In particular, I’m referring to how the designer says to use two strands for back stitches and three strands for cross stitches. No. Nonononono. It’s perfectly fine, and economical with the thread, to use two strands for everything. The added bonus for having all stitches the same thickness is that cross stitches and back stitches can be done simultaneously without having to worry about ruining the backstitching later, just like you’re ideally supposed to do (or try to do) when you’re black working.

I’m glad I got this pattern, too, because it makes me think of doodling. In the future, if I happen to doodle something really cool, I’m going to chart it into black work, I think. I could just imagine someone coming up with this pattern here inspired by a doodle, can’t you?

It’s a dragon, I promise

WIP Wednesday is here. I’ve been working on my St. Enda sweater, but you’ve already seen some of that before, so no need to photograph it another time. I’ve also been cross stitching and I suppose it’s time to show off the progress I’ve made on it. It doesn’t look like much, though. It’s going to be a Chinese dragon. Eventually.


I think – at the very least – you can see something of a claw. Otherwise, it’s just a color blob for now with a sparkling gold partial border.

The pattern is called “Dragon of the Mountains” and it was designed by Joan Elliott. Happy crafting everyone!

Done: Autumn biscornu

I have just finished my autumn biscornu and now it is resting in its place, on my coffee table.

This one is a lot larger than the previous one I made, which is perfect because I have plenty of stuff to put on it or stick into it. The pattern is by Barbara Ana and can be found here. Here’s a warning, though: if you hate backstitching, this is not for you. As you can see in my second photo there is plenty of backstitched lettering and other little details that drive some cross stitchers crazy, such as the little black outlines to distinguish the squirrels’ teeth.

And now I’m going to cast on the Baa-ble Hat, because my knitting club is doing this as a KAL and I think it will be fun to do some color knitting for a change of pace. Also, I’m finally going to use the pompom maker for the first time. I bought it a year ago. It’s about time I got around to using it, right?

Unforeseen three-day weekend!

On Friday my only class for that day was canceled so I got a surprise three-day weekend. I turned it into a cross stitching marathon.

First, I got all my DMC and Anchor floss wound up on bobbins. It’s so much better now to have it all wound up and ready for use. I sure have bought a lot of threads in the past few months!

When I got my thread organized I started getting some new projects set up. I collected all my colors I needed for yet another Joan Elliott design, which is called “Dragon of the Mountain.” It is one of three Chinese dragons in her book Magical Cross Stitch. The other two, which I plan on making in the future, are “Dragon of the Sea” and “Dragon of the Clouds.” I am especially excited to start this one soon, – although I still haven’t actually begun stitching – because it calls for Kreinik metallic threads. When I want to get going on it, though, it’ll be all prepped to just take it out of its tote bag and start making little X’s on the fabric I cut for it.

I also got stitching on my “Autumn Biscornu” and I am having so much fun with it I can’t stop working on it. Here’s my progress so far:

Photo Nov 26, 18 47 58

It doesn’t look like much right now because the backstitching is what makes this design truly special and makes the leaves look like leaves. Also, I love using multi-colored thread. It makes the project so much easier to stitch up.

And so it’s back to work on Monday!

First biscornu for FO Friday

I finished my first biscornu! This one is going to be a gift. I really like this design.


It’s so much fun to make a biscornu that I didn’t even notice that I was sewing by hand. Weird, right? Well, biscornu is French for awkward, so, there’s that. Now I hate sewing by hand, unless it’s a biscornu!

In case you want to make this, the pattern is free, offered by the Cross Stitch Guild. I did not follow the directions for sewing because I didn’t like how the seams looked in the photographs on that web site. Instead, I backstitched a square and sewed into the backstitches. This tutorial shows you how to do that.

The other side of my biscornu has different colored beads and a different color for the backstitching. I also changed the cross stitch border. I got this idea from the photos where the pattern is featured. These little details make it more interesting to look at.


I think it would also be easy to change the colors of the pinwheels.

In the future I’m going to make more biscornus following this pattern. I know lots of crafty people who would appreciate getting one of these.