Hooked on Christmas by Handblessings

A chart and charms Christmas-themed almost monochrome for Monochrome Monday. The winners of last Monday’s chart Christmas Bellpull by jar Designs are: Kim C and Kay J. There will be new competitions in 2015.  The first one will be via the Cross Stitch Review Facebook page, so make sure you like us 🙂

Handblessings - Hooked on Christmas

From the Designer

Several years ago I saw a comic strip where the main character said he was hooked on fall. I thought, “that’s me”. I love fall. That got me thinking about what other things my friends and I are hooked on. That was the beginning of the very popular Hooked on series. The Hooked ons are a lot of fun to design and I keep adding to them.

I have to admit I’m hooked on Christmas! I love the religious side of Christmas. I love the gift giving, the decorating, the tree, making ornaments, the memories, the time with family and friends … I love Christmas. There are a lot of us Christmas lovers. Let’s celebrate our love of this wonderful time of the year by hanging this proclamation up all year. Merry Christmas stitching. Eileen

Why this chart?

I admit, I love the Hooked On series. I love the simplicity of stitching combined with the charms. Eileen Gurak of Handblessings has an eye for the perfect charms for each design.

Hooked on Christmas has a very Victorian Christmas feel to me, from the font used for Christmas to the classic red and white colour theme to the charm motifs. This chart is about the nostalgia of Christmases of yesteryear.

Hooked on christmas is a small design and a quick stitch using only two colours and whole cross stitch; no back stitch or specialty stitches.  Once the stitching is complete, the charms can really be added wherever you feel they suit – this chart allows a fair bit of space around the charms and many are of similar size so you can place them where you wish. I recommend this design for everyone who loves Christmas, from a complete beginner through to an advanced stitcher.

Hooked on Christmas
Hooked on Christmas

Review

The Handblessings Hooked on series are only available as “chart & charms” packs; printed chart with all the metallic or plastic charms included. Handblessings does not sell spare charms or list where she obtains them from, so if you want to stitch this twice, you will need to buy the chart twice or source your own charms.

The Christmas chart pack is printed on white US Letter (similar to A4) paper.  The front page is printed on light cardstock and includes a colour photo of the completed design. The pack also includes a small ziplock pouch containing the charms.

The back cover includes all the information you need to stitch the design, the stitch count, fabric count and colour, floss list and legend, along with stitching notes for using charms and metallic thread.

The floss list includes “treasure braid” which I assume is Rainbow Gallery Petite Treasure Braid, but the chart does not state which colour of treasure braid to use. The website does not have any reference to metallic threads so I suspect this was a typo.

The chart is printed on one US Letter (A4) page using black symbols on white paper. The design is small and the two colours used in different areas of the chart, so the chart is easy to see and stitch from without enlarging. Eileen has used a 10-row grid and clearly marked the middle point of the design.

The chart does not show the anchor points for the charms  Instead Eileen directs you to “use the [cover] picture as a guideline for the placement of charms”. Fortunately there is plenty of room around the charm areas so exact placement is not a necessity.

My experience

I started this design last week. Due to the reference to “treasure braid” and thinking that a metallic sparkle might add to the Victorian feel of this piece, I pulled out a card of PB10 White Pearl and started stitching with that.  All was going well until I remembered that while I love the finished look of a piece stitched in metallic I don’t actually like the process of stitching with metallics, so I unfortunately dropped this in favour of a different project.  I will get back to it when I decide what colour to stitch the border in.  I’m thinking a variegated green as I’m not a fan of pink.

Hooked on Christmas - Mel's WIP
Hooked on Christmas – Mel’s WIP

 Materials Required

To stitch the charts exactly as designed, you will need:

DMC Perle 8 - B5200 Snow White

 

1 ball DMC Perle #8 – B5200 Snow White.

 

 

Weeks Dye Works - 4109 Love

 

1 skein Weeks Dye Works 4109 Love

 

Wichelt 28ct Victorian Red (now Christmas Red) Lugana (stitch count 104 x 56). With (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 13½” x 10”  or  34 x 25cm  or  a fat eighth (13 x 18″). If you cut your framing border slightly you could squeeze this on an ornament cut of 9 x 13″

Wichelt - Christmas Red 28ct Lugana

Approximate cost for Project

Approximate cost to stitch Christmas using the recommended materials (prices are in $US, at recommended retail and do  not include postage):

Chart: $ 13.00
Floss:  $   4.90
Fabric: $ 5.75

Total: $23.65  ($33.75 AUD  or  €29.60  or  £19.15)

Places to Buy

Australia:

Colours Down Under can order in the chart and materials for you. Jo offers 10% discount on the package (chart + floss). Mention this review when ordering.

Colour Cascade Fabrics has a variety of fabrics for you to make this design unique. Tammy offers a 15% discount for readers of this site. Code is: CSReview. Offer ends 27 February 2015.

Europe:

Casa Cenina in Italy stocks a variety of fabrics and floss for your unique creation.

United Kingdom:

SewandSo  stock a variety of fabrics and floss for your project.

Polstitches has a variety of hand dyed fabrics and Dragon Floss to make yours a truly unique creation.

Sparklies has her own range of floss and fabrics that would suit this design.

Chromatic Alchemy  “I like Hooked on Christmas on Permanganate, a deep, rich colour to accentuate the white stitching and those beautiful silver charms.”

United States:

123Stitch can order in this chart for you. They have the thread and fabric in stock.

Crazy Annie’s has this chart in stock, and has extra charm packs for sale for $10.00

Discussion

What fabric and floss combination would YOU use to stitch this design? What colours mean Christmas to you?

Feedback

Did you like this review? Did it contain all the expected information? Is there anything you would like added or removed from the reviews? Do you know of a particular chart or designer you want to see featured here? If so, please head to the Suggestions page and let me know.

Last Updated: 22 December 2014