etsy

Cinderella, Thumbling, and The Tree of Golden Apples

Today I have a few new embroidery patterns to show off, brought to you by our wee Little Dorrit & Co design team! Whoop! (Click through to Flickr or visit the shop for more / larger photos.)

Cinderella

First up is our vision of the famous Cinderella – a little different than the image that immediately comes to mind, but we think she’s just as pretty. The original tale is, let’s just be honest, a bit bloodier than the version we’re used to. It’s a little weird. But that’s why we love these Grimm tales and found that they make such wonderful embroidered illustrations – they’re all a little on the weird side, some downright bizarre, but some are just so over-the-top that they’re very funny as well. Anyway, in the original story, Cinderella is just as loved by her Prince as in any version, and who can blame him? She’s quite fetching!

Cinderella

We put her in a dramatic, ornate Elizabethan gown because … well, why not?! We couldn’t resist the chance to put all that gold in her dress, all 1600s-stylee. Other than the gold (again, Anchor Lame, can’t go wrong with it!) in her skirt’s border section and her crown, we stuck with your basic embroidery stitches on this one. The floral fill of her skirt adds enough detail without crowding it with too much stitchy clutter. Best to keep it a little simpler and let the design do the work on this one.

Thumbling

We stitched our little Thumbling similarly, keeping it mostly simple. Thumbling is a very little guy who goes on a big adventure. He’s so tiny that he makes a sword out of a sewing needle and hides in a thimble. He is a tailor’s son, after all. This time I used the silver Anchor Lame (I swear we don’t get advertising bucks from Anchor or nothin’, I really just love it that much) to outline the thimble, and some simple lighter grays (in regular DMC stranded cotton) to stitch the markings on the thimble.

Thumbling

One cute stitchery thing in Thumbling, which was all Chrissy’s, is the way she tied his shoes with real tiny one-strand bows. So cute! We didn’t in this case, but sometimes you have to tack down the little loops so they don’t just twist and bunch up.

Tree Of Golden Apples

Now this one might really be my favorite, and I’ve thought about hanging it in my bedroom eventually. This is The Tree of Golden Apples, which is an image that re-appears throughout the Brothers Grimm tales. Again, we kept ours simple in just a few different threads and only couching and stem stitch.

Tree Of Golden Apples

The trunk / bark was a little experiment though, we tried the Anchor Marlitt floss for the first time — and loved it! (Correction made there: I thought it was DMC Satin, but just found my own notes. Whoops. I think we looked at both but the Marlitt had the right color and was shinier, though I could remember that wrong.) I find that you really need to couch it with more stitches than you do with the Lame thread, especially if you plan to wash your piece when you’ve finished. It kind of relaxes and becomes a bit bumpy. You can see it a little here, which is fine, but it did cause us a little aggravation elsewhere (more on that another day!). Other than that little note though, I found it to be a lovely floss – though I can’t vouch for actually stitching with it, I only used it as the main thread for couching.

There’s, again, more to come soon, and all these patterns are available at the Little Dorrit & Co. etsy shop now. And I should mention that we did so many in this set so we could work on our style together in one clump, and so we’d have something substantial to start our wee business with. We won’t always be working on sets of 9 patterns at a time! So, I will be back soon to show you some more as I get the rest photographed — and I think there will be a freebie coming along soon as well!

Little Red-Cap & Rumpelstiltskin (or, Little Dorrit & Co. open for business!)

Well, here it is! The beginning of a new venture, which has been going on in the background – and which I’ve hinted at here and there over the last few months – for some time. I’m, frankly, both totally nervous and very excited to do this, to show you all the first two embroidery patterns to be put up for sale at the Little Dorrit & Co. etsy shop. I really hope people will like them – we do, me and Chrissy (aka my mother, aka my business partner in this project) and we’ve worked really hard to make a set of patterns that illustrate these beloved stories, are fun to stitch, and are just darn cute! Let me tell you a little about the first two, if you’d like?

Little Red-Cap

This is our “Little Red-Cap” pattern, illustrating the tale we all learned as Little Red Riding Hood, but returned to the red velvet cap she originally wore. The rest of the tale remains familiar though – taking a basket of food to her grandmother’s house, Little Red-Cap meets a terrible wolf in the woods! Whatever will she do?!

Little Red-Cap

This one is one of my favorites of the bunch – I love this little path of french knots, and the tiny one-strand flowers and mushrooms tucked in amongst the trees. And those trees, I could just eat ’em up! (I’m allowed to say these things since Chrissy is the draw-er of our little team, and I cannot claim credit myself for those lovely curvy tree shapes.) The basket is done in very tiny cross-hatched couching, with the inside shading by simple one-strand long stitches. It might also look cute done in satin stitch, or perhaps a fill of chain stitch to look like a braided basket.

