Saturday, September 24, 2016

Brenton Blue Butterfly

I worked on this little butterfly some while ago but couldn't show it to you at the time. It was an interesting change from counted thread embroidery for me. The stitches I chose were simple, beginning with a stem stitch outline, then backstitch, chain stitch, satin stitch, French knots, bullion knots - only 2 little ones! and couching for the trellis. I really am out of practice. Those French knots wobbled all over!

Brenton Blue butterfly - Lyn Warner
Our local embroidery guild was asked to contribute towards the goody bags for the Ighali Embroidery Convention in Knysna held in August. We could choose from a range of photographs associated with Knysna and, with the threads provided, work a small embroidery using a technique of our own choosing. The finished embroideries were made up into little notebook covers. I was enchanted by the blue butterfly.

Image courtesy of Discover Sedgefield
You may wonder why a blue butterfly was included in the range of photos we could choose from?

The Brenton Blue is a critically endangered butterfly found only in a very small Nature Reserve in Knysna, South Africa. Other known populations have disappeared due to the encroachment of housing and the consequent diminishing vegetation that the Brenton Blue depends on for it's survival.

The good news? Careful management of the Brenton Blue Nature Reserve has resulted in an increase in the butterfly population and plans are to re-introduce it eventually to other areas in the southern Cape where it was originally found. Details of the studies conducted into the life cycle of the Brenton Blue and the ecology of it's habitat are on the website here. I found it fascinating that ants play a protective role in the life cycle of the butterfly.

Till next time, happy stitching!


  1. What a fantastic butterfly you have created with simple stitches, and those stitches are so neat, too. Let's hope both butterflies in nature and on fabric will continue to increase!

    1. Thanks! The trellis was more tricky than I expected - lots of unpicking there. I heard an interview on NPR this week about 3 endangered butterflies in the US that are surviving and doing well surprisingly on military bases. So nice to have good news about our environment. Here's the link

  2. I love your interpretation and the colour variation in your thread. Thanks for the butterfly story - here's hoping the re-introduction comes off.

    1. Thanks! It was a challenge because it was so different to my usual counted thread work, but I did enjoy it.