The Rider

When I first started looking at this canvas, I was reminded of the episode of “A Stitch in Time” in which Ninya Mikhaila did a reconstruction of the garment in a portrait of a hedgecutter on a country estate. The garment in question was made of leather or buckskin and very plainly at least 50 years behind the fashion at the point at which it appeared in the photo. So it had been made for the Squire, and then gradually been passed from hand to hand, appearing to be almost indestructible, if not as good looking as before. So my first thought was to use soft cotton. However, I don’t have much soft cotton in my stash, and it turned out too heavy for the canvas anyway, so I used pearl cottons and Caron Collection “Watercolours” thread, one strand of the three. Linen stitch is what basketweave tent stitch looks like on the back, and although it can be a bit tricky to do, and it’s more time-consuming than basketweave tent, it’s worth the effort!

As with the lady at the cottage door, I blended several different shades of stranded cotton to create the approximate shades for the face, and used petit point to bring in a little more detail.

The hat was a bit more of a challenge, but in the end I decided it was a woven straw hat rather than a felt one, and created a criss-crossing effect, with something like herringbone stitch, but worked in a rather freestyle fashion.

The pouch hanging at his waist is stranded cotton, tiny cross stitches using the single crossing points of the canvas, and I decided to make his breeches in Kelim stitch, hoping it would make a sort of corduroy effect.

Not really, as it turns out, but it was worth a try!

The saddle is soft cotton, and I’ve used condensed mosaic stitch. I want the level of shine to contrast with the horse, which is probably going to be in Paterna.


  1. Kathy says:

    Very effective indeed, I love the texture on his jacket in particular. This portion is going to look so much nicer and more interesting than it might had the original stitcher just done it all in tent stitch 🙂

  2. Sue Jones says:

    You are clearly having far too much fun here! I like that battered hat. The saddle pattern works very nicely, it looks like it’s underneath the leg.

  3. Rosy says:

    J’aime cette façon de mélanger plusieur fils différent et divers points dans une même broderies

  4. Amanda says:

    Looks great and very detailed.
    Having grown up with a very stitchy Nan, Houseparty and Embroidery With Erica (Wilson) I loved seeing a Stitch in Time. I was over the moon to find loads of the Erica programmes on YouTube too!

  5. I am especially impressed with the face.

  6. I’m liking the hat, it does a straw effect to it.

  7. Carolyn Foley says:

    It is the boots that caught my attention. Great shading there.

  8. Karen says:

    I really like all the textures you’re creating here with the different threads and varying the size of the stitch etc.

  9. Sheryl says:

    Interesting work, I like the straw hat.