Water, but not a Watery Grave

Originally posted 2012-08-08 06:53:53. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

kathy schenkel pirate needlepoint stitched by needlepoint expert janet m perry, featuring dragonfly lotus threads

When the water is smooth, finding a color and stitch to use is easy. But what if you want to capture the feel of a choppy, open sea?

Finding a good solution for this has always eluded me. That is until now.

I found most overdyes, which might be good to capture the changing colors of the water to be too bold when changing color. In addition they rarely include white or light blue to show those occasional glimpses of whitecap when the wind whips a little crest.

When it came to stitches I felt as if most things I tried were just too directional. So I never got the choppy feel of the water. Since I live on an island, I got to think about this pretty much every day when I crossed a bridge.

I wanted the backgrounds of this pirate series to reflect the open ocean and sunny skies. To my delight this thread from Dragonfly Lotus turned out to be better than I could have imagined. The color is Ocean Spray and it’s from their Lotus Collection.

Currently this color is only available to members of their Thread Club (well worth joining, I’ve found so many great colors there). IN a few months it will be available to everyone.

Dragonfly Lotus threads are handspun and hand-dyed. That makes them perfect. The two-ply thread is made from two hand-dyed threads, so often there are different colors in each ply. This causes there to be a tweedy look, but one that is not constant.

When you combine this with occasional bits of white and light blue, you get those bits of white that look like waves. Being handspun you also get more variation in thickness that also adds to the choppy look.

This thread combined the colors I wanted with an uneven look, but it wasn’t quite enough. I wanted a stitch that had plenty of changes of direction. Usually when I want this kind of stitch I turn to Criss-cross Hungarian. But I worried too much that this would be too regular.

It turned out not to be the case. Although the stitch changes direction, that regular feel is dampened by the ever-changing color and feel of the thread.

The combination turned out to be prefect. I can’t wait to do the next one in the series. (It’s from Kathy Schenkel’s Pirates of the Caribbean series and I’m making them as ornaments for my son.)


  1. Linda says

    I have some of her threads in my stash and a project in mind – glad to see they’ve worked for you! Is this on 18 count? That’s what my project is on….

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