Promenade by Catkin Embroidery Design

A Project A Day – Counted embroidery work is my main hobby and I have a huge stitching stash. Some of these projects are huge and take years to stitch, and while others are quick projects, I often spend months without stitching at all. So while I have hundreds in my stash, only a half-dozen ever see attention any given year.  To address this imbalance in 2012 I will each day write about one project languishing in my stash.

Promenade by Catkin Embroidery Design

Copyright Shan Harris, copyright date unknown.

Catkin Embroidery Design

Promenade by Catkin Embroidery Designs

Chart: The chart is printed over four pages with a two-row overlap on each page. The symbols are a little smaller than I would like, but they are still easy to see. The chart is a combination of cross stitch and blackwork. The instructions for the blackwork infill are not as clear as they could be. Unfortunately, there is not one single list of all of the floss needed for the project.

Stitches: Pattern uses whole cross stitches, partial cross stitch, backstitch and blackwork.

Materials: DMC stranded cotton. Stitched on 14ct Aida or 28ct evenweave.

Designer’s Notes: 1920’s ladies knew what to do when over obviously admired by strange men! Stitched in black and grey with touches of green and red. Contains some cross stitch..

Why I was attracted to this design: I love blackwork and historical clothing. Shan’s faces in this design don’t grab me, but a lot of designers have trouble with faces. I love blackwork that isn’t just geometric squares and I love period pieces. Catkin combines these two loves and I have most of her work either in my stash or on my Wish List.

So why haven’t I stitched it? I really don’t know.  I love blackwork and it stitches up faster than cross stitch. I think this might be another victim of stashing faster than I stitch.  Definitely adding this back into the queue to stitch up.

The photo for this one is very washed out! The girl’s jumper is green; the woman’s hatband is green and red; her outfit is red. These are 911 Medium Emerald Green and 814 Dark Garnet.  What colour fabric should I use? I usually use Cream for these, but perhaps Antique White or Ivory would be a better match?

Where can you buy it? Catkin is not usually known at US Needlework stores, but can easily be bought at UK Stores for £5.42 or directly from Catkin for £6.50.

Discussion questions:  Have you tried blackwork?  Do you love it or hate it?  If you haven’t tried it, why not?  Remember there is no right or wrong answers here – we all have different experiences and I like to hear about them 🙂

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5 Responses to Promenade by Catkin Embroidery Design

  1. Line says:

    Love this pattern, I have a few catkin designs in my stash but haven’t managed to get to stitching them up yet.

    Really enjoying your Project A day posts

  2. kay jones says:

    Antique white or alternatively you could use a very very pale blue. You stitch this one and I’ll join you and stitch the one you sent me for my birthday —- long time ago

  3. Rae Kennon says:

    I like black work however I must have what I call a map to stitch it. If I backstitchh everything it looks right from the front, no one knows the difference by looking at a framed piece but I still feel like I have cheated both the design and the designer. I bought a bkackwork piece from The Drawn Thread a few years ago and was so disappointed with the instructions. There was no map and the directions only showed a straight running. I sad 😦

  4. Sisu says:

    Like Kay said, alight, light blue, or I think a pale dove grey would look good too.

    Discussion: I love blackwork! I enjoy working out and back, up and down, etc… and finding a path to make sure it looks the same from both sides. I like the contrast of blackwork too and how a single color can be manipulated to give much so much depth. I can draw halfway decent, but only on pencil, I am horrible with color, so I guess blackwork appeals to me in that respect as well, since it echoes the only medium I had any talent in what-so-ever.

  5. Mel says:

    Line – Thank you 🙂 perhaps we should have a Catkin stitching day

    Kay – (stage whisper) Which chart I sent you for your birthday?

    Rae – have a look through this site http://www.needlework-tips-and-techniques.com/blackwork.html. Carol, as well as being my other major blackwork designer lust object, has put together a site all about the techniques of blackwork and how each stitch is formed. Go through the old newsletters for the band samplers or her free ebook and you “should” find the maps for each stitch you need. I know I’m going to need to refresh my memory before starting this one.

    Sisu and Kay – I thought about light blue, but there is no white used in the design, so if I used a light blue fabric we’d have blue legs, blue dogs, blue faces. I don’t want to fill them in with white stitching. Maybe a Barely Blue like I stitched Karen’s Celtic K. By the time that was framed it just looked white anyway.

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