Dragon Lake by Black Swan Designs

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.

Dragon Lake by Black Swan Designs

Copyright Karen Weaver, 1997.

Black Swan Designs

Dragon Lake by Black Swan Designs

Chart: The chart uses small but easy to see and easy to distinguish symbols. The chart is on a large A2 sheet folded and stapled inside a cardboard cover. The staples go through non-stitching areas of the chart. Personally I’d make a working copy of each section and enlarge the symbols a touch. When working from a large chart like this, the symbols on the folds tend to rub and wear off over time as the chart is folded and unfolded through use. (Been there done that with other charts). This is the type of chart that now (15 years later) I would love to buy as a PDF.

Stitches: Pattern uses whole cross stitch, quarter cross stitch and backstitch. There is an alternate legend provided for “African-American colors” to stitch the water spirit.

Materials: DMC stranded cotton, Kreinik blending filament, Kreinik #4 Very Fine braid and Mill Hill beads. Stitched on 32ct Zweigart “Pearl Grey” Silk/Linen blend or Wichelt “Royal Crown Bonnie Blue” Linen.  I like the silk/linen blend over straight linen, but I’m liking blue over grey.  I have an email in to Wichelt asking what colour replaced “Bonnie Blue”

Designer’s Notes: Dragons are elusive creatures, even in the land of Enchantra. One only hears their occasional roar or feels the shudder of the air as they take flight. Or, that is as it should be … if all is well.

Once, in a time now consigned to myth and legend, a gentle dragon named Thanos was persecuted by the outside world and the mist-covered hidden lakes of Enchantra seemed his only refuge. All was well for a time but with safety came loneliness. Soon his cries filled the valley echoed beyond the hills until they reached and touched the heart of a similarly endangered water spirit, Meriana.

Meriana evaded mortals, conquered land hazards and mystical spirits until she finally surfaced in Thanos’ lake. Now the only sounds heard are the bubbling laughter of lapping water and the contented dragon hiss of misting spray. Legend says that anyone fortunate enough to glimpse the happy pair is forever blessed by fortune.

But, this rarely happens … for dragons are very elusive creatures, even in the land of Enchantra.

Why I was attracted to this design: I *think* I have the entire Enchantra series in my stash. I had plans on stitching the series and then framing them identically and framing the story of Enchantra that goes with these pieces.  I was in the SCA when these pieces were released so I had grand plans of asking a friend to calligraphy the story not just frame some typing.

So why haven’t I stitched it? Like all grand schemes … something else got in the way – or became a higher priority or I simply didn’t stitch fast enough.  In these cases I didn’t even get any of them kitted up.  So starting with Dragon Lake, hand dyed fabric? Or is the pattern too busy?  Would a plan background be preferred for this one?  Not a grey though.

Where can you buy it? Your LNS can order this in for you via Needlework Showcase. According to the Black Swan site this chart should cost around $8US.

Discussion questions: Do you have grand schemes for a series in your stash?  Or a series that you want in your stash?  Tell me about your grand plan!

Oh and don’t forget to vote in the Project-a-Day Poll please?

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5 Responses to Dragon Lake by Black Swan Designs

  1. rocalisa says:

    I think a “sea” or a “sky” style of hand-dyed would look good with this one.

  2. kay jones says:

    Sparklies or come to that Polstitches have a great stormy skies fabric. On balance I thin k Jo’s is best and would fit this well.

  3. Sisu says:

    A soft green or subtle green hand-dyed, but I think a metallic or opalescent fabric would fit nicely.

  4. Karen R in GA says:

    I wonder what this would look like on Castle View, the linen I used for The Castle? It’s blue-grey, and I know the greens would pop on it – don’t know if there’d be enough contrast to the blues, unless it was the lighter evenweave version… Since it’s YOU, how about BLACK??? 🙂 Or something like Wandering Ivy, but less mottled, just for a hint of cool green – and opalescent would be a bonus.

    I don’t really have any “series” that aren’t seasonal – I have 2 of the 4 TW Carousel Horses, but those, too, are seasonal, and though I would have made sure to do them on the same count fabric (oh, had I not done Fall on 14ct aida!), other than that, each would be an individual project. Now, I currently have 4 By The Bay charts, the seasonal Cove series, that I am doing on like fabric; part of that was because I am considering having 1 frame, and popping them in & out as the seasons change. But also, I can fit 2 of them on a fat quarter, so I picked 2 colors that would work, which fits my budget much better than having to buy 4 pieces of fabric, regardless of whether I actually swap them out or frame them all individually.

  5. Laura says:

    Oh, I would play with hand dyed fabric for this one. I think the fantasy pieces look especially nice on hand dyed. Have a chat with Marilyn and Shari at PTP and see what they would suggest. I think they both have a great eye for what would work and you’ll get more than one suggestion.

    I have the Shepherd’s Bush floral series — Amaranth, Bilberry, Rowanberry, etc. set of 8 patterns that I’m stitching. I was inspired to do this after my RR group completed the Christmas series of 4 for me. I want to get all 8 stitched and framed and hang them in place of the Christmas pieces. They’re fun to stitch and contain some nice specialty stitches. They’re very small so I really have no excuse for not having them stitched already. I’ve completed 3 or 4 of them and just need to stitch the rest. Hmmmm, maybe I can use this as inspiration and get them going again!!

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