Another ancient piece

The Coaster I worked for my Grandfather

The Coaster I worked for my Grandfather

About fifteen years ago I was going through one of those periods of penury that we are all subject to, so Christmas presents and birthday presents became rather a challenge – usually solved by making something, with varying degrees of success.

This coaster was made for my grandfather, based on a version of the merchant navy’s Crown And Anchor symbol.  It’s worked in ordinary stranded cotton (all I had at the time) and you’ll be surprised what stitches I managed to cram into it!

The Crown in close up

The Crown in close up

I don’t imagine that Grandad noticed (he only had one eye – the other was glass – and the working eye was short-sighted), but the top curve of the crown is worked in Pekinese Stitch, worked very small and tight, while the headband is worked with the colours the other way around and slightly larger and looser. The tiny cross on the top is a composite of an ordinary cross stitch worked over a slightly larger upright cross stitch.

The Rope And Shank

The Rope And Shank

The more conventional stitches of course included back stitch, stem stitch, and satin stitch. The cable that is wrapped around the anchor is worked in two rows of Magic Chain Stitch, purely because (if I remember correctly!) I thought it would be fun and had been twitching to try it ever since I had seen it diagrammed. It worked pretty well in the end, as it happens.

It’s not one of my most successful pieces, but it was fun to do, and it came back to me after my grandfather died and now lives beside the spare room bed, ready for glasses of water or cups of morning tea.


  1. Elmsley Rose says:

    That’s just lovely! Tho I did your description of your poor Grandpa’s sight, well, kinda funny – in terms of seeing the piece. Poor man!

  2. Penny says:

    Stitchery is always a good gift! This was very cleverly done. I’m sure your Grandpa loved it, even if he had a hard time seeing.

  3. Your Grandfather kept it so it had a special meaning for him. Keep your story together with the piece, it’s one of those things that can be passed on.

  4. How lovely that it came back to you; what a great story.

  5. karen says:

    how lovely that Granddad got to use it an now it’s back with you….

  6. I have all the needlework that I did over the years for my parents and in-laws – including a traycloth I did for my Mum when I was still at primary school.

  7. It’s lovely and I’m sure your grandad loved it! I never knew there WERE so many different kinds of stitches as you seem to come up with! Pekinese Stitch ?! I learn something with every visit to you! xC

  8. Lady Fi says:

    What a lovely piece – all the more so because of the memories and love it was stitched with.

  9. Susan says:

    I like how you make things that have meaning to your recipients. And it’s’ great that it’s still near to you now that he’s gone.

  10. Janice says:

    I’m sure your granddad appreciated it and understood the hard work that had gone into it, even if he couldn’t really see it. It’s a very thoughtful and personal gift.