A second conversation

You may recall that I started on the horse in the canvaswork, and then suffered from Doubts. I thought it looked an unholy mess, and diverted my thoughts to the fence by the cottage. Which turned out very pleasingly, which is always a relief.

Then my cousin made a passing comment that helped me unstick the problem – she said that there are two conversations going on in the picture, one between the man and the woman, the other between the dog and the horse. That being the case, it seemed to me that I should maybe use the same technique for the dog and the horse, even the same sort of thread, so as to highlight the conversation.

I wanted to create the impression of fur, but nothing too shaggy, so while I wrestled with unpicking the horse, I started on the dog. Stranded cotton, separated and recombined using several close colours (I have a lot of stranded cotton, so this is all still stash), and then worked upward from the feet and the end of the tail in something a bit like long and short stitch.

I think this has worked well. We have friends whose dog is a similar shape and colouring to this one, and it was fun to sit and stitch with her in mind.

Of course, an entire horse (I’m calling him “Dobbin”, of course!) is going to take some time to do, since I need to work upwards. But at least I’ve made a good start here, smaller stitches around the hoof, longer stitches, with still longer ones planned, for the tail.

He’s a rough-coated working country horse, not a sleek and shining racehorse, so if the colours are clouded a bit, and the darks and lights not as distinct as they might be, that’s all to the good.

I’ve continued to work on the tent stitch, too, every which way, as it is in the sections already worked when I got the canvas, so the whole thing is getting closer to being finished..


  1. Sue Jones says:

    Unlike the coronation sampler, this one is definitely worth finishing. The dog has worked extremely well, and I reckon dobbin will be equally good when finished. The every-which-way tent stitch helps prepare the way for the more freely worked animals. A formal tent stitch would make them too detached from the rest. A few scatterings of French knots would also help break up any bits of middle ground that need more texture, if you find that you need it afterwards.

  2. Karen says:

    What an excellent plan, that’s working really well

  3. Carolyn Foley says:

    I think the conversation between the animals is charming and you have made a good choice of stitches for them.

  4. Lin says:

    Oh the little dog has worked really well. Dobbin is looking good too. xx

  5. Terrie says:

    So delicate and beautiful work.

  6. Dobbin and Friend are looking very fine. Using the stranded cotton works so much better as the texture looks distinctly less Highland cow and allows for more interesting colour changes. Hurrah for encouraging diversions and helpful cousinly comments. I hadn’t noticed the this way and that of the tent stitch in previous posts, it adds an element of very subtle visual sparkle doesn’t it? As Sue says, it links in with the free stitching of the characters and gives them a more sympathetic base. All coming along very nicely 🙂

  7. Jillayne says:

    The idea of the conversations is such an interesting way of looking at this piece and then factoring them in to your approach – very clever way of building connection and cohesion.