As you know I have yet to complete the Take  a Stitch Tuesday challenge that I started two years ago.  Thus I did not take place in the Take it Further challenge run by Sharon B  from Pin Tangle last year.  You can hardly take it further when you haven’t reached the initial milestone.  But this did not stop me wanting to try the “chicken scratch” stitch from this year’s Stitch Explorer.  After all there is only one stitch to explore a month.  Never mind that the Chicken Scratch was offered up in January and it’s already March.

I flicked through all the  remarkable samples on line, and my friend Elizabeth from Quieter Moments , (who blogged many of the remarkable samples I was drawn to)  sent me some lovely gingham on which to try the stitch. 

Now, with a name like “Chicken Scratch”, I was expecting a relatively easy stitch.  When I think of a chicken scratching around in the dirt making marks with it’s feet, I think of a basic and expressive, perhaps even unconsious approach to mark making.   I was fooled!

This stitch required a thought out plan of patterning.  It required discipline and a delicate touch with tension. I was humbled by it.  So, in the intersted of humilty and truth I will display my first attempts at Chicken Scratch!



You will see that I only managed the most rudimentaty pattern.  I’m not unhappy with the blue and green samples – they just look naive.  I’m not totally unhappy with the red….I could develop it.  But the Black!  Yuk!  It started out with some interesting looking diamonds and for some reason I thought adding more patterning might help, and because that didn’t work I added some more. 

But I will keep trying to get a handle on this – it’s such a deceptive stich and I’m determined not to let it beat me. Besides which it was wonderfully absorbing to work on sitting down in the sunshine near the sea.  Despite my less than illustrious results I had a lot of fun trying to figure this one out.


I’ve also been doing some more drawing with my pastels.  I’ve never thought myself  “good” with colour and I’ve mostly drawn in black and white all my life.  But I’m experimenting.  Life’s too short not to give colour a go.