Updated April 7, 2020.
These days, you find colorful windsocks everywhere, there streamer ends catching every breeze. I have often thought that tiny versions of these would be a great idea for a Christmas ornament. I love the way this ornament is a different shape and can be made in so many different colors.
By choosing a basic Bargello pattern and using a variety of round and ribbon threads, I came up with this little wind sock Bargello needlepoint ornament. While needlepoint makes it much more sturdy than full-size windsocks, the ability to use a variety of threads makes this a standout for your tree, even if the breeze isn’t blowing.
The stitching is easy, but the finishing is a bit more complex, so follow the directions carefully. For the model, I used a monochrome color scheme, based on a color of peach matte cotton I had in my stash along with several ribbon threads, also from my stash. The material list includes more generalized thread choices.
- 2 skeins matte cotton thread, such as DMC Matte Cotton
- 4 or more different kinds of ribbon (flat) threads (I used Fyrewerks, Frosty Rays, hand-dyed silk ribbon, and Rachel) – at least one should be metallic
- 2 “bone” knitting rings 1.5 inches diameter
- 18 mesh interlock canvas (this makes the ornament easier to assemble)
- Begin by measuring the circumference of one of the knitting rings. Measure this out onto your canvas and add about twelve threads. This is the length of the canvas. The width is 66 threads. Fold down a five-thread margin on both long edges and one short edge.
- Begin stitching with the matte cotton, using the chart, starting in the upper left corner of the canvas.
- Continue stitching, with every other row being matte cotton, until you have filled the canvas up to 5=five threads from the unfolded short edge (as seen in the picture above). Be sure to stitch through all layers of canvas when you are at the edges, leaving a single hole folded over at the top and bottom, so that one white thread shows on both the inside and outside.
- Now you have completed the stitching and need to assemble the windsock. You have two long edges with just one thread of canvas showing at the top and bottom of the stitching. You will use those edges and matte cotton to bind the canvas around the knitting ring.
Tie a knot at the end of the matte cotton thread (use a long length). Bring the needle from the inside to the outside along the center of one edge, so that the knot is on the back. Place the ring on the back of the canvas and hold it there.
- Using an Overcast Stitch, and going over the ring, sew the edge of the canvas, making sure to cover every hole. This will also cover the ring with the matte cotton and give the windsock a stiff top.
- Make sure that when you get to the area where the edges meet, that the unstitched canvas is inside the stitched canvas. Later you will sew up this edge.
- Once one end has been completed, repeat the process with the other end. Try to have the threads covering the ring be as smooth as possible.
- Next, sew up the overlapped edges with the matte cotton. Try to make this as neat as you can, but don’t worry about duplicating the Bargello stitch, something more sturdy, like Cross or Tent is required.
- Pick the neater of the two ends to be the top. Now it’s time to add ribbons to the bottom. Cut 12-18 inches lengths from the ribbon threads you used or use others that coordinate. You can use as many or as few ribbons as you like. Thread your needle with a ribbon, but don’t tie the end. Bring your needle from the inside to the outside, over a thread and back inside. Do not pull too hard, leave a long tail and unthread your needle as soon as you can. Now you have two long ends. Pull one end or the other to make them even and tie a knot. This will secure the streamers.
- I used one thread at a time when I was making the streamers and tried to space them evenly around the ornament. Continue adding streamers until you think you have enough. Trim them to an even length at least 6 inches long.
- I made a hanger out or matte cotton. I took a very long length of the thread and knotted one end. Putting the knot to the inside, I went back and forth twice, holding the thread away from the top of the ornament to make a hanger. Then I took the remaining thread and wrapped it around my hanger to make it look more finished.
To get the kinks out of some of the threads I used, try using a hair flatiron.