Exit Now for the next Threadventure destination: Asheville, North Carolina!
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Hi there!

I’m soooo happy to see you again. Are you ready for the next stop on our Threadventure? Great! Jump on the Serendipity Express with me and we’ll ride our magical virtual vacation tour bus to beautiful Asheville, North Carolina where mountain vistas await us…


All aboard for Asheville!

And here we are! (Gee, that was quick.)

Welcome to Asheville, North Carolina - in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.


Have you ever been to Asheville? It’s an enchanting little city tucked in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Chock full of historic landmarks, cultural arts, and breathtaking natural beauty, Asheville is the kind of special place that beckons you back again and again.

Over inside the Serendipity Needleworks Facebook group, I asked you to guess what we’ll be exploring in Asheville.

If you guessed mountains and mountain ranges, then CONGRATULATIONS! You’re ever so clever. 😉

Mountains and mountain ranges can pose quite a challenge when it comes to choosing the best stitches and threads for your needlepoint projects.

Whaddaya’ say we dive in and take a look at some terrific stitches for mountains?

The beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway runs through North Carolina and Virginia.


Mountains and mountain ranges – like the Blue Ridge Mountains here in Asheville – appear rounded and rolling. 

Mountains can be lush with vegetation – heavily forested and brimming with streams and wildflowers. But mountains can also be starkly barren – rocky and treeless, and dotted with lichens.

Whichever type of mountain you have on your needlepoint canvas, there are lots of different stitches and threads that you can use to add texture and color to your masterpiece…

Our first stitch, Bargello Line Pattern, is a terrific choice for rolling mountains and mountain ranges. 

It’s super easy to execute – and it’s also easy peasy to compensate; a great starting place. It’s a very versatile stitch and it’s a terrific choice for beginning stitchers (or if you’ve been away from needlepoint for a while).


Bargello Line Patterns are great for stitching mountains and mountain ranges on your needlepoint projects.


This Bargello line pattern, an upright vertical stitch, suggests a wee bit of movement. Use it in medium to large sized areas on your needlepoint canvas.

I’m using Encore to work this stitch.

Encore is a four-ply divisible thread. It’s made of 100% pima cotton. Each of the four plies is about the same size as Perle Cotton #8.

Encore has 37 exquisite over-dyed colors and each card has a generous 10 yards. The colors of Encore match the colors of Overture, one of the 4-ply divisible cotton threads featured last week on our trip to Seaside. I recommend using 1 ply of Encore on Congress Cloth, 2 plies on 18 mesh, and 3 plies on 13/14 mesh. 

I also recommend stranding Encore so that it lays smoothly on your canvas. 

Moving right along, our second stitch is Double Hungarian stitch.

Double Hungarian stitch has a subtle wavy look  – and it’s easy to execute, too. It’s a medium size stitch, so it requires a bit of space to establish your pattern. Use it in medium to large sized areas on your needlepoint canvas.


Double Hungarian stitch is great for stitching rolling mountains and mountain ranges on your needlepoint projects.

I’m using
 Splendor to work the Double Hungarian stitch.

Splendor is also a divisible thread, but it’s 100% silk. Each of the 12 plies is about the same size as one ply of DMC cotton embroidery floss. Don’t be afraid of this thread…if you use cotton embroidery floss, you can use Splendor. 

Splendor has 360 luscious colors and each card has 8 yards. Splendor features a unique construction of 3 bundles of 4 strands each; to strand it, separate the bundles first, then divide each bundle, one ply at a time. I recommend using 2 plies on Congress Cloth, 4 plies on 18 mesh, and 6 plies on 13/14 mesh.

I definitely recommend stranding* Splendor so that it lays smoothly on your canvas – and you need to use a laying tool with this thread, too.

*In case you forgot, stranding means to separate the plies of a divisible thread, and then put them back together again. 

