Friday, July 1, 2011

H is for Headless Horseman and Herringbone-Filling Stitch!

Before we get into this week's chart and stitch, we would like to let you all know that we have slashed not only the head from this poor horseman, but the price of our wearable pins!  (Sorry - couldn't resist.)  We never have sales, and this isn't a sale, but a permanent drop in price.  The wearable pin was one of our very first products and since then, we've branched out to add so many more ideas.  We don't make many pins any more, and it occurred to us, as we were going over inventory, that the price of that item really wasn't in keeping with our newer pieces. We have tried hard to keep very affordable prices for all our items - after all, our company was born when we were despairing of being able to find any inexpensive needlework-related items in gift shops while we were on our travels.  You want to bring gifts back for your stitching friends, but of course, as you and I know all too well, we are happily encumbered with so very many friends that we can't spend too, too much on any one item!  Now this is getting to be a very long story, but the upshot is that we have cut in half the price of all our wearable pins - instead of $10.00, they now sell for $5.00 each!  (And for shop-owners, our wholesale prices have also dropped accordingly)  

Our next chart is H is for Headless Horseman.

The Headless Horseman Pursuing Ichabod Crane (1858) by John Quidor
The headless horseman has appeared in many forms of literature throughout history and throughout the world. Many countries have their own unique version of the headless horseman.  We find versions in Texas, Ireland, Germany, India.... the most known version is probably that of Ichabod Crane and the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, based on a German folktale, first written down by  Karl Musäus.  It later was used as the basis of a story by Washington Irving. 

Ichabod pursued by the Headless Horseman,"by F. O. C. Darley, 1849.

Some of the story of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow is based on true facts and one of the names that caught my attention was that of Van Tassel. Could this be a relation to our friend Ruth Van Tassel, who owns the wonderful antique shop in PA where we like to go and drool over her samplers?

The Sleepy Hollow Bridge Ichabod Crane didn't quite make it across.

The Texas version was created to stop stock theft on the ranches, he was called El Muerto, the Dead One.

In Barvaria, he patrols the forests. In India,  he is called Dund and his head is tied to his saddle. In Germany, he is a bad person who had been condemned and rides with his hell-hounds chasing innocent people.

In Ireland,  it is said that after sunset, on certain festivals and feast days, one of the most terrifying creatures in the spirit world, the Dullahan, can be seen riding a magnificent black stallion across the country side.  Wherever he stops, a mortal dies.  Clad in flowing black robes, the Dullahan has no head on his shoulders. He carries it with him in his hand, and because he is endowed with supernatural sight, he will hold the head up high. This allows him to see great distances, even on the darkest night.

But beware watching him pass by. You'll be punished by either having a bucket of blood thrown in your face or you might be struck blind in one eye. The biggest fear of all, however, is if he stops wherever you are and calls out your name. This will draw out your soul and you'll no longer be among the living.

Unlike the Banshee, which is known to warn of an imminent death in certain families, the Dullahan does not come to warn. He is a definite harbinger of someone's demise and there exists no defense against him - except perhaps, an object made of gold. For some reason, the Dullahan has an irrational fear of gold and even a tiny amount may be enough to frighten him off.

The Headless Horseman still rides today in Conner Prairie Indiana where at Halloween he will be your transportation through their Haunted Village.  Conner Prairie is a living history museum, one I still have to visit one day!

Now you know more than you ever wanted to about the headless horseman that roams the world! Julie has designed one that is sure to bring a smile, not a fright to your piece!

As usual - click on the picture of the chart to go to our Freebies page where you can download this and other free charts and tutorials, or click on "Freebies" in the side bar.
The chart features the Herringbone-Filling Stitch, which is unlike any other Herringbone stitches I've seen.  But it worked so well for the horse's mane, that we decided to go with it.  Unfortunately, we couldn't find out much about it, but here is a good diagram about halfway down the page.  You will see that I have used only two "bones" on each stitch, instead of the three shown, but it gives you a little taste of the stitch.  Enjoy your "h" stitching!

NOTE!!!!  While working on "I is for..." I noticed that two of the color symbols had been left off the H chart.  I have now fixed the chart and so please take a moment to download it again.  So sorry for the inconvenience!


1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for this great new addition to the Dark Alphabet!


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