More Stash Busting

In the clearest demonstration yet – at least in embroidery terms – that we are in the End Times, I have embarked on some stash busting counted tent stitch.

I rather enjoyed working on the Stash Busting Footstool, and there was a bit of canvas left on the frame when I’d made it, so I reattached the cut end, rifled through what was left of the tapestry wool, and started to play.

Since I don’t know how far my wools will stretch, my sole “design” is to take the idea of making a fabric from ornamental ribbons, alternating broad and narrow.

This vine pattern is based on one in “Needlepoint” from Ebury Press.

The next two “ribbons” I made up as I went along – one narrow, light pattern in two shades of yellow, and another broad one, this one distinctly made-up-as-I-went-along. It was very vaguely inspired by another in “Needlepoint”, which in turn claimed to be inspired by a Persian pattern. I have my doubts, but in any case, even when I tried to have a sensible pattern of spacing, I ended up with something of a mishmash.

You may have noticed that the “neutral” in the two broad stripes is not the same colour. I’m going to try to alternate these as backgrounds, unless and until I start to need to blend them together to fill the space.

Third band and false start
Third band and false start

The next, narrow, band, is a chequerboard.

I like the stripe part of this next pattern, but after working the baubles, I looked again and decided that they weren’t quite working. I was trying for a mix of shapes, a bit of variety, and something to change the spacing of the stripes, but not this!

And while you assimilate the shock of me happily doing counted work – Episode 44 of Slow TV Stitchery is now live. In which we discuss the EES as an early crowd-funded organisation, my ambitions to hold a Dreams of Amarna exhibition, and whether “medieval muddle” is an idea purely from 19th Century northern Europe.


  1. I’m enjoying your canvaswork stashbusters. I’ve not done any for years, but am tempted – though as you say, best finish a few other things first!!
    I noted some unwitting testimony that you too might have been watching Mr Ross’s painting programmes – his “patter” as he paints really is so soothing that you just have to keep watching, unlike that of his mentor, who is rather more agressively dramatic in his delivery!!
    An album of music to stitch by is a grand idea. Like you I can’t listen to audio book while stitching, in fact, I’m never sure about the concept at all, but our library does have an audio copy of the Book Smugglers of Timbuktu which I’m rather tempted by.
    I wonder if your angel might be supported by something as lowly as a waste paper bin, if you can find one with parallel sides, or the interior of a pedal bin? Very mundane, but perhaps more the proportions you are looking for?

  2. You have found beautiful patterns for your ribbons. The leftover yarn must be so happy to turn into gorgeous art. The meaning of life for a hank of wool!

  3. Lady Fi says:

    Love the retro colours!

  4. Lin Tarrant says:

    A great way to use up your stash. xx

  5. Sue Jones says:

    I like you first two bands very much. The next would really annoy me with its irregular spacing. Sorry. And although the latest stripe will look different when it has a background, behind it, I think you are right to take out those pawnbroker’s golden balls. Enjoy pondering their replacement!

  6. Jen Mullen says:

    I’m loving the ribbons, especially the borders on the wide bands. There is such a richness in the wide bands, in color, patterns, and borders!

  7. Sheryl says:

    I like the combination of colours and patterns of the first two bands, not so sure about the third one. Interested to see what changes you will make while looking for that bit of variety.

  8. Carolyn Foley says:

    Great way to use up threads. Will have to add this one to my ‘arsenal”.