When I was at the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching show I came across this little kit for two Christmas ornaments. Knowing that my next RSN Certificate course would be canvaswork, I decided these would be a perfect first project. They’re produced by Sunken Treasures near Hull, UK. Some of her other kits were very pretty and worth checking out on her web site.
This little kit contains everything to make two Christmas ornaments. Two pieces of 18 count mono canvas, 5 colors of DMC floss – two shades of red, two of green and one of gold, felt, a needle and complete instructions.
I took everything out of the package and got ready to stitch. I don’t have a hoop small enough for the pieces of canvas so I’m working in the hand. I think it will be OK since the canvas pieces are so small; 4 x 6 inches or 10 x 15 cm. The instructions were clear about how to find the center of the canvas which must be done before the first stitch is put in. I must admit it was a little exciting and a lot of fun to be trying something new!
After looking at the instructions I was ready to begin…except I wasn’t. I had no idea of how to start the thread. A waste knot with two holding stitches like I do on a crewelwork piece wasn’t going to work on canvas. I knew that! So, out came my trusty RSN Canvaswork Essential Stitch guide and, sure enough, in the front were clear instructions on how to start and finish a thread. One does begin with a waste knot but you put the knot in about ½ – 1 inch away from where you will stitch and make sure the length of thread that runs under the canvas lies where you will be stitching your first stitches. This way the stitches you put in will hold the length of thread running under the canvas.
In the photo above you can see my first dark red knot right at the bottom of the canvas – it has a long tail! I start stitching in the top right corner of the square of red. My first green waste knot is on the left of the green row of stitching and my first stitch went in on the right side of the green row of cross stitches.
The stitch diagram is on the left in the photo above and it is very clear. There is also a separate page with instruction on how to do each stitch so it is easy for a beginner to know what to do.
This is as far as I’ve gotten and I like canvas work a lot. It’s especially good for doing something small like an ornament. The canvas is firm and holds it’s shape, so making it into an ornament will be a bit easier than trying to do the same thing with linen or silk I imagine. (I’ll let you know how it goes!)
My first stitches are OK but certainly not perfect. Here’s what I see that I could improve on: the tension of each of the long stitches in red is uneven and a tiny bit of canvas is showing in a few places. In the brief for the RSN course it is very specific that no canvas should be showing. Those are my goals for this piece now – to work on the tension and no canvas showing.
Have you done canvas work? Like it? Love it? Any tips? Please let us know!