You can see we're starting to zero in on some of our favorite motifs here - I seem to have crammed quite a few into our limited space! And we're introducing a new stitch as well. Again, just a very few stitches to let you try out something new. Becky is the mastermind behind these stitches, and something tells me she has a doozy for us when we get to "F"!
To find the chart, click on the picture, or go to the sidebar and click on Freebies - that will take you to our Freebie page which now lives on our website and has links to all the free charts and tutorials we've done here.
EEK - a very handy word, used when scared, in trouble, impatient, angry or just generally distressed! 'Eek' supposedly sounds like a mouse's cry, though I think it's more often sounded when a mouse is seen and not heard!
Our special stitch this time is the Ermine Stitch - it's used just for the few tufts of grass in front of the gravestone. Normally not a counted stitch, it's used as a filling stitch for lots of different embroidery. Used in a high-contrast setting, it resembles the ermine's winter coat, and of course, came into use as ermine fur began to be used for the finest garments.
How to do the Ermine Stitch: A couple of examples for ways to create this stitch.
The Ermine in History
Throughout the Renaissance, the ermine was a very important symbol of purity. The ermine is depicted in heraldic symbols, royal gowns, and in significant portraits of the Renaissance. The ermine, classified as Mustela erminea, is of the weasel family, and is commonly found in Canada and Northern Europe. The ermine is known for its pure white fur with its noticeable black tip on its tail, which has been highly prized by trappers since the 16th century. Ermines are very small animals, only 6 to 12 inches from head to rump, with a long, bushy tail. It is the tail that is prized by traders to make coats, stoles, or robes for monarchs, clergy, and the extremely wealthy. Legend has it that the ermine, with its beautiful white coat, would die before soiling its fur, which idea has lent itself to the ermine as a symbol of purity and chastity. We can find numerous examples in art, literature, and heraldry of the ermine representing the purity that its white coat suggests.
The above paragraph is just an excerpt from the following article that gives you some history on the Ermine, its importance in the Renaissance period and the symbolism which gave this stitch its name. http://f01.middlebury.edu/FS010A/students/n075.htm
The following timeline outlines the historical use of ermine fur, stitched in fashion through history as opposed to the use of the stitch, but is interesting because the use and design of the fur relates to the Ermine Stitch.
I'm sorry this link is so long - if it is broken, you can copy and paste this one into your browser and get the same page, but it will not work as a direct link for me.
pj from iowa
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