Twitching noses

An antique reproduction

Sometimes you can be lucky enough to stumble across an antique piece of needlework that just makes you smile. The original of this design was done completely in petit-point – the tiny stitches creating such a lifelike image, I could almost see those ears turning and those noses twitching.

The antique original – such tiny stitches!

I tried several different ways to reproduce this, aiming to keep the same charm and the same expressions on the little rabbits’ faces. Figuring that an entire piece of one-over-one stitching would likely be a trial, instead I converted the piece to cross-stitch. The colours took some experimenting too – getting the right combinations of browns and greys for the fur was a challenge, but I’m pleased with the final result.

I stitched the model on 32-ct “Flax” by Zweigart, as I love the slightly earthy tone and flecks of natural linen. I used 2 strands of floss over 2 threads on linen, using a range of Classic Colorworks, Gentle Arts and Weeks Dye Works overdyed cottons. Using the 2 strands helps to replicate the fullness and colour depth of the tightly-packed little stitches in the original. However, I also stitched it 1-over-2 on 36-ct, which gave a more antique, subtle look.

‘Twitching noses’ stitched using 1 strand of floss on 36-count – for a different look.

I know, I know – I stitched it twice?! I actually do this a lot – reproducing an antique piece can involve a lot of experimentation, trying different threads and fabric, different frames and sizes. I ended up going with the 32-count fabric for this, as the finished piece then fits straight into a standard 8 x 10-inch frame.

“Twitching noses” is a small piece (with a stitch count of only 91w x 70h), but full of charm. I hope you enjoy stitching it however you choose – and that you catch sight of those little noses twtiching out of the corner of your eye.

The chart was released for the Fall Needlework Expo and is available in participating stores now. The hard-copy chart and PDF will be available in my Etsy store from next week (mid-September 2022).