I’m a big fan of bees, with their fuzzy little bums and nectar-drunk bumbling, so when I saw Craft Pod had done a bee-themed pod I just had to get in on it. This one is from Summer 2019 - yes, yes, it did take me two years to actually start - and it had: a bee pin, a recipe for honey-cake, a honey-tea teabag, and the kit for this embroidery (designed by Emillie Ferris).
I’ve only really done counted cross-stitch and sort of… tapestry-by-numbers on painted canvas, so this was a whole new world. Drawing the pattern out on a completely blank piece of fabric, then following my own guidelines? Mildly nerve-wracking but great fun.
Most of the elements are done by chain-stitching around the shape, and then using long satin stitches over them to fill out the colour. The chain stitches lift it off the surface of the fabric and give it some depth and a really nice texture. I’m a fan! It may also have cured me of my innate loathing of french knots, believe it or not. I was nervous, because there were a lot, but they felt so much better here - again it’s the texture, tiny and clustered together they were perfect for the centres of the flowers (see first pic below).
While I did enjoy making this it gave me terrible eyestrain and neckache from craning over the hoop and squinting to see where I was about to put the next teeny-tiny stitch. I could only do a tiny bit at a time, sitting in direct sunlight (not exactly abundant in Welsh winter), propped up by a complex arrangement of cushions and pillows. Not the worst experience once I’d worked it out, but I think I might need a better setup if I do another one like this. And/or an eye test 😅.