The Lewis Chessmen…Embroidered Knight Part 7




I’m stuck here until the silk arrives. I’m going to go crazy. Please send silk. My Knight in Shining Walrus Tusk needs some more love.


The spear shaft threads are pulling loose, too. I’m going to have to put a band on them to hold them down. I need more Warmth colored silk to do that, though.

This will be me for a bit…


Until next time,



The Lewis Chessmen…Embroidered Knight Part 6

I ran out of Warmth. I know it’s June, but the silk ran out! I was so close to being done, too! GAH!
To distract myself while I’m waiting on the silk to arrive in that mail, I started outlining. Again, I’m using the Planet Earth Fiber “Earth” to do this. I had to mess around with stitches, though. Stem Stitch didn’t want to go here, even though it’s the accepted outline for Bayeux Stitch. I defaulted to split stitch.



I like it, honestly!

Stopping there for the night. Outlining is going quickly, though, so I’ll be twiddling my thumbs, soon! *mutters*

Until next time,


The Lewis Chessmen…Embroidered Knight Part 5

Having finished his hair, I’ve spent today doing fill work.


I did a few different stitches in here, so let me point them out for you. I did a long satin stitch for the Knight’s face, the horse’s mane, and the spear shaft. There are back stitches on the head of the spear to give that piece a different look. Along the edge of the blanket on the horse, I am doing brick stitch, another stitch I’m having to teach myself. This one isn’t as easy, because Mary Corbett doesn’t have a video on it (my go to… *sobs*) and if you do a search for Brick Stitch, you get exactly ONE video. This one:

Which isn’t bad, except that I need to know how to do… *points up* THAT! I’m not trying to cover a piece of fabric! THERE ARE NO GOOD TUTORIALS ONLINE FOR THIS! Someone, throw a girl a bone, please? I’m teaching myself the basics thanks to a few things I found on Pinterest (you can check out my Brickstitch Pinterest Board here).

I seem to be running up against a whole bunch of things I want to learn that there are no directions for online. Fun times.

Until next time,


The Lewis Chessmen…Embroidered Knight Part 4

When I first drew this Knight out, I loved how the extent piece had ringlets as his hair. I wanted to keep that look in this embroidery, too. That meant… LEARN NEW STITCH! I chose a Bullion Knot and hunted down my virtual mentor, Mary Corbett, to show me how to do it…

Looks easy enough, right? One problem, I don’t have a milliners needle! I don’t even know what that is! GoogleFu! I found this page on Mary Corbett’s site to explain the difference. It was exactly what I suspected… long needle with an eye the same size as the post of the needle. None of my needles are milliners needles. I was not going to be deterred, however, and I grabbed the longest needle with the smallest eye that I owned. I will say that I am going to shop for freakin’ milliners needles after this, because fighting the eye so that it doesn’t destroy the loops is not easy, AT ALL! So, if you’re learning bullion knots, thanks to this lovely post, PLEASE go hunt down some milliners needles. SAVE YOUR SANITY!

That being said, I still made his ringlets using a different needle. I like them!


You’ll see the problem with this pretty quick, I think. They kind of look like cones going different directions. I’ve been doing medieval stitching for a while now and the “keep the expensive thread on the top of the fabric” mentality has stuck with me. For this reason, I didn’t start each knot at the top like I should’ve. The ones where the cone is smaller on the bottom are the ones that I started from the bottom. *sighs* Live and learn, right? I can do the stinking stitch and I’m shopping for the right needles, too!

Ah, well.

Until next time!


The Lewis Chessmen…Embroidered Knight Part 3

The stitching begins! I wanted a bit of texture on this pieces, so I am going to do most of it in Bayeux Stitch. I worked on this for about 2 hours, trying to keep the stitches matched to the lines so I can go back and fill in the outline stitches later.


