12 Little Needle Cases

April: A Laid and Couched Lion

This needlework piece is part of my ongoing exploration of different medieval embroidery styles. A full explanation of the project can be found here.

Have I ever said I love working with natural fibers? There is just something wonderful about working with wool. Its sticky, and sticks to the fabric, which is sometimes problematic, but I love the way it works up for embroidery. Working with wool thread in this piece was magical.

To read about how I selected this design click here.

The Lion on the Bayeux Tapestry

I started this project by tracing my pattern using a light table and a water soluble marker. Then, I started with the outline stitch. Honestly, the hardest stitch for me was using stem stitch to do the outlines. It was difficult for me to decide which side to put the needle on to get a smooth line. I think this is something that will be approved upon with more practice, and a little more attention paid to the twist of the yarn as well.

I started by outlining the tail and the hind legs. Then I decided to try my hand at the Bayeux stitch. I used long vertical stitches like those seen in the tapestry. This went quickly and was very fun. Then I moved on to finishing the outline for the mane, body and forearms, before I filled in the body and arms with Bayeux stitch and then the head with outline stitch.

A little Bayeux Lion on a needle case!

Overall I am very happy with how it turned out. I wish some of my stem stitches had been better and more consistent with the original. I figured out after completing the process that there is a very subtle difference between stem stitch and outline stitch and the outline stitch is what was used in the Bayeux Tapestry. If you would like to read about that click this article. But I loved doing the Bayeux stitch, I think it will be fun to do in the future in different applications. It covered large areas in relatively short periods of time and didn’t use as much thread as I thought it might. I bought much more than I ended up needing.

I also would order different colors next time. The green should be bluer and the gold should be warmer, and maybe the terracotta brighter, but I have plenty of yarn left, so I might want to make some other things, like that little baby chicken dragon or some cats doing something funny.

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