I think this will be my last finish before Christmas, a Holly Humbug for our tree…
Last year I stitched a Mistletoe humbug and it’s my favourite Christmas decoration this year, so much so that when I got a discount code at the end of the Lizzie Stitching Wallet stitch-a-long I bought the patterns for about another six humbugs!
As you may have guessed it’s another design by Faby Reilly, so it’s beautifully designed, very pretty and delicate.
I stitched the design over about three evenings. I used a left over piece of evenweave linen I found in my stash. I didn’t realise until I’d been stitching a little while that it is 36 count linen, my eyes really struggle nowadays with 18 stitches to the inch!! Having been stitching 14 to the inch with the Signed Tealed & Delivered cross-stitch I found it a lot harder with the finer linen, you wouldn’t think four stitches extra would make that much difference….
I’ve also decided I really don’t like stitching in gold thread, or rather, I really don’t like stitching with DMC gold thread! It snagged, knotted, tangled…I love the effect, I just find it hard work to stitch with. I think next time (I’ve another four humbugs to make!!) I’ll look into the Anchor Lame thread instead as I used the silver on my flower lattice and that was fine to sew with.
Having said all that, it looks gorgeous, I love the twisting ribbon loops and the delicate row of holly leaves. I stitched the design and the outer back-stitch edge and gave it a good press before stitching the beads on as berries.
Faby has a really good tutorial on her website on how to make up the humbugs, they are stitched together by whip-stitching the back-stitch outline. The thread at the top is left so it can be used to make the hanging cord. I was planning to use red beads but I spotted these gold ones and I had quite a lot of them so I decided to make a gold cord instead.
It’s already hanging proudly on our Christmas tree, I think the other humbugs will have to wait until next Christmas 🙂