What I’ve learned about Bayeux stitch on pieces like this is that it’s important to keep your lines and your second couches straight and regular. If you don’t, it gets chaotic and distracting. So, you’ll see I made it a point to keep the first couch stitches in line, even when I broke to go around an edge that I’m outlining. The same with the second couch stitch. I like the appearance of stitching those in “windows” (in between the two stitches on the previous line), so you’ll see I kept those the same all the way across, too. This is the only thing that makes Bayeux Stitch time consuming. Otherwise, it’s fast and really attractive!

I’m putting this down and going to bed, now.

Until next time!


The Lewis Chessmen…Embroidered Knight Part 2

So, last week I tackled the history of my Knight in shining Walrus Tusk and I’ve spent a week planning how I am going to attack him. I’ve decided on embroidery as the medium. I tinkered with some threads and settled on silk. I landed on “Warmth” which is produced by Natural Earth Fiber and I’m detailing it with “Earth” from the same company. This silk feels amazing on your hands while you’re working it, too, so it’s like a present to myself! 🙂 I am doing this on evenweave linen, just to make myself not crazy.

First step was transferring the image onto the linen. I will totally admit that I used an orange Crayola fine point marker to do this. I don’t recommend this for a bunch of reasons, but I didn’t want the pattern to get rubbed off and most of the other options I have aren’t good for a project that’s going to sit around on the side table while I work on it. I have two small children, people. I didn’t trace it, I free hand eyeballed it. Here’s the result:



Not bad, if I do say so, myself! I’m kind of excited about him, now, but I’m going to pace my entries so I don’t overwhelm you. LOL Wish me luck!


Until next time,


The Lewis Chessmen…Embroidered Knight Part 1

A few months ago, I started a group on Facebook for people who couldn’t make it to events due to money, medical issues, time, jobs… you know the drill. Last month, I got a weird idea: what if we found a piece of period artwork and recreated it in as many different mediums as possible? Boom! Art of the Month was born (join the group, you won’t be sorry!)! We held a vote and decided on one of the Knights from the Lewis Chessmen to recreate.


This one, to be precise.

In order to give this guy the attention he needs, let’s explore the Lewis Chess set and get the nitty gritty details on them, first! We need to know where we’re starting, after all!


The Lewis Chess Set is a collection of 93 pieces of carved walrus tusk and whale teeth that were found on the Island of Lewis in the 1830’s. The specific history of the set is unknown, though some believe they belonged to a traveling merchant, since there are nearly enough for 4 sets of pieces. The British Museum acquired the full set in 1831 or 1832 and they’ve been on display, through the Museum and the loan programs, ever since. Eleven pieces, including our Knight here, are on permanent loan to the National Museum of Scotland and on display there.


The other pieces are really cool, too…


Of this set, which I believe is the set on display at the Museum of Scotland, we have really interesting pieces! Our knight is in this picture (top right), and just under him is a Rook in the form of a Berserker, who is so excited about the battle to come that he’s chewing on his shield! What I love about this set is that each piece has it’s own personality. That Berserker and the other one (just behind the King) are completely different people! The Queen looks worried, the Bishop is bigger than all of them, and each of the Knights has a different look! Longer beards, wider eyes… even the horses are different! I want a set, just because they’re so neatly individual!


BUT WAIT! I can have my own set! You see, there’s an initiative called Scan the World that is presently being housed at where famous statues have been 3D scanned so you can print your own versions at home! Now, I know the first thing you’re thinking is all about stealing and passing off reproductions as the real thing, but please keep in mind that we’re talking about 3D printing in PLA. I can’t print walrus tusk!

Of particular interest to this post, is that the Museum of Scotland has scanned their collection of the Lewis Chessmen! You can download the .stl files and print your own set! So I did!


Now I just have to figure out how to get the layers smoothed out! These are both printed in standard white PLA, by the way. My goal is to paint them ivory and weather them to look like the originals. I do love them, though!


That’s all for this week, kids! I’m trying to decide what medium to do the Knight out of this month and leaning towards embroidery for obvious reasons. More on that next time, though!


Until then, my friends!