Do You Like Lichen?

A splash of liquid lichen.
Spilt from the bucket of some careless lichen creator.
Or maybe he was just lost in thoughts.
The instant it hit the surface it froze into this beautiful little sculpture.

I’m fascinated by the structures and colours of moss and lichen. So when I read an article by Julia Caprara in Quilting Arts magazine (#19, Fall 2005) I was really excited. The author described how to create beautiful pieces of art just by using eyelet stitch and French knots. I felt immediately reminded of lichen. Must have. Or rather, must make myself.

A visit to the local yarn store followed. The only thing I needed now was something to stitch on. Fortunately, the fabric store had just the right thing as Christmas was coming ahead. An open weave fabric of the kind that in former times was used for making sacks, called burlap or hessian.

Using a blunt tapestry needle and some fancy knitting yarn, I worked little clusters of each colour on burlap. The eyelet stitch is very simple to make, just straight stitches worked in the round. Pull the yarn tight so a hole opens in the middle.

You’ve got endless possibilities if you experiment with different base fabrics, various weights of threads and yarns, from delicate sheers and sewing thread to burlap and knitting yarns. Try finer threads on top of heavier ones. Vary the size of the eyelets. Let them join or fill the spaces inbetween with French knots. Or add beads.

Catch the spirit of moss on a tree trunk, a bog scene, a frosty day, a night garden, or a sunny flower bed.

I do like lichen. Do you?