Gathering Threads

Free Smocking Plate: Three Little Kittens

Posted by on Nov 29 2013, in Smocking, Smocking Plates

Now that the weather’s gotten cold and we’ve seen the first snow of the season, I thought I’d share a winter-ish plate with you all, since it’s been a while since I’ve posted a freebie.  I thought about doing a Christmas one but  since I seem to be on a nursery rhyme kick of late with my smocking, I went with the Three Little Kittens instead. (They’re in mittens – that counts as wintery, right ?!)

I’ve made two versions of this smocking plate.  The first is the advanced version – each mitten has a different Fair Isle like pattern –  you’ll need to be comfortable working complex horizontal and vertical colour changes in your picture smocking but I’m absolutely delighted with how the knitted patterns translate into smocking.

The second version has the same design but I’ve simplified the mittens, so that rather than having a pattern, they’re worked with only two colours of thread   Cuts down on the time and complexity but still gives a cute look.

As you’ll see when you download either chart, I’ve suggested colours from Caron Collections Impressions line.

Impressions is a 50% wool/50% silk thread that I discovered taking Darcy’s exotic smocking course and it’s fabulous.   I’m using it to smock Bo Peep’s sheep and I’m telling you, this stuff is da bomb for picture smocking.  Smooth, durable, a rich, soft ‘wooly’ feel that isn’t the least bit scratchy and two strands gives flawless coverage for picture smocking.  You owe it to yourself to try this stuff.  It’s definitely more expensive than DMC floss (5-6x, depending on where you source it) but why should needlepointers have all the fun threads?  You can check out the complete colour offering here, or get the printed list here.  I can’t recommend it highly enough.

There are just a few embroidered elements I’ll touch on here, since the plates are self-explanatory in terms of the picture smocking.  The cuffs of the mittens are worked in two stages.  First, you  smock following the chart; then, using two strands of Impressions, work vertical rows of chain stitch on top of the picture smocked cuff. This will create a rib-like texture.  The laundry line is wrapped chain stitch.  The cats’ features are stem stitch for the noses and then 2-3 straight stitches for the pupils, with each stitch starting and ending in the same hole (like a granito, but narrower).

You can download the advanced Three Little Kittens plate here.  It prints to an 8 1/2 x 14 sheet.  The simplified version is here.  As always, the rules of the sandbox apply.  You are welcome to share the link to this plate with friends or pin in on Pinterest but please don’t resell the plates and always credit me with the design.  Happy smocking!


  • Rose Beason

    Adorable! Will probably be after Christmas before I can get to it, but I definitely will put it on an insert for DGGD.

  • Claire

    That’s great, Rose. If you get it made up, I’d love to see pixs!