Next stop on the Threadventure...New York City!
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Hi there!

Are you ready for this week’s destination on the Threadventure? Great! Hop aboard the Serendipity Express with me and we’ll take our magical virtual vacation tour bus to our next stop, bustling New York City! There’s always plenty to see and do in the city that never sleeps, so we’ll hit the streets and see what kind of fun we can rustle up. Sound good? 


All aboard for New York City!

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

Welcome to The Big Apple!


Have you ever been to New York? It has to be one of my favorite places to visit, bar none. Fabulous restaurants offer a smorgasbord of great food, brilliant talent lights up the theatre district, and stupendous shopping abounds. Oh – and don’t forget the people watching! 

There are nearly 9 million people living within the metropolitan area that includes the 5 boroughs: The Bronx, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens, and Manhattan. Most of the landmarks that you’re probably familiar with are in Manhattan – and that’s where we’ll spend our time while we’re in the city.

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

If you guessed streets and sidewalks, then CONGRATULATIONS! You’re ever so clever. 😉

Streets, roads, paths, and sidewalks can present a challenge when it comes to choosing the best stitches and threads for your needlepoint projects, but I have oodles of suggestions for you.

Come on, let’s dive in and take a look at some super-terrific stitches for streets and sidewalks…

The oldest part of New York is at the tip of Manhattan and was originally named New Amsterdam.


Did you know that New York’s first name was New Amsterdam? Colonists from the Dutch Republic settled it as a trading post way back in 1624. And it wasn’t until 1664 that the city and its surroundings came under English control. New Amsterdam became New York after King Charles II of England gave the land to his brother, the Duke of York.

New York actually served as the capital of the United States from 1785 until 1790 and it’s been our nation’s largest city since 1790. That’s why there are so many cobblestone streets in lower Manhattan…people have been living there a looooong time!

Our first stitch, Diamond Straight stitch, is a great choice for cobblestone streets. 

The offset pattern of the diamonds really looks like stone or brick pavers laid in a grid – just like the cobblestone streets you see down near Battery Park.

Diamond Straight stitch is a lot easier to work than it looks. Simply follow the numbering/lettering system on the diagram and you’ll be golden! Diamond Straight stitch will easily fit in medium size spaces on your needlepoint canvases; flip it on its side and work it horizontally if you want to alter the direction of your stitches.


Diamond Straight stitch is a great choice for stitching paths, streets, and sidewalks on your needlepoint projects.


I’m using Rainbow Tweed to work this stitch.

Rainbow Tweed is “repeat performer”, making its first appearance on the beach at Seaside. I like its matte finish and heathery look for stitching cobblestone or brick paths, streets, or walkways.

I recommend using 2 plies of Rainbow Tweed on 18 mesh and all four plies (or “as-is”, directly off the card) on 13/14 mesh.

Click here to learn more about this versatile cotton/wool/acrylic thread.

Moving right along, our second stitch is Hungarian Ground.

Hungarian Ground is another straight stitch – and it’s pretty easy, too. When you look closely at the diagram, you see that a Bargello line pattern nests in between rows of Hungarian stitch. 

Oh – and you can flip this stitch on its side, too. Hungarian Ground is a really good choice for streets and roads, as well as sidewalks and paths.


Hungarian Ground is a great choice for stitching paths, streets, and sidewalks on your needlepoint projects.


I’m using Silk & Cream and Encore! to work the Hungarian Ground stitch.

Silk & Cream is a 50% silk/50% wool non-divisible thread. It’s similar in size to DMC pearl cotton #5 and is a delight to work with. It’s available in 28 luscious colors and each card holds a generous 20 yards. Silk & Cream has a subtle sheen and is quite durable, making it a great choice for backgrounds, too.

I recommend using Silk & Cream “as is” off the card. Rainbow Gallery suggests that it’s good for 14 mesh – 18 mesh needlepoint canvas. It covers well on 18 mesh and provides lighter coverage on 14 and 16 mesh.

I’m pairing Silk & Cream with Encore!, a lovely over-dyed divisible cotton thread. You can click here to read more about Encore! It made its debut in our visit to Asheville, too.

Now, let’s take a look at some sensational stitches for sidewalks…


Walking uptown toward Rockefeller Plaza and Times Square.


Walking up the streets of Manhattan, you’ll see people from all around the world. And here’s a fun fact for you, there are as many as 800 languages spoken in New York, making it the most linguistically diverse city on the planet.

Our third stitch – and one that is splendid for sidewalks and paths – is Byzantine Scotch stitch.


Byzantine Scotch stitch is an excellent choice for stitching streets and sidewalks on your needlepoint projects.


Byzantine Scotch is another medium size stitch. It’s a combination stitch, which means that (multiple) stitches merge to create a brand new stitch. The two stitches are Byzantine (which you see in blue) and Scotch (which you see in pink). Pretty cool, huh?

I’m using Patina and Neon Rays + to work Byzantine Scotch stitch.

Patina is 100% rayon thread. It’s divisible (3 plies) and is available in 54 shimmering colors. Each card holds 15 yards.

Use “as is” off the card on 14 mesh – 18 mesh needlepoint canvas or divide it and use individual plies as desired. (NOTE: I’m using Patina to work the Byzantine/blue portion of this stitch.)

