Sometimes, a new cross stitch pattern, while brand new to you and literally just created within the past month, has actually taken a many-years journey. That is the case for this pattern, which I called Woven Geometry. Today, I would like to share its story.
Some years back, I bought a bobbin lace book (remember, I do bobbin lace as well as needlework? And I promise I’ll do some blog posts about it soon) that had a particular pattern that I knew, just knew, that I wanted to create. And, I did. But, not only did I want to create the lace, the pattern, the geometry of the design so appealed to me, I wanted to recreate it in other forms of needlework.
For me, there was a bit of the mathematical challenge. Could I create a design on a 32 count fabric that would be about the same size as the piece of lace, would be immediately recognizable as being inspired by the lace, and yet be distinctive for its own type of needlework? I started with a Blackwork design…and I made it come to life.
I wanted to create a Hardanger design. You can see the center area has some of the typical cut areas with fillings of Hardanger. However, I could not make the math work for the long interwoven paths. Instead, this version became more a sampler of pulled thread patterns, with that little bit of Hardanger in the center.
I have a love of canvaswork and wanted to use those types of stitches and so created a new challenge: redoing the math so as make the design work on 24 count congress cloth, which would help give the right “look” to the stitches that I was doing. Yes, I could have just done some very similar speciality stitches on 32 count linen and called it a day, but I realized that this months-long project was really about constantly challenging myself.
And, well, that’s where I stopped. I know I had an idea of creating a version all in beads, played around with some fabric and threads and beads, but never got anywhere with it. And, I believe the sixth and final version was going to be a cross stitch, but, well,…there was no new challenge left in the thinking by that point. So, those last two never got created and I was satisfied with what I had done.
As you can see, I kept to an overall theme of black/shades-of-grey/white when it came to the colors of these pieces. I had them framed using similar speciality mats and the same frame. I love this series and it hangs on my wall. And, ever since I started my cross stitch designing, I’ve been thinking, Maybe its time to reimagine the cross stitch version of that design…
The charting of this pattern was not as straight forward as I thought it was going to be. When I did the two pieces on 32 count fabric, I really used the idea of 32 fabric threads and not just 16. Meaning, in some places, to center a particular motif or line of cross stitches, the stitches would be “offset” from the others, for anyone working on a traditional 32-over-1 fabric, or Aida fabric. I didn’t want to do this, didn’t want to confuse the typical cross stitcher. So, the end result is that some of the design is not as perfect mathematically as I might like. For example:
If you look at those three diamond areas, I was able to make them equal size in the blackwork piece because i was doing the “offset” thread work. In the cross stitch pattern, sticking to a normal pattern plan, I had to adjust and the end result looks just a little bit different.
As for colors, well, if I were stitching this for myself right now, I would want to keep it in line with the others that I have stitched and so it would definitely be in the grey family. However, this design lends itself to choosing what you like best. Here are two examples I included on the front cover:
The purple shows how four shades from any color could work to create a monochrome design. And, the multi color version is helpful in *seeing* the paths that the design takes and in helping a stitcher choose four or five colors that work well together. I included instructions on how one might alter the colors to one’s own tastes.
You can find Woven Geometry in my Etsy store in the paper version to be mailed to you here
You can find Woven Geometry in my Etsy store in the pdf version to be downloaded immediately here