Santa Beards I love…..


Hello Everyone –
I am sorry that I have had writer’s block, a busy life and lots of belts to paint lately.  I promise that I am going to get much better about giving this blog the attention I should.

First, I want to thank Jane at Chilly Hollow Needlepoint for mentioning me in her blog.  I was surprised and shocked and oh so flattered and thrilled all at the same time.  I must admit, I am not intimidated by finishing or painting and certainly not teaching people, but for some reason, writing doesn’t come as easily to me.  I guess that is because I love the interaction with people and the conversation that ensues.  However, I am going to get much better about blogging on a  more regular basis 🙂

Ok, now onto the topic of Santa and his beard. 

The face of a Santa and his beard are important in any needlepoint piece because they bring life to the Santa.  A well painted face is worth every penny!  A friend of mine always taught me to stitch the Santa’s face first, because then he is real.  The beard on the other hand can wait.  I often do the beard last so that the threads don’t get rolled in my scroll and the threads flattened.

Everyone is always asking for stitches for a beard, mostly because if you stitch Christmas pieces, chances are you run out of ideas for a beard stitch.   The simple long random split stitch in burmilana is always an old stand by of mine.   I like the brightness of the white burmilana for a beard.

Some other great stitches to use for beards are :

French Knots on a Stick

French knots on a stick are easy and quick.  I start about 4 or 5 threads from the bottom and bring my thread up, then go down to the bottom of the beard and wrap my needle for a knot and plunge at the bottom of the beard.  I continue this process laying in rows of knots, making sure my last row has long stitches at reach from the top of the beard down to that row.

French Knots

French Knots are a great choice as well, especially when done in different fibers.  For this piece, there was so much sparkle in the brim of the glass, so I chose Vineyard Silk in bright white.  It has just the shine I was looking for but no sparkle.

A play on Bargello

For this Santa, there was such a vertical feel to the coat, so I wanted to do a horizontal stitch for the beard.  This is a play on a bargello stitch, unfortunately, the name escapes me at this moment.   I like the way it neutralizes the vertical feel of the piece.    Whisper is the thread used for this one, just fuzzy enough.

Some other stitches to consider would be Double Brick, Double Hungarian, Double Hungarian Ground, Horizontal Parisian, Long Upright Cross and many more.    When you are trying to figure out which to choose, look at the canvas from a slight distance and see what the movement of the piece is – diagonal, vertical or horizontal, then choose a stitch that changes the direction from the most prominent feel of the piece.  It may not always work, but it will make you think outside of your box for a bit. 

 That’s all for now, until next time….

 Happy Stitching,


About Baltimore Needleworks

After spending most of my life channeling my creativity into my own work, I decided it was time to share my creative passion and start Baltimore Needleworks. I was the artsy kid who was always drawing something. As a kid, I dreamed of doing something creative "when I grew up." Part of that dream was going to a design school, not the liberal arts college I found myself enrolled in, after all, I had to find a career that would pay the bills. I found a career, though certainly not what I had dreamed I would be doing "when I grew up." My mother taught me how to cross stitch as a teenager and I happily lived in that world until I found myself pregnant and on bed-rest. I wanted something I didn’t have to count and pay close attention to...and so the passion for needlepoint was born. The day before I was put to bed (not for very long), I went to my local needlepoint shop and fell in love with all the painted canvases. I quickly snapped up one and all the necessary supplies. I couldn't wait to get started, I still love the thrill of a new project, who doesn't. I had so much fun working on that first piece, little did I know that all of my continental stitches were going the wrong way. I kept needlepointing - teaching myself everything I could. I spent lots of time at my local needlepoint shop, listening, learning and becoming a master of stitches and techniques. I was thrilled when I was asked if I wanted a job. I was like a kid in a candy store. I got to do what I loved and I got paid, though I think every dollar I made went right back to the shop for canvases I had to have. Baltimore Needleworks is my when I grow up dream. I love needlepoint and the outlet it gives my creativity. Creating needlepoint heirlooms is something I love to do, be it for my own projects or by writing custom stitch guides for my customers canvases. Seeing a canvas come alive with fibers and stitches to create interest and texture with a variety of techniques is something that brings me joy every day. I hope to share some of this passion with you.....thanks for reading, Kristine

8 responses »

  1. Great blog post, Kristine. Well worth the wait. So much valuable content, ideas and photos for inspirations… now and in the future. Great going, kiddo. Hugs to you.

  2. Now I know what you’ve been up to these days! And, as to writing a blog? Yes, I understand since I’ve been doing it for about 3 years now. It’s hard to have a thought to share regularly….so I’m here to support you because I know how much effort it takes!

  3. Pingback: Best Stitches for Beards | Needlework News |

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