A finished example of a cross stitched 'The Sow' with no verse

When I was a year old a friendly old lady gave me a collection of animal prints because 'little children love animals'. In adult life I discovered that these were, in fact, early Victorian prints and were hand-coloured. Many of them are based on the woodcuts of Thomas Bewick, whose 'General History of Quadrupeds' was a best-seller in 1790. I decided to create cross stitch charts from them and wrote little rhymes to accompany them. So far the Antique Animals Cross Stitch Collection includes 'The Sow', 'The Tiger', 'The Hare' and 'The Cameleopard'.

The Sow

The original print on which "The Sow" is based.

The Sow

The Sow spends all her adult days
in busy, active, useful ways,
with many squealing young to rear
and then another lot next year.
Some piglets die from being sat on,
but on the whole they thrive and fatten
until the day when they are taken
to market to be sold for bacon.

Cross Stitch Chart - AAC101

The Tiger

The original print on which "The Tiger" is based.

The Tiger

The Tiger used to hunt at large
throughout the jungles of the Raj
from Manipur to Pakistan.

A well-developed adult male,
fifteen feet long from nose to tail,
could carry off a man.

But things are different now,
for growing populations
increase the needs of nations;
when mankind has to choose
between the forest and the plough
the Tigers always lose.

Cross Stitch Chart - AAC102

The Hare

The original print on which "The Hare" is based.

The Hare

On sunny March and April days
when wind and rain become less chilly,
Hares indulge their little ways;
abandoning their surface burrows
and casting off their winter fears
they rush about the fields and furrows
leaping about and playing silly
and boxing one anothers' ears.

Spring may make their hearts beat faster,
but recklessness can mean disaster;
a moment's giddy lack of care
and many an unwary Hare
has wound up skinned and full of shot
stewing in a cooking pot,
or casserole or jug - Oh sorrow!
Hare today and game tomorrow.

Cross Stitch Chart - AAC103

The Cameleopard

The Cameleopard

The Cameleopard or Giraffe
which lives on the savannah
impresses all observers with
its gentle, well-bred manner.

It leads a life of graceful ease
browsing on grasses and on trees.

If hungry hunters threaten
to put paid to its existence
its lengthy neck enables it
to see them from a distance
and tactfully to melt
into the vastness of the veldt.

Cross Stitch Chart - AAC104

Other designs in this cross stitch chart series will be developed later. However, I would love to hear from cross stitch enthusiasts of any particular animal they might like to see developed. I literally have a bulging folder of prints, including some of birds, from which I can choose which next to turn into a cross stitch chart. So I would welcome requests. You could even write your own verse to turn into part of the cross stitch chart.

Each cross stitch chart pack costs 6.99 without verse, 7.99 with standard verse or 11.99 with your own verse. Prices include postage for delivery in the UK.

(see Terms).

Note:- these designs were created to be cross stitched with two strands of stranded cotton (one thread for back stitch) when using 14-count aida. On 10-count aida, you will need three strands of stranded cotton for the main stitching and two strands for the back stitch. All designs can be produced in any of the usual makes of stranded cotton, but colours will vary slightly depending on which make you choose.

At this time these designs are only created for cross stitch and I have no plans to produce them as tapestry or needlepoint charts.

A finished example of a cross stitched 'The Cameleopard' with verse