Seems like it's that time of year when people work on Christmas items - especially if you have projects that you want to get out to a finisher before a set deadline. I haven't been stitching very long - only 10 years - but even in that time, it seems that the finishing deadlines get earlier and earlier. Before you know it, you'll have to have a project completed for the finisher by May in order to get it by Christmas. I guess that means that there is a lot of stitching going on in this country. If not that, then perhaps we need more finishers in order to handle the quantity we are producing. Might be a good business opportunity for someone.
Santa's beard in this post is done in the Velvet stitch...here is a link on the technique:
There are a couple of ways to execute this stitch. The main thing to remember is to make all loops uniform in size since you wont' be cutting the loops as in Turkey Work.
You can find this stitch in books like Stitches To Go and The Needlepoint Book.
Here is a close-up of the beard done in the Velvet Stitch.
I believe I used a combination of one strand of Wisper and one strand of Designer's Dream, both from Rainbow Gallery, but I can't be sure and I can't check it because I gave it away. It's much like turkey work except it holds better and you have to make sure that all the stitches are fairly consistent in size/length to get a result like the beard in this example. I tend to pack it in when I'm doing this type of stitch...so this one is really full. It's time-consuming but worth the effort if you ask me. I just wish I had kept this Santa for myself. (just kidding) Try it and let me know if you like it!