Follow Up to the Lady By The Lake

Stitching showing colour changes

Stitching showing colour changes

Several of the comments on my Lady By The Lake post asked me to show some close ups of how I achieved the colour changes on the skirt. I’ve not had enough light to get her down from the wall, so in the meantime I found a fragment of canvas and some tapestry wool and worked a couple of patches of stitching to show what I mean.

The stitch is a bordered Hungarian Stitch. I couldn’t find a diagram online, but I think it is fairly clear to see how the stitch fits together!

I was rather limited by the threads I had available, but I’ve tweaked the image in The Gimp, and I hope you can see that I’ve only used three colours of wool, but I’ve achieved seven variants of shade. In practice I think I would choose one or other of dark diamond and light border or light diamond and dark border, and stick with that choice, since changing between them is rather messy. That said, sometimes it’s worth the extra headache to get the precise effect you want. This stitch gave the Lady a slightly textured skirt with suitable shading without spending the earth on different thread colours.

A Patch Of Linen Stitch

A Patch Of Linen Stitch

As this patch shows, you can blend colours with Linen Stitch as well, and I have done in the past, when the available colours weren’t quite right for the effect I wanted to achieve. I didn’t do so on the Lady, because I wanted to create the effect of a glossy silk satin blouse. So rather than creating softer colours by blending them, I wanted strong shadows and bright colours. The Lady’s canvas was a double thread canvas, so I could choose to work at two different scales. I wanted to reserve the finest scale for her skin, so everything else used the basic canvas count, and the skin and features were worked as petit point.

Hmm, I really do need to get her down and try photographing her again, don’t I. There’s loads more to say about the Lady by the Lake!


  1. Lady Fi says:

    Wonderful colours.. I especially like the linen patch.

  2. Susan says:

    Hmm….I LIKE that linen stitch. It looks like a piece of woven cloth. Thanks for posting it.

  3. karen says:

    I love these small swatches of stitch, perfectly executed too. I fear we will never attain the ‘perfectly organised’ sewing environment. We are lost causes!!

  4. Loved the “Lady by the lake” and amazed at the amount of thought that went into the shading of her skirt. Iam curious about the commissioned work. Have you completed it? Would love to see the pics.
    Thanks for visiting my place and letting me know about your wonderful blog.
    Hugs from India

  5. I really love those samples – especially the blue and white. Beautifully done; it’s a great effect.

  6. Mam says:

    Your ingenuity and dedication never ceases to amaze me, though I don’t know why it should. I’ve known you all your life!

  7. Janice says:

    The linen stitch is gorgeous!