17 May 2017

We need to talk about The Russians.

"The Russians" is what I call my ever-growing hoard of Russian kits. I've never been crazy about kits, partly because the designs usually don't appeal to me, but mostly because I'm always changing fabric and thread colors and it just didn't make sense for me to buy them. I would occasionally buy one if the design really grabbed me, but it wasn't often. However, several years ago, some Russian needlework companies started popping up with US distributors, mainly Riolis and RTO, and more recently, Panna. It was the beginning of the end of my resistance to kits.

So far, I've managed to contain my madness to two main subjects: foxes (!) and Russian themes. I spent all of my college years studying Russia, Russian, and Russians, so I have a weakness for Russian themes. My hoard is growing. Now, I haven't actually stitched any of these kits yet, mind you, but I do have a plan for that. I always have a plan. But first, let's pull out all of The Russians and see what I have!

Lurking in a big box, under the sewing room chair...

First, the foxes. Riolis:



And not Russian, but I'm throwing it in anyway. This is by Luca-S, from Moldova, and I absolutely love it so much I can't stand it.

And in the general Russian themes category, we have these. The street scene reminds me of Sherlock Holmes.

The matryoshka on the left is one of a set of four (this one is winter). I love the Russian domestic scene on the right. It's such an unusual subject for a design; I don't think I've ever seen anything like it.


Russian woman in beautiful traditional dress.

And the jewel of my collection. It doesn't get any more Russian than this: a winter wolf hunt with Borzoi. 

This was a total heart-over-head purchase. It was ridiculously expensive (even on sale), and it's huge, but I was a goner the minute I saw it. We all love everything in our stash, and we intend to stitch everything we buy, but there are those rare projects that if you die without having stitched it, you've cheated yourself. This is one of those projects. 

So, about that plan. Since my stitching plan for this year is a smoking ruin, beyond rescue, and since I've wandered off in a completely unexpected direction and have taken on creating a Texas basket, I decided to look ahead to next year. I'm considering having a "Russian year" in 2018. Wouldn't that be cool?


  1. Well I am looking forward to your Russian year in 2018. You have some outstanding projects to highlight/feature/showcase during next year's theme. I will definitely be on the sidelines cheering you on.

  2. Yes! Go go for it! Brian and I belong to a Russian Orthodox Church. I have a love for the Russian people and culture.

  3. You had me worried with that title! I thought well, Honeybee has opened the political floodgates now! Those Russians are real pretty and I like the street scene one too, looks Victorian.

    1. Don't worry, Shelly! Although my degree is in Political Science, this will always be a politics-free zone! :O)

  4. Those kits are gorgeous. I am looking forward to following your Russian year! Wow!

  5. What a great collection of Russian stash.
    Love the Mother Fox and baby, so pretty.
    I wish you luck on your endeavor for 2018, and can't wait to see some of them stitched.

  6. Wow! You have an amazing collection--and how perfect for you with your interest in all things Russian during college :)

  7. My son has a love of pandas. I stitched the Riolis panda kit for him. It's beautiful. The thread is different, it's not as fine as other thread. I started off stitching at a slow pace until I got used to the feel and I didn't have any problems with it.

  8. Honeybee, I look forward to seeing you stitch this beautiful collection in 2018'. I love all of your fox designs and the others look labor intensive but I know you are up to the task. How far along are you on your Texas basket? I'm counting the days until you show us it all finished. RJ

  9. OH my goodness, each one is an ambitious project!! I think the one from Moldova is my favorite, loving mother wolf, my husband visited friends in Moldova a few years back, very poor country but they love their domestic arts, the mother of one of our friends made a beautiful cowl scarf for me,I'll always treasure it.

    I can't wait to see your Texas bowl and looking forward to 2018 as your Russian year! Mary@stitchingfriendsforever

  10. I can see why you needed to get all these kits! I love the fox in the heart shaper and the domestic scene too; the little wooden cradle and the woman stitching are lovely, so many little details there.

  11. I do love the foxes, such beautiful expressions, like so many other animals. I didn't realize I liked foxes so much, wonder how that happened:)?
    The Matroyska dolls are beautiful, I do have a collection of those, not however in cross stitch, so maybe I need to thank you for enabling. Oh Dear! Thank you for sharing your beautiful work & thoughts,