The Perfect Stitches for Mushrooms, Snakes and Snails?

One of the patterns I drew up recently features Alcohol Inky Caps, pretty, semi-poisonous mushrooms.  I was instantly struck by the caps as they matured and rolled up, and with a bit of research I learned that this is a typical mushroom move, exposing their spores and curling up as they dry out, allowing the spores closer to the centre to have access to the outside world.  It seems a lot of mushrooms do this, if you check out these cute little guys I saw outside my apartment building.

To me, the drying, underside of the mushrooms look just like a thick, black buttonhole stitch.  The streaky lines are the perfect analog for the spores and by combining two nearly black strands with one dark brown strand, I managed to get an organic look.

Some stitches lend themselves so perfectly to certain natural elements, it always amazes me.  Imagine a snail, sludging around, his shell a pretty swirl of bullion knots, maybe over felt padding to give it extra height.  Wouldn’t that be fabulous?  The Unbroken Thread recently featured a very clear tutorial on bullion knots, which I plan to practice to get this snail in reality.

Another project I am working on right now is a stitched version of this cute out of print poster for friends.  It’s a honey badger and he just don’t care.  To stitch the mess of snakes he is attacking/eating, I’m going to try and do a very tight, very small buttonhole stitch in various shades of green.  I am hoping that it’ll give each segment of the snake its own, completed look, while still looking messy and tangled.  It’ll be complicated, but I’m looking forward to it.  I plan to fill in the badger with crazy fuzzy stitches that’ll hopefully look like messy, dirty fur.  We’ll see how it goes!

Can you think of any other stitches that lend themselves extraordinarily well to embroidery?

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