Saturday, May 28, 2016

Train Kellan: First Post

Some of you may remember the name I cross stitched for my first nephew, Logan.  For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about you can find the posts here.

My younger nephew likes trains, that is what my sister thinks she wants to change his room to.  However, she's having difficulties finding anything other than Thomas the Train, and she doesn't want to go that route.  So I started scouring the internet for train letters.  I found quite a few, but none were what I wanted.  Most were an engine on the front, letters on flatbeds and a caboose.  However, I wanted to keep the two as similar to each other as I could.  So I decided to do the only thing I could, design my own.

And that's what I did.  I used the same letters from the original Firefighter's Sampler and created a train theme.

The first letter up is L, or Ls.  I decided these would work well for some train crossing signals, one for each L.  I found an photograph and copied it as best I could.  However, the only way I could get it to work the way I wanted was for the poles to be off a half a stitch, and since I was going to be stitching this on evenweave it seemed completely doable.

First the letter, in the same blue color as Logan's, I had originally thought of changing it to green.  But my sister suggested to keep it the same color.  I think I like the pattern better with the blue anyway.

Now for the crosses of the crossing signals.

And some back-stitching so you can actually see where the white is.
And there they are.

Next up is the E.  My sister suggested a tunnel for the A, but I already had another idea for the A, and I thought that too much would be covered up of the tunnel if I used that letter, so the tunnel went to the E.  This one I just made up.  I didn't use a picture or anything, I just kind of did a stereotypical tunnel.

E first, the entire E is actually visible, the tunnel goes behind it.
So when I counted and double counted to make sure I counted right, I eventually found that I hadn't counted right.  Everything was two stitches too far to the right.  I knew I had to fix it or the tunnel would run into the signals, and I didn't want that, so I did a little creative cross stitching and corrected my mistake without having to tear out every single stitch.

Now for the tunnel.  I tried to make a kind of brick looking archway around it.  And it's dark in there, so there's black, and then the light gray on the bottom for the rock ballast that hold the wooden ties.
Originally there was going to be a cross stitched line of brown for the closest tie, but I was showing my design progress to my sister and she thought it looked weird and asked me try it without it, and after I altered it, I agreed the new design looked better.

Which leads me to the next image with all the back-stitching.
The "closest" two ties are actually long-stitched with two strands, while the rest are single strands, and I did long stitches as well for the rails so they looked like one continuous piece of metal.  I didn't back-stitch around the brown, I was hoping that would give the feeling like the brown didn't end there, but rather continued to the rest of the hill.

Next one is K.  This is the first one designed, and, I have to admit, this is the letter that I designed the least.  Since the K is the first letter it seemed fitting that it would have the engine.  I had found a simple pattern that I really liked, and, surprisingly enough, it ended up being the perfect size.  So, I copied it, my apologies to whoever actually created it, but since I'm not selling this I think I'm okay.  But here's the blog post with the original image I used to create mine.
After my misadventure with the E I decided to make doubly sure that I counted correctly on the K.  And I failed, this time it was one stitch too far right.  Maybe I'll have more luck with the other two letters.

Here's the train in front of the K.

And a massive amount of back-stitching was done on this.
You may have noticed a few missing back-stitches on the K, well, that's where I'm going to use a gray Kreinik for the steam or smoke coming out of the stack.  I just forgot the Kreinik at home.

Project Stats:
Pattern: Train Kellan
Pattern by: Me, using letters from Firefighter's Sampler
Started Stitching: May 23, 2016
Fabric: 28ct. White Evenweave
Floss: DMC 2 over 2
Percentage: 57.63% complete
Stitches: 2,174 out of 3,772 complete

So, this was one of the two pieces I was supposed to work on next from my list.  Even though his birthday isn't until November, I wanted to get it done before a custom framing coupon expires.  However, I ordered a kit from HAED.  And it's VERY tempting to start on it.  I must resist!


  1. I really admire you making your own design. They're all so well done too. I look forward to seeing the other letters.

  2. Wow this is turning out beautiful! Great job!