Little Red-Cap

The sun in this photo introduces a little technique I’ve been using on this pattern set which I like to call (having made it up just now) ‘faux goldwork’ — an affordable version of goldwork that doesn’t need special training to do. I’d love to learn real goldwork techniques, but this will keep me in shine for the meantime. I’ve basically just laid down some Anchor Lamé floss (the best, if you ask me, it’s easy to work with and catches the light so beautifully!) and used a semi-matching thread to couch it down. Working across the back can be a messy challenge, but it’s doable – perhaps I can do a full tutorial for this if people are interested.

The Little Red-Cap pattern is a large one, intended to cover the full length of an A3 paper, and several in our Brothers Grimm set are similar. As much as we all love a quick stitchy fix, I also really love a project that won’t be finished too quickly; I like to have something that I can really get into — and I’d be shocked if there weren’t at least a few others out there like me! But having said that, these patterns will be easy to adapt to a smaller project – there’s no reason you couldn’t enlarge it more and use Little Red and/or her wolf on their own! Most of our patterns’ main elements or characters can easily be lifted out and applied to any project you have in mind.

Rumpelstiltskin

The second of this first batch is a smaller one (to print on a single A4): good ‘ole Rumpelstiltskin, that little devilish man popping his head in, ready to trick the poor Miller’s daughter. Before she knows it, she’s going to have to guess his ridiculous name or give up her first-born child! I particularly like this one because I’m a spinner myself, it’d look very cute hanging in a spinning nook near a basket of woolly goodness, no?

Rumpelstiltskin

For the apron, in lazy daisy stitch, stem stitch, and little cross-stitches, we used an off-white thread that was only just a bit different in color to our fabric. We wanted to mimic the look of whitework and lace for the Miller’s daughter’s apron, but still have it be visible enough not to be drowned out by the other stitching. It was a little stitchy experiment we tried there, and I think it worked out pretty well. I’ll definitely use that trick again.

Rumpelstiltskin

Rumpelstiltskin himself just had to be a red-head, don’t you think? Mischievous little fellow and all. I have no idea what it’s called, but I filled in his hair with loads of tiny stitches going every which way (does that have a name? I’m sure it must.) which I’d never done before. Fun! I can’t wait until there’s a need for that again!

Both of these patterns are available at our Little Dorrit & Co. etsy shop and there will be more to come in this Brothers Grimm fairy tale set. I will show them to you as they go up in the shop, probably a few at a time over the next couple of weeks, while we work on a whole new set that I think are pretty great. Sssh, more on that in good time. But before any of that, I’m going spend the week working on a blog re-design – I’m excited to have outgrown this layout, it’s time to try something new!

Rhywd

So … my laptop is all dead. Well, hopefully not actually dead. It seems to be stuck in a comatose state for the moment. A trip to the Apple shop and their “Genius” team allowed me to save some of the most important files, thank goodness, though not all of the music I’ve accumulated since my last back-up (which is not irreplaceable, but still: sob). But at least I’m not panicking anymore. That’s quite nice. I am, however, stuck with my old laptop for now. He’s a hardy old lad, but it’s just not as easy to do stuff without, you know, my stuff.

Hilltop Cloud spin-to-knit kit test

But technology be damned. I can still tell you about a project I finished up recently even on this old creaking laptop. I was lucky enough to be given the chance to test a new spin-to-knit kit by the super-duper-amazing Katie from Hilltop Cloud Fibers. Seriously, if you’re a spinner (or knitter really, because she also sells handspun yarns), you need to check out her etsy shop. Though I secretly kinda don’t want to tell you about it because I’m a little afraid you’ll buy up all the pretties and there won’t be any left for me. Not that I’d ever be greedy about it, of course.

Hilltop Cloud spin-to-knit kit test

Katie’s got an eye for color that just matches my own color sensibilities, such as they are, perfectly. Browsing her shop is like taking a peek into the color section of my brain (it’s all science-y up in here today!) – the combinations she comes up with are breathtaking and totally unique, and her fibers are the loveliest quality and beautifully blended. This yarn came from handblended baby alpaca / silk / merino roving which is every bit as soft and fluffy as it sounds. I promise I’m not affiliated, just a very happy customer.

Hilltop Cloud spin-to-knit kit test

Which is, of course, why I jumped at the chance to test this new kit out. Spin delicious loveliness and call it a “favor” to someone else?! Hecks yes, I’ll do that. Snap. The pattern is called Rhywd, a lovely drapey scarf that suits handspun and variegated yarns perfectly, and the kit comes with enough fiber to spin the yarn and knit it up. I’ll let Katie tell you more about it herself, but I will add that the whole thing was a very nice experience and I’d happily do it again in a minute. So stop wasting time around here, go buy Katie’s pretties!

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