While I am the first to sing the praises of buying needlepoint from consignment sites and on eBay, some times it is immensely frustrating. This is particularly true when you are stitching a set with several canvases in it. Right now I have this problem with the Princess & Me nativity. More specifically with this figure.
Look at him, he’s a shepherd. You can tell that because he has a crook. Unhappily when I bought the canvases there was no St. Joseph available. I decided that the shepherd could be St. Joseph. All that would be needed would be to change the crook into a staff because St. Joseph is usually depicted carrying a staff.
No biggie, right?
That was before I got the different backgrounds idea (read about it here). The background I was thinking to use on a canvas was T Stitch. That won’t work because some of the crook will be exposed.
So what should I do? Pick a different background stitch? But I can’t find more of the thread. Paint out the crook and hope no one will notice the whites don’t match perfectly? What would you do?
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Janet Perry is the Internet's leading authority on needlepoint. She designs, teaches and writes, getting raves from her fans for her innovative techniques, extensive knowledge and generous teaching style. A leading writer of stitch guides, she blogs here and lives on an island in the northeast corner of the SF Bay with her family
To my eye, at least, St Joseph is placed on the canvas so that the figure looks centered when you include the scrolling part of the hook. If you don’t want to trace or count him onto a different piece of canvas (and it wouldn’t be difficult), I would consider converting the crook to a palm tree. The staff part could be the trunk, and palm fronds in the upper corner could cover the hook which would also be a great opportunity for another decorative stitch or two. Otherwise I would change the background color and center the figure when you finish him.
Elaine Oldberg says
It won’t completely solve the problem but I would look for the same thread weigbt and finish only in the beige that shows in the trim. Maybe over stitch in long and short and at random but the same direction until the crook is covered. But that would take it pretty far down in the design, so maybe only partly useful.?
I’d consider adapting the design to a fresh, blank canvas. A staff is easy enough to graph. What color coat, hair etc. do you want for St. Joseph? Should he be a little taller? Bearded?
Alternatively, keep looking for St. Joseph.
Darcy Walker says
I would paint out the crook.once stitched over, no one will notice the under paint.
I use the 18” rule – if it looks good 18” away from my nose, I am good to go. It is small,
Part of a set capturing the eye. Not worth a lot of angst.