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Spring Keys Mini Rug Needlepoint Pattern


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Who, pray tell, is not bothered with winter yet? We anxiously watch the weather forecast on TV, waiting for someone to conjure up some sign of spring... To shorten the time until spring's arrival our ancestors would gather to sing vociferously and without interruption believing their magical songs echoed from one village to another, always reaching further south. There, in distant southern lands, were larks that held the keys in their beaks that locked up winter and unlocked spring. It was believed that the larks returned to their northern home thus bringing spring, using our ancestors' songs to guide them back. While waiting for these spring messengers, people baked cakes in the shape of larks, placed them on special embroidered towels and linen runners, then took to open areas on hilltops and continued to sing the lark's return. As a designer, my contribution to heralding spring is to create this miniature rug inspired by my memories of Belarusan "Calling For Spring" Rite and evoking traditional embroidery motifs in Spring Keys pattern. BASIC SKILLS NECESSARY cross stitch needlepoint (half cross stitch) SIZING / FINISHED MEASUREMENTS 121 x 121 stitches 13 x 13 cm (5" x 5")

Supplies Needed

  • DMC floss, 6 colours
  • 24 ct. canvas
  • This is a needlepoint (half-cross) project, though, it could as well be done in cross stitch.

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Iryna Varabei
Iryna Varabei -- pa-belarusku (in Belarusan) Iryna Varabei, embroidery designer. Unique ethno-modern Patterns for Embroidery based on Belarusan traditional motifs and images. Iryna came to Canada in 1999, when she was 40, bringing her old dream along. She had desired just to stitch (meant that back home, she had no opportunities to...). In 2005, she joined the Toronto Guild of Stitchery. Now, she is happy to offer to Canadian and American stitchers her own designs. All of them are based on Belarusan traditional ornamental motifs or on Belarusan images. Iryna tries to transform the traditional patterns into modern designs enriched with diversity of stitching techniques. "I work in different techniques, with different colours, but I still think Belarusan", she says. In a country rich from the stitching traditions of many nations, needleworkers can now try their needles at stitching a piece inspired by the traditions of Belarusan needlework and to include it in the mosaic of Canadian stitching styles. Iryna Varabei's work has been regularly published in A Needle Pulling Thread magazine and displayed at the Creative Festival in Toronto. -------------------------- Take a journey and learn about Belarusan spirituality while immersing yourself in Belarusan folk wisdom. According to Belarusan beliefs, when you feel a need to commune with God there are three ways to ensure your prayers are heard. First, you can go to church and pray. You can also light a candle and pray. Lastly, you can embroider while meditating on your prayer, for doing embroidery is communicating with God. Belarusans have preserved ancient Aryan symbolic scripts by transforming them into ornamental stitchery. For generations they have passed on the traditions, symbols and wisdom of their grandmothers. They still believe the adage, "While your hands are stitching, your heart communes with God. Stitched symbols are a way to communicate with the spiritual realm."