Feeling Contrary

Counted thread is my embroidery forte. Oh, I dabble in stumpwork and crewel and random acts of needleart, but my expertise is in embroidery that can be counted and gridded: cross stitch, blackwork, hemstitching, Hardanger, etc. That means it’s based on squares, lines, and right angles.

I hate to say it, but sometimes that bums me out. Sometimes I’m drawn to circles and curves. What’s a counted-thread girl to do when she’s feeling contrary and craving curves?

Well, I’ll tell you . . .


Fake It!

One option is to fake curves with strategic step downs and/or fractional stitches that enable 45-degree angles. We used the step-down method to create round(ish) frames around the Portraits of the Wild Life and the planets in The Neighborhood.

We use this method a lot.

We also used a lot of fractional stitches in the wolf and other animals to get beyond the square issue.


Wolf, Portraits of the Wild Life, by Funk & Weber Designs

The wolf from Portraits of the Wild Life


Milky Way planets cross stitch pattern.

The Neighborhood cross stitch pattern by Funk & Weber Designs.



Stitching threads and wires to the surface by couching allows for real curves, but, then, is this really counted thread? I think not.


Couching, Funk & Weber Designs

The curved scribbles on this bookmark are couched.


Countable Stitches that Create Curves

And then there are counted stitches that create curves. Three of my favorites are crescent stitches, button-hole wheels (spider webs and all other wheels), and something else with a name I don’t remember that works like a closed-circle crescent stitch.

So I’m doodling in my design program, playing with stitches that create curves and circles. Those stars or rotating squares or whatever you want to call them will create circles when stitched.


Curves and circles.

Curves and circles


Or maybe . . .


Curves playground, Funk & Weber Designs

Curves and Circles Playground


Yeah, this is what I do.

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