I was given a book of Celtic animal motifs at Easter, and the recent embroidery efforts of some of my SCA friends inspired me to try one in split stitch on a linen band.
I traced the motif out with craft carbon and started sewing the sections in split stitch. The stitch direction followed the shape of the animals' muscles. I used DMC cotton floss instead of silk to save money. The base fabric is linen.
Part way through the project I was finding it very difficult to keep track of where I should be sewing as the carbon started to fade. So I went over the outlines in black split stitch and then just went back and filled the sections. Much easier!
I added some highlights around the face and feet. The head curls look white in the photo but are actually a very pale green.
I used this piece as a 'sampler' to develop my skills in a technique that I am not very experienced in. It was very time consuming and challenging to keep the stitch tension correct, but I am pleased with the result and can already see more split-stitch projects on the horizon. The resulting piece has a pleasing weight and texture and would look good as an applied motif on clothing.