Neon Rays + is a flat ribbon that has a shot of metallic thread running through it. It comes in 86 sparkly colors and each card has 10 yards. Use it “as is” off the card, but use a laying tool to ensure that your stitches lay flat on your canvas. (NOTE: I’m using Neon Rays + to work the Scotch/pink portion of this stitch.)

Why use these shiny and sparkly threads for sidewalks and paths? Great question! They work quite well to suggest wet surfaces reflecting the light, and have just the right amount of shimmer.

Personally, I’d use shades of the same color in both threads to execute the Byzantine Scotch stitch when working a sidewalk or path on a painted canvas. Of course, it’s your project so do what makes you happy. 🙂

Oh – and two more very important things…

  1. Put a drop of Fray Check (or use a Thread Zap) on the ends of both Patina and Neon Rays +, since they’re both prone to unraveling.
  2. Use short pieces, no longer than 15″.

Our fourth stitch, Victorian Step, is a super choice for smooth sidewalks…

like the one in the picture below. Can’t you just imagine sitting on that park bench with your needlepoint, stitching the afternoon away before heading off to the neighborhood bistro for a fun-filled evening with friends? 



Simple straight stitches combine to create Victorian Step and establish an interesting pattern that keeps your eye moving forward. You can flip this stitch on its side, too – to convey horizontal motion.


Victorian Step stitch is an excellent choice for stitching streets and sidewalks on your needlepoint projects.

I’m using Pebbly Perle to work Victorian Step stitch.

Pebbly Perle is another thread that’s making an encore performance. It’s a 4-ply divisible cotton thread that debuted on our visit to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Click here to learn more about Pebbly Perle.


Strolling through Central Park on a summer afternoon.

Our fifth (and final) New York stitch is 
Giant Horizontal Interlocking Gobelin. 

It’s a nifty option for smooth streets, sidewalks, road, and paths  – and it’s really fun to work. Stitch it in vertical columns, using the diagram below. 


Giant Horizontal Interlocking Gobelin stitch is an excellent choice for stitching streets and sidewalks on your needlepoint projects.


I’m using Cresta d’Oro to work the Giant Horizontal Interlocking Gobelin stitch.

Cresta d’Oro is a synthetic blend (67% Viscose/33% Polyester Metallic) non-divisible thread. It’s available in 19 glittery colors and each card holds 15 yards. Cresta d’Oro is very soft and super-easy to work with. (I ❤️this thread!) Use it on 12 mesh – 18 mesh canvas. 

Cresta d’Oro has just the right amount of glimmer to mimic the look of a city street after a summer shower. I recommend using Cresta d’Oro “as is” off the card on 13/14 mesh – 18 mesh canvas. One strand is approximately the same size as DMC pearl cotton #5.

Rainbow Gallery suggests “snapping” it apart rather than cutting it, as it’s prone to unraveling. You can also apply Fray Check to the ends (or use a Thread Zap) to prevent fraying. 

And that, my friend, brings us to the end of our stay in the city that never sleeps.

It’s been so much fun sharing street-wise stitches with you – and for more suggestions, click here! (Hint: You can use 4 of the 5 stitches from our trip to Washington, D.C. for streets, roads, sidewalks, and paths.)

Sunset over New York Harbor with the Statue of Liberty standing guard.


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

Chicago – The Windy City!

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

Leave your thoughts down below in the comments box and 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. Anne

    June 28, 2018 at 10:06 am

    We’ve done buildingsand sidewalks, which would also fit for Chicago. Architecture? Their great park?

    • Ellen Johnson

      June 30, 2018 at 10:56 am

      Oooh…great idea, Anne. 😉 Thanks for sharing it with us. (Love your “detective’s” mind!) Have a happy day!

  2. Cherri White

    June 28, 2018 at 10:49 am

    Will we be exploring stitches to demonstrate weather?

    • Ellen Johnson

      June 30, 2018 at 10:58 am

      Very interesting idea, Cherri! Thank you for sharing it with us! 🙂
      I’ll see you in Chi-town! 😉

  3. patmarie nedelka

    July 3, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    Chicago is the windy city! Buildings (historic/modern)? Transportation (trains/planes/highways)?

    • Ellen Johnson

      July 3, 2018 at 9:10 pm

      Yes it is, Patmarie! 😉 Thank you for sharing your ideas with us here. I can’t wait to “unveil” the next five stitches for our trip to Chicago. It’s one of my favorite cities! 🙂
      Have a happy 4th!

  4. Libby

    July 3, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    Water, snow, winds
    Looking forwards to see what you have planned for Chicago

    • Ellen Johnson

      July 3, 2018 at 9:12 pm

      Thank you for taking the time to write, Libby! You have some great ideas. 😉 Chicago is a really fun place and it was hard to narrow it down, but I think you’ll like what we’ll be exploring there.
      Have a happy 4th of July holiday!
      Ellen 🙂

  5. Christa Kendrick

    July 4, 2018 at 9:54 pm

    Chicago – I’m hoping for some WINDY & some SNOW stitches!

    • Ellen Johnson

      July 4, 2018 at 11:03 pm

      Hi Christa!
      Thank you for your note. 🙂 It’s almost time for the big reveal…and I hope to see you tomorrow at 2:00 inside the Serendipity Needleworks Facebook group for our weekly tour of this week’s destination. 😉


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