Now, let’s take a look at those lush forests in the Blue Ridge Mountains…

Rolling mountains of western North Carolina


The Blue Ridge Mountains appear to have a bluish color when seen from a distance. Densely forested, it’s the trees that put the “blue” in Blue Ridge. They emit a natural compound called isoprene – and that’s what contributes to the characteristic haze on the mountains and gives them their distinctive color.

Notice the texture that the trees create on the mountain slopes in the foreground of the picture below. Then, look at the mountains in the background – those that appear to be far away. Which mountains have the most detail?


Summertime in the Appalachian Mountains


If you said the mountains in the foreground, then you’re absolutely right!

Our third stitch – and one that is super effective for mountains – is Diagonal Upright Cross stitch.

Notice how some of the stitches overlap on the Diagonal Upright Cross stitch? Those encroaching stitches combine to create light layers and add to the overall texture of the stitch. Work each cross as a unit before moving down the diagonal row.

Diagonal Upright Cross stitch is great for stitching mountains and mountain ranges on your needlepoint projects.

I’m using
 Pebbly Perle to work the Diagonal Upright Cross stitch.

Pebbly Perle is a 4-ply divisible mercerized cotton thread. What does “mercerized” mean? Great question! Mercerization is the process of treating cotton thread (and fabric) in a caustic solution under tension. It causes the fibers to swell and allows dye to better penetrate the fibers, thereby increasing the luster while also strengthening the thread. 

Pebbly Perle is available in a small number of colors and each card has 10 yards. Because of its cable construction, stitches have a more pronounced corded appearance. Strand Pebbly Perle thread to create flat, smooth stitches. Use it on both 14 and 18 mesh canvas, depending on the look you want to achieve.

Our fourth stitch, Hesitation stitch, is a super choice for lushly forested mountains and mountain ranges…

like that in the picture below. Reverse the slant of your stitches to create directionality and add depth. 


Rolling mountains of western North Carolina

Hesitation stitch is easy to execute – and it’s relatively simple to compensate. Just be sure and work as many full repeats of the pattern as possible first.

Hesitation stitch is great for adding texture to the mountains and mountain ranges on your painted canvases.

I’m using two threads
 to work the Hesitation stitch: Splendor and Silk Lamé Braid 13.

Since you already know about Splendor (which I’m using for the long stitches in the Hesitation stitch pattern), let’s take a look at the other thread in this stitch pattern.

Silk Lamé Braid, one of my all-time favorite Rainbow Gallery threads, is available in three sizes: Silk Lamé Braid 13 for 13 mesh canvas and Silk Lamé Braid 18 for 18 mesh canvas, and Petite Silk Lamé Braid, also for 18 mesh canvas. I’m using Silk Lamé Braid 13 for the short stitches in the Hesitation stitch pattern. 

Silk Lamé Braid threads are a blend of silk and polyester metallic fibers.  Silk Lamé Braid 13 has 8 yards per card, Silk Lamé Braid 18 has 10 yards per card, and Petite Silk Lamé Braid has 20 yards per card. I recommend using it “as-is”, directly off the card. There’s no need to use a laying tool, but you do need to use short lengths (approximately 15″) since it’s prone to unraveling. (NOTE: I don’t use Fray Check or the Thread Zap on Silk Lamé Braid.)

Our fifth (and final) “mountain magic” stitch is Lazy Kalem stitch... 

Linville Gorge in Western North Carolina


It’s a terrific option for rough and rocky mountains and, since it’s a “small” stitch, it’ll fit just about anywhere. Lazy Kalem is simple to work and compensate – and it’s another one of my favorite “go-to” stitches.


Lazy Kalem stitch is great for stitching mountains and mountain ranges on your needlepoint canvases.


There are actually a couple of thread options for this versatile stitch.

For light coverage on a painted canvas, use one ply of Encore or 2 plies of Splendor to work Lazy Kalem. That technique allows the artist’s beautiful shading to show through.  If you prefer full coverage and want to use Encore, use 2 plies on 18 mesh and 3 plies on 13/14 mesh. And if Splendor is your thread of choice, use 4 plies on 18 mesh and 6 plies on 13/14 mesh.

