A Needlepoint Stitch For Rivers and Lakes

Chicago Skyline

Well hello, there!

Are you ready for this week’s destination on the encore Threadventure tour? Great! Hop aboard the Serendipity Express with me and we’ll take our magical virtual vacation tour bus to our next stop on the shores of lovely Lake Michigan – Chicago!

All aboard the Serendipity Express for the next stop on our Threadventure!

And here we are! (WOW…that was quick!)

Welcome to Chicago, the 5th stop on our Serendipity Needleworks Threadventure!


Chicago is one of my favorite cities! There’s so much to see and do – restaurants (Pizzeria Uno!), museums (The Art Institute), sporting events (Cubbies and Wrigley Field), shopping (The Mag Mile) and more.  But the architecture tour along the Chicago River and nearby Lake Michigan are – hands down – the things that make me smile most when I think about that toddlin’ town.   

Wondering what we’re gonna explore in Chicago? (I gave you a wee hint up ⇑ there.)

This week's stop in Chicago is all about a terrific needlepoint stitch for rivers and lakes.

If you guessed bodies of water, like rivers and lakes, then CONGRATULATIONS! 

You’re ever so clever. 😉

The Hungarian stitch is a great needlepoint stitch for both rivers and lakes.

Hungarian stitch is one of the simpler stitches to execute. It’s a great choice, if you’re new to using decorative stitches, or if you’ve been away from your needlepoint hobby for a while. 

Hungarian stitch is really versatile, too. It’s relatively small (so it’ll fit in tight spaces) and you can turn it on its side and work it horizontally. And when you do that, it really does look like water flowing gently down a river or lapping at the shore of a lake.


Hungarian stitch is a terrific needlepoint stitch for rivers and lakes on your needlepoint canvases.


I’m using Sparkle Rays to work this stitch.

Sparkle Rays is a flat ribbon type thread, shot through with a metallic blending filament.

What does “shot through” mean? Great question. You see, several very thin strands of thread combine to create Sparkle Rays; one of those thin strands is a metallic blending filament. When all of the strands are braided together, the metallic blending filament changes position in the ribbon, giving it an overall metallic look. (Think about how a French braid hairstyle is created – it’s the same principle.)

Sparkle Rays has 70 vibrant colors and each card holds 10 yards. It’s best for 13/14 mesh canvas, but you can easily use it to work long stitches on 18 mesh needlepoint canvas. Since Sparkle Rays is a ribbon type thread, it helps to use a laying tool (or your finger) to guide it into place. It has a slight tendency to unravel, so use a dot of Fray Check (or a Thread Zap) on the ends to keep fraying to a minimum. I also recommend using short lengths – no more than 15″.

And that, my friend, brings us to the end of our time in Chicago.

It’s been so much fun sharing this needlepoint stitch for rivers and lakes with you.

If you’d like to learn more stitches and threads you can use on your needlepoint projects, click here to get on the waitlist for the Threadventure Needlepoint Workshop. It’ll be opening for enrollment soon. 😉

Looking back at the downtown Chicago skyline at sunset from lovely Lake Michigan

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

jazzy New Orleans!

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



PS: I’ll share pictures of my stitched sample over on the Serendipity Needleworks Instagram.

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Serendipity Needleworks

Hi, I’m Ellen. A needlepoint teacher and author dedicated to helping motivated but overwhelmed stitchers at every stage find exactly what they need to stitch with confidence. Whether you’re just dipping your toe into the needlepoint world or you’re ready to take your skills to the next level, I’ve fine-tuned a learning experience just for you.

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