Stitch of the Month
December 2000: Honey I Shrunk the Heart

by Pat Timpanaro 

The December edition of the ANG Stitch of the Month is a special holiday present to all our visitors. "Honey I Shrunk the Heart" uses many of the stitches that have been featured on this page during 2000 and gives you an opportunity to try them in a charming, versatile design.

Honey, I Shrunk the Heart may be worked on either 18-count canvas or Congress Cloth.   The actual design itself covers 72 canvas threads; with the optional background the total size is 96 threads.  On 18-count canvas, the design with the background is a bit more than 5-inches square.  On Congress Cloth, without the background, the design size is about 3-inches and it suitable for finishing as an ornament.

The directions are written for 18-count canvas.  To work on Congress Cloth, go down one size in pearl cotton and Kreinik braid and use 1 less strand of your overdyed thread. 

To complete Honey I Shrunk the Heart, you will need:

  • 10" x 10" 18-count mono canvas
  • 10" x 10" stretcher bars
  • 1 skein overdyed silk or cotton (Waterlilies, Floss Overdyed, Sampler Threads, Silk 'n Colors, Weeks Dye Works, etc.)
  • Color A
    • lighter value #5 pearl cotton
    • darker value #5 pearl cotton
    • #8 pearl cotton
    • Kreinik #16 braid
    • Kreinik #8 braid
  • Color B
    • #5 pearl cotton
    • #8 pearl cotton
    • Kreinik #16 braid
    • Kreinik #8 braid
  • Color C
    • lighter value #5 pearl cotton
    • darker value #5 pearl cotton
    • #8 pearl cotton
    • Kreinik #16 braid
    • Kreinik #8 braid
  • Background
    • #5 pearl cotton
    • cotton floss
    • Kreinik #16 braid (2 reels)

Select a skein of overdyed silk or cotton that contains the colors you want for your heart. You should be able to find three different color families in this overdyed thread. These will be Colors A, B, and C. Following the Materials List above, select colors of pearl cotton, floss, and Kreinik metallic. The values (light, medium, or dark) that I used were ones that were pleasing with my particular skein of Floss Overdyed. Choose values that complement your overdyed thread.  You will use most of the skein of overdyed thread, but only a yard or two of each of the pearl cottons and Kreinik braids, so this is a good project to work from your stash.

If you want to have a background, choose a color that contrasts with the colors in your heart. You will need floss, #5 pearl cotton, and Kreinik #16 braid (or 1/16" ribbon) in same color. You might find it easier to select the Kreinik metallic first and then pick the matching cotton.  You will need a full skein or spool of each thread for the background.

Experiment with stitches and with colors; but most of all have fun and enjoy! The creator of Honey I Shrunk the Heart, Pat Timpanaro, and the members of the ANG Internet Committee worked the design using a variety of threads and colors. Take a look at our results!

Use 1 strand of pearl cotton and Kreinik braid. Use the number of strands of floss needed to give you the coverage you want. Start by using the number suggested in the instructions. Depending on your tension and ability to lay threads, you may need to add or subtract strands. If you are not happy with the way your stitching looks, change the number of strands.

Most squares in Honey I Shrunk the Heart are 12 threads square. The exceptions are obvious on the schematic diagram and in the charts for the individual squares. The triangles are called squares for convenience.

Much of Honey I Shrunk the Heart is worked with stranded cotton or silk. Make sure you use your laying tool to keep the individual strands flat and untwisted.  Use the number of strands that is comfortable for you. Working on 18-count canvas, I use 3 strands for diagonal stitches and 4 strands for upright stitches. Depending on your tension and ability to lay threads, you may need to add or subtract strands. If you are not happy with the way your stitching looks, change the number of strands.

Mount your canvas on stretcher strips. Make sure it is taut. Your canvas may loosen up while you're working on Honey I Shrunk the Heart. If this happens, remount your canvas, stretching it tight.

Find the center of your canvas. Count up 12 threads. This is the upper left corner of Square 1. (You have to count down 2 threads from this point to correspond to #1 for the first journey of the first row of this stitch.) The dotted lines on the diagram below indicate the center of your canvas. Do not mark these lines on your canvas. They are shown on the diagram to help you find your starting point.

Refer to the schematic diagram to determine the location of each square. The numbering scheme was chosen to make it easy for you to find your way around the chart. You can work the squares in any order that you choose. It is, however, easiest if you start a new square adjacent to one that is already stitched.

  Stitching Directions

  
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