What’s Better Than a Scarlet Pimpernel?

What’s better than a Scarlet Pimpernel? A BLUE one! Angallis arvensis has a blue form, which I was taught is the result of a change in one gene. The plants are identical to the typical salmon/grenadine-flowered type, except that the flowers are a stunning cobalt blue. The eye-ring is red or violet, and the eye is a very pale blue.

Image by Brian Urbain, who took Biology with me years ago.

Unlike the different colors of Bluets which have different habits and different flower shapes and sizes, the two different forms of Pimpernel can be stitched with the same basic chart, swapping out only the colors of thread. Again, actual thread colors will be a lot more true to life.

On white Aida:

Life-size, on the golden Aida or linen:

It would also be easy enough to mirror the designs to change it up a bit.

I’ve always fancied the blue form over the “scarlet.” They’re much rarer, the color is amazing, and finding one is a real treat. Might just have to stitch some onto something. Oh, and if you’ve a desire to grow a plant like this in your garden, Angallis monellii looks just like it and the flowers are an inch across!

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

The Scarlet Pimpernel must have thought itself utterly abandoned. Real life is not always compatible with cross-stitch design. Another spring has come and gone, I have retired, and I no longer have an excuse for ignoring this blog or my beloved wildflowers.

When last we saw the Scarlet Pimpernel, I had decided that I didn’t like the shape of the flowers. So today, with my calendar cleared, I had another run at it.

The leftmost flower on the right-hand plant is six kinds of goofy, but this is better. The pedicels are still a bit long, but they will allow the flowers not to overlap the leaves.

Translated into squares:

Not very Gerda-ish yet, but let’s keep going. What colors?

Wow. It looks like there’s a lot going on here. But it’s my standard three colors for the foliage and two or three for the flowers. To make these really look like Pimpernels, though, the flowers will need to have a white eye surrounded by a purple ring. Note the memo to myself to leave out a little stemmy bit on the right hand plant All it’s doing is confusing things.

I have finally figured out how to make my charting software behave semi-reasonably on my new laptop (who thought it was a good idea for the floss color choices NOT to be in numerical order), so here is the chart:

A color block chart is next. The program doesn’t handle the peculiar grenadine/salmon color of the flowers very well. They’re DMC 351 and 352, which is appropriately more orange. The two shades of green in the leaves will not be so starkly different, and the pale green of the fruit and tiniest leaves will be a lot more distinct.

Stitched over one, just about life-size:

On white Aida. (The purple eye rings aren’t showing… Hmm):

On caramelly-colored or golden linen, over one-ish:

I think I like it! Once the proper thread colors are used, I think this will do nicely, and I can always swap them out for actual orange shades. Not, perhaps, the most Gerda-ish of my designs, but it has a lively charm that I’m happy with. Good day’s work, and glad to be back!

Not Neglecting, Just…Not Connecting

I’ve been working on other things, but I haven’t been entirely idle.  I’ve tried sketching a few more tiny things, but I’m just not feeling a “click.”

Remember our friend Scarlet Pimpernel?


I tried a sketch, and I don’t love it.  Even though the petals can be pointed, I think the shape is just wrong here.  I need rounded petals, and shorter flower stalks  Back, as they say, to the drawing board.

anagallis take one

I’ve had a little more luck with Ponysfoot, Dichondra carolinensis, which is in the morning glory family.  It’s mostly a weed here, though in other places it’s grown as a lawngrass substitute.  (It certainly would like to take over my lawn!)  The stems run along the ground and root at the nodes.  It has cute round leaves and teensy flowers that are whitish, pale green, or pale yellow.


Many people don’t know it has flowers at all, because you have to get down on their level to appreciate them.  Who wouldn’t like purple anthers?

I’m quite happy with the leaves and stem in the sketch below, but the flowers are… what?  Too large in proportion to the leaves, I think.


Time to blow up the leaves and shrink the flowers, hopefully meeting in the middle with something that says “chart me.”

They can’t all work on the first try!