Liz Morrow had a great post on her blog LizArt, about a piece she made that was an adaptation of a fractal she had seen in a picture. I found it tremendously inspiring and this is a rick source of ideas for your own needlepoint.
Let’s begin by describing what a fractal, is. Quite simply a fractal is a mathematical shape which can be split up so that each smaller part is a repeat of the larger part. Sounds kind of dull doesn’t it? The critical thing is that fractals are self-similar.
But fractals are anything but, in fact fractals are something you see all around you, but probably never think about. Coastlines are fractals (they continue to get more irregular as you get closer and closer), tree branches are fractals, clouds, lightning, and even snowflakes are all examples of fractals. If you want to learn more about them and see several of the more famous ones, including an animated version of creating the fractal seen at the top of this post, visit the Wikipedia article on fractals.
Back to needlepoint. Simpler fractals can be adapted to needlepoint in interesting ways. The triangle of triangles, called properly Sierpinski Triangle, is easy to make from Trianglepoint. Liz’s jewelry box uses a diamond-shaped stitch to make the fractal.
To start my search for fractals to adapt, I went to Google’s image search. First I searched for “simple fractals“. This gave me some great ideas. I’m thinking the above fractal, by Andy Meneely, would be a cool design done in needlepoint damask.
If you don’t want to design your own fractal, or want to stitch a more complex pattern, Cross Stitch Collectibles, has several books and printed fractal patterns charted for Cross Stitch, as well as a simple fractal bookmark, available as a free pattern. Because these patterns are whole stitch, they will adapt easily to needlepoint.
Now you may be wondering about that triangular fractal at the top of this post, why am I not adapting it? It’s delightfully simple, can be done in an easy technique, and looks really cool. Well, I’m not adapting it because I already have. It’s pictured above and the instructions will be available on All about Needlepoint under adaptation.