And that, my friend, brings us to the end of our stay in charming Asheville.

It’s been so much fun sharing stitches from the mountain tops with you.

Sunset in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Now, let’s hop on board the Serendipity Express and hit the road to our next Threadventure destination…

exciting Washington, D.C.!

Before you go, be sure and tell me what you think we’ll be exploring in Washington, D.C. (Don’t be shy…I  ❤️ hearing from you and I read every single comment!)

When you leave your thoughts down below in the comments box, I’ll enter your name into a drawing for a FREE 6 month membership in The Stitcher’s Club, too. Not sure what The Stitcher’s Club is? Click here to find out more. 🙂

Until next time, happy stitching!
Stitch with a smile!



PS: I’ll share pictures of my stitched samples over on the Serendipity Needleworks Facebook page, inside the Serendipity Needleworks Facebook group and on Instagram, so be sure and follow me there. 😉


  1. Jam

    June 14, 2018 at 7:00 am

    Monuments Ellen. So, stitches for stones, brick, etc..!?

    • Ellen Johnson

      June 14, 2018 at 10:00 am

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Mary Ann! 😉

    • Laraine Croall

      June 14, 2018 at 2:17 pm

      Buildings streets and maybe people. The walkways leading to the monuments

      Have enjoyed the 2 weeks if this adventure.

      • Ellen Johnson

        June 14, 2018 at 3:10 pm

        All terrific ideas, Laraine! Thank you for sharing them with me. I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed these first two weeks, too! ????

  2. Karen Lowenthal

    June 14, 2018 at 9:12 am

    Brick buildings

    • Ellen Johnson

      June 14, 2018 at 10:00 am

      Hi Karen! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. 🙂

  3. Laraine Croall

    June 14, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    Streets, buildings and maybe people. Also walkways to the monuments. The cherry blossom trees

    • Ellen Johnson

      June 14, 2018 at 3:12 pm

      Ooooh…more interesting ideas! ????Thank you for sharing them, Laraine. 🙂

  4. Jane Burton

    June 14, 2018 at 2:56 pm

    Statues. buildings (rooftops, walls, doors, windows) and sidewalks is what I am imagining!

    • Ellen Johnson

      June 14, 2018 at 3:12 pm

      Hmmm…all great ideas, Jane! Thank you for sharing them with me. 🙂

  5. patmarie nedelka

    June 14, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    Architectural features – walls, windows/doors, roofs, walkways; monuments; trees/flowers; water – rivers and fountains; transportation – planes, trains, automobiles, oh my!

    • Ellen Johnson

      June 14, 2018 at 4:09 pm

      All terrific ideas, Patmarie! Thank you for sharing them with me. 😉 Can’t wait to reveal the new stitches next week!

  6. Kendal

    June 16, 2018 at 12:14 pm

    Buildings, structures, monuments, oh and flags????????????????????????

    • Ellen Johnson

      June 17, 2018 at 1:36 pm

      All great ideas, Kendal! 😉

  7. Elaine soffer

    September 27, 2020 at 6:45 am

    Loving the 2020 Stitch Challenge.
    Cannot wait to try stitches in this blog💕what are the dates of the Washington adventure.

    • Ellen Johnson

      September 30, 2020 at 11:33 am

      Hi Elaine!
      I’m so glad you’re having fun with the Stitch Challenge. I’m having oodles of fun, too!! It sounds like you’re looking for the next blog post in my 2018 Threadventure series. Here’s the link to the post about Washington D.C.: https://www.serendipityneedleworks.com/monumental-buildings-washington-dc/ And if you’ll type 2018 Threadventure into the search bar, you should be able to pull up all of the posts. There’s also a tab in the navigation bar for the Threadventures (I’ve done several.) You can search through there to see all that are currently available.
      Thank you for joining me for the 2020 Stitch Challenge. It’s great to have you along for the fun. 🙂


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