Hello there! Can you believe that we’re already to the end of our Winter Threadventure? I know – neither can I! The ultimate in coziness awaits you at our final destination, so hop aboard the Serendipity Express with me and let’s take our magical virtual vacation train to the last stop on our 2019 Winter Threadventure…
Copenhagen, Denmark (And here we are… that sure was quick! ????)
It’s reeaaalllly cold here but the Danish have a way to combat the winter doldrums…
Hygge (pronounced “hoo-gah”) means creating a warm, cozy atmosphere and enjoying good things with good people. It’s a way of life in Denmark. That’s why we’re exploring the essence of “hygge” here in Copenhagen. You see, the Danes are the happiest people in the world, according to the World Happiness Report, and I’ll bet we can uncover some of their secrets while we’re visiting.
So, what exactly is hygge? It could be the cheerful glow of candlelight, snuggling under a squishy blanket by the fire, or wearing a soft fuzzy sweater while enjoying a steaming cup of gløgg.
Ready to try your hand at adding a wee bit of hygge to your needlepoint projects?
Terrific! Let’s light some candles…
Candles provide natural light and natural light makes us feel better than an electric light. The Danes call candles “levende lys” which means living light. And that makes perfect sense, don’t you think? The flickering flame of a candle really does look like it’s alive!
So, how can you stitch the candles on your needlepoint canvases, like this one from Tapestry Fair, so they look real? Great question!
The upright Gobelin stitch creates truly realistic candle flames.
It’s super easy to execute – and it’s also easy to compensate. It’s one of those stitches that you can always count on and it’s a terrific choice for beginning stitchers or if you’re new to using decorative stitches on your canvases.
The upright Gobelin stitch is truly a workhorse stitch that you’ll find yourself using over and over again. In fact, it almost always works when nothing else will. ????
Execute this stitch from top to bottom – back and forth in horizontal rows – in an area, following the numbers on the stitch diagram above.
Upright Gobelin is a straight stitch, so be sure and use a thick enough thread if you’re trying to achieve full coverage on your canvas. You can work it over 2 – 6 canvas threads, but I prefer working it over 2, 3, or 4 threads. It’s a smallish stitch so it’ll fit in just about any space.
I’m using Water n’ Ice to work the Gobelin stitch.
Water n’ Ice is a loosely braided translucent ribbon-type thread. It is 100% nylon and is available in 18 colors. Each card holds 10 yards. I recommend using it for long stitches on 13 – 18 mesh canvas.
While Water n’ Ice can be a little finicky to work with, it’s well worth the effort – especially on painted canvases where you want the color to show through. It has a tendency to fray, so use Fray Check or a Thread Zap to treat the ends and use short pieces (no longer than 15″).
You have two options when using Water n’ Ice to stitch a candle flame. You can work the Gobelin stitch in the clear color (WT12) and allow the paint to show through. Or you can use different colors of Water n’ Ice to add more depth of hue.
My favorite Water n’ Ice colors for stitching flames are…
- WT 3 – Flame Yellow
- WT4 – Flame Orange
- WT5 – Flame Red
- WT6 – Flame Dark Red
Use the stabbing method to stitch – come straight up through the canvas and take your needle to the back straight down through the canvas – being careful not to drag your thread along the surface or pull it at an angle. And be sure to use a laying tool.
To get the best effect with this thread, it should lay flat against the canvas on both the front and the back. It takes a little practice to get the hang of laying ribbon-type threads flat on the backside of your work without having to flip your canvas over with every single stitch you take. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t get it right away. Just keep at it and your persistence will pay off. Trust me. ????
I’m using one strand of Water n’ Ice (WT12) in a #22 tapestry needle to work my stitch sample on a piece of 13 mesh needlepoint canvas.
Oh – and you can also use this stitch/thread combo to stitch blazing fires on your needlepoint projects – like the one you see in this canvas by Sandra Gilmore.
And now, here we are back at our beautiful Hotel d’Angleterre.
Let’s have a nice warm cup of tea by the fire…
I’ve had oodles of fun on our trek through Scandinavia and I hope you have, too! Thank you ever so much for joining me and I’ll see you again back here next week for more needlepoint fun. ????
PS: If you’re new to the Serendipity Needleworks family – or just discovered my blog, click here for more info on what a Threadventure actually is. And click here to read about the other destinations on our 2019 Winter Threadventure through Scandinavia.