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Pieces of Eight
by Gayle Bicknell
Information on the Designer

This piece is part of a continuing project featured in the September/October 1999 issue of needlepoint now magazine. It is bold, colorful and suited for all stitching skills. This month we share with you one of the octagon patterns making up the design in two different color variations.

Materials used:

1 piece 18 count Zweigart canvas approximately 7" x 7". (The outside dimensions of the octagon are 42 x42 canvas threads on 18 count canvas - about 2 1/3 inches square.)
Stretcher bars to accommodate canvas
Thumb Tacks
Masking Tape
Device to lay stranded threads
#22 Tapestry needle
Sharp Scissors
Old scissors to cut metallics
1 skein Impressions # 3064 or # 3045
1 skein Waterlilies # 061, # 113 or # 048
Kreinik Metallic # 16 Braid - # 021 Copper

Instructions for Octagon "C" from Pieces of Eight:

Octagon C - Composite Waffle and Milanese Units
(Shown in the complete design of 25 octagons as the third octagon from the left in top row.)

By combining the principle construction of two popular stitches, a new pattern is created in this interesting octagon.

For a soft look begin by working the waffle stitch in the center of the octagon using 2 strands of Impressions # 3064 and work stitches 1 through 22. Then using 1 strand of # 16 braid - # 021 copper, work stitches 23 through 46. Finally, using 2 strands of Impressions # 3064 again, work stitches 47 through 62. To complete the pattern, work 8 units of Milanese stitch angled as shown in the Octagon C Chart. Work with 4 strands of Waterlilies # 061 or # 113.

For a bold look, substitute 2 strands of Impressions # 3045 for the # 3064, and substitute 4 strands of Waterlilies # 048 for the Waterlilies # 061 or # 113 above. Use the Kreinik Metallic # 16 Braid color # 021 for whichever combination of colors you choose to use.

Note: If you look at the Master Chart with all 25 Octagons, you will notice that Octagon "C" and Octagon "S" have the same motif done in different colors. Octagon "S" does not use any metallic thread. You will notice how different the same motif can look. In the model, the smyrna cross variation border around the octagonal motif is stitched in Anchor #5 Perle cotton, # 926 Ecru. A single strand of Watercolors in a similar neutral shade, such as # 132 Honeysuckle or # 078 Pearl can be substituted. Also you can substitute 1 strand of Antica for the Kreinik braid."

Assistant Editor of needlepoint now, Maria De Simone, offers some suggestions for using the hexagon pattern, "Some of our subscribers have picked individual octagonal motifs from Pieces of Eight and made them into greeting cards or small ornaments. They have also used them for the front cover of a needlebook, or pieces of wearable art like a pin or earrings and embellishments for small box tops." She continues, "Obviously, the combinations of colors are endless. Start with a favorite color of Waterlilies, pick a coordinating Impressions and Kreinik #16 Braid or pick an Antica to substitute for the Kreinik #16 braid also."

Stitchers interested in receiving back issues featuring the additional octagon patterns for the Pieces of Eight series can order them by phone at (804) 732-9140 or through the magazine website at http://www.needlepointnow.com. Subscriptions can be ordered this way as well.

About the Designer

Gail Bicknell, a native of Cincinnati, OH, holds her Teacher Certification in Canvas Embroidery Levels I and II from NAN. She has taught at ANG, EGA and NAN national, regional and local seminars and classes as well as correspondence courses for ANG. Features written by Gail have appeared in numerous needlework related publications. She currently lives with her husband in Greensboro, NC.

About needlepoint now

The premier issue of needlepoint now made its debut with its March/April 1999 issue. Editor Joyce Lukomski's hope for the magazine was that it fill the gaping hole that resulted when a favorite needlepoint publication stopped production several years prior. She states, "We want to offer a product that educates, inspires and sometimes amuses... a product available to everyone who loves to stitch... a product that will help advance needlepoint as an art form." Joyce views the venture as a marvelous opportunity to fulfill a long-held dream while sharing her passion with countless kindred spirits. Assistant Editor, Maria DeSimone concurs, adding, "With the birth of needlepoint now, my involvement in needlework is moving to a wonderful new level. I am embarking on an exciting adventure, one that I look forward to sharing with all our readers." Circulation Manager, Sarah Bennett, shares her aspirations, "As stitchers we all treasure the heritage and traditional ways of needlework, but to pass these on to future generations we must be able to get to the people." The mission of needlepoint now, as its three founders perceive it, is to create an educational journal that will present needlepoint as an art form, by offering projects with instructions, features for continuing education, articles on personalities, technique, current events and other topics that will enhance the knowledge of the art. With 10 issues under its belt, needlepoint now is no longer an infant, but an active, healthy and exuberant toddler.

Subscriptions can be ordered through the needlepoint now website at http://www.needlepointnow.com.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE: These instructions and designs are provided for the personal use of our web site visitors. Any other use be it reproduced or distributed in any other form (including electronic) must have the prior written permission of needlepoint now magazine and Gayle Bicknell.

© 1997 The Caron Collection Ltd./ Voice: (203) 381-9999, Fax: 203 381-9003

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