Something that Wants Finishing..

Being known as a stitcher leaves one heir to everything stitch related that someone, far or near, may be at a loss to deal with. Sometimes this is a thrill, sometimes it’s a chore, sometimes a bewilderment.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with this, passed on to me by a friend of a friend. Almost all you can see below is already finished, and I’m certainly not going to undo it.

But what follows isn’t finished, and I don’t have the threads that came with the canvas.

First thoughts are to unpick anything of the people and animals that’s been stitched, and restitch it with stranded cottons, maybe slightly more highly coloured. Then perhaps do the ground in a mixture of soft cottons and tapestry wool, although those muted, sludgy colours may be a little hard to find in my stash.

Thoughts, anyone?


  1. Sue Jones says:

    I have no tapestry wool to send you.
    I think there are times when your best bet is to ask the person who gave it to you whether they are willing to pay for the necessary extra skeins, take the canvas to a shop and buy what you don’t have. Or politely say no. Faffing about on this kind of design with stranded cotton is rarely worth the time and effort.

  2. Alex Hall says:

    Or what about using the already stitched section as part of something completely different? I’m sure I’ve seen some work online of someone who takes old tapestries like this and makes really useable/practical bags by using the tapestry for the main panel and combining it with other fabrics for the rest of the bag.

  3. What are the conditions? Are you to finish this for that friend of a friend, or is it yours to keep? If it is the former, make sure you get the funds to buy the supply. If you are to keep it and want to do a reasonable good job without having to spend any money on it, how about this: get a ball of white/beige knitting yarn in the right weight, then dye the yarn with tea or onion skins or soy sauce. One dip for light colours, several for the darker shades. Ketchup would add a bit of red and spinach the green. Or you could used wax crayons to shade the beige knitting yarn…
    Personally I would not mix in stranded floss as I guess the parts worked are in wool.

  4. Carolyn Foley says:

    I agree with you other commenters about getting the funds to buy supplies if it is for someone else. Trying to match colours is always difficult as dye lots differ so much from one another. Using cotton thread may work but then again it might look weird.

  5. Hmmm, that is a bit of a challenge isn’t it? Sometimes friends of friends might need a bit of reality check!!
    I agree with the other comments about mixing in embroidery floss, the change of colour and texture might look very strange, though it would probably work if just picking out the figures. If there’s a brand name on the borders of the canvas you could at least see if you could source the yarns if you are of a mind to spend money on this (or persuade someone else to). I’d be tempted to ask yourself whether finishing it would make your heart sing or whether to pass it back with a polite “no thank you” and avoid what might become a bit of a drudge and take you away from more inspiring things.