Twisted Rainbow Sampler by Northern Expressions Needlework

Something colourful for the Aussies heading back to work and everyone else experiencing Tuesday blues ...  Twisted Rainbow Sampler by Nicole Dostal of Northern Expressions Needlework. Northern Expressions - Twisted Rainbow Sampler

From the Designer

Twisted Band Sampler has been my most popular design, and I have had no end of requests to do another one like it. When I saw the lovely colours that Eileen from Thread Pickerz had dyed for her own Twisted Band Sampler, my brain started working overtime and this was the result.

Why this chart?

I adore bright bold colours. I love working on black fabric, and I love a "twist" on an established genre, so there's no surprise Twisted Rainbow Sampler is in my stash. Twisted Rainbow Sampler not only shows us the fun of stitching motifs on the diagonal,it also includes speciality stitches; Upright Rice Stitch, Diamond Eyelet Stitches, Scallop Stitch, Norwich Stitch, Double Leviathan Stitch, Horizontal Satin Stitch, Diamond Algerian Eye, Smyrna Diamond, Diamond Eyelet, Diamond Rhodes, Jessica Stitch, Rice Stitch, Ray Stitch, Square Ray Stitch, Sprat's Head Corner stitch, and a Long Armed Smyrna Diamond. Nicole uses page of information and illustrations to show us how to complete each stitch, even the partial stitches at the end of each row. If however you don't want to use specialty stitches, Nicole has provided a cross stitch only version of the sampler. If you are a beginner but wish to try the specialty stitches, then do it! I feel that Nicole has provided great information to try these stitches for the first time; just follow the numbers on each diagram. Otherwise, hunt YouTube for stitch tutorials such as this one for the Sprat's Head Stitch.

Review

Northern Expressions Needlework designs are available as printed charts in your local Needlework Store or in PDF Digital form from Nicole's Etsy store. As I have no patience, do not wish to pay postage costs to Australia and prefer to stitch from files on my tablet, I will usually have PDF format to review. The Twisted Band Sampler chart pack includes a cover page, one page of introductions and materials, ten pages of stitching instructions and diagrams, a one page chart and finally the eight pages of chart. The cover page includes  colour photo of the finished stitched project and an email address if you need to contact the designer. The materials page lists all the kitting up information, stitch count, size of material on standard fabric counts, the fabric used for the model stitch and floss used.  There are floss options for Thread Pickerz Silkz, Dinky Dyes floss and DMC. Nicole says:
"This is not an exact conversion, some colours are close, some not so close. Rather than matching colour to colour I went for what would result in a smooth transition in each brand of floss."
Nicole uses 10 pages to discuss and offer diagrams for the 18 bands to this sampler.  Considering every second band is cross stitch, this averages to a full page of discussion and diagrams for each specialty band.  Each discussion lists which colour to use, which type of stitch and then how to do those stitches. She even lists if there will be threads between the stitches or if they will meet.  The diagrams are so good, I'm going to use them when a different design calls for one of these stitches. The one page chart is simply a placement guide to identify each bands and to see how the design fits together. The eight page chart is large enough to stitch the cross stitch symbols and to mark your progress on the specialty stitches.  Each subsequent page has a two-row overlap to help maintain your place. The cross stitch floss symbols are printed quite large so this is an easy chart to see and follow.  There is good disparity between the cross stitch symbols and the specialty stitches.  Although you will need the instructions pages to stitch the specialty bands, the main chart is a great way to check you progress. Do note however, that the width of the sampler is across two pages, so if you want to start in the top left corner, you will need to start on page 2 of the chart.  I feel the one page chart should have the page lines on it so you can tell at a glance where each page fits into the design. Twisted Rainbow Sampler is stitched with one thread over 32ct  fabric because it is a companion to Twisted Band Sampler which is stitched with one thread over 32ct  fabric.  This design can be stitched on any count of fabric.  I do highly recommend stitching on an evenweave (or linen). as some of the specialty stitches would be a pain to do on Aida. Northern Expressions - Twisted Rainbow Sampler closeup

My Experience

Amanda Koppelow‎ - I have nothing but positive things to say about Nicole's charts they are so clear and easy to read. So many stitchers are unnecessarily scared of stitching speciality stitches, but Nicole's diagrams are some of the best you will find! I stitched it in the called for Thread Pickerz silks, but the design is so versatile that you could stitch it in a colour way of you choice. I used 32ct for mine and found I needed to use 2 strands for the cross stitch sections as I prefer a fuller coverage - but I had plenty of silk leftover, so no worries about running out and different dyelots etc.
Photo and stitching courtesy of Amanda Koppelow‎
Photo and stitching courtesy of Amanda Koppelow‎

Materials Required

To stitch the charts exactly as designed, you will need: Thread Pickerz Silkz - Rainbow PackThread Pickerz Silkz Rainbow Pack, one skein each: Christmas red, Salmon, Princes Peach, Golden Orange, Golden Yellow, Buttercup, Pistachio, Slime, Bowling green, Mermaids tail, Turquoise, King of the blues, Periwinkle, Amethyst, P3, Mauve, Fushia, Pink raver. Dinky Dyes - Rainbow Thread PPackOR Dinky Dyes Twisted Rainbow Sampler Silk Pack, one skein each: Desert Pea, Jindalee, Outback, Tropic Sunshine, Lemon Myrtle, Wattle, Bikley Valley, Peridot, Binda, Bermuda, Turquoise, Shark Bay, Violet, Claremont, Orchid, Hardenbergia, Brambleberry, Wild Strawberry. OR 1 skein each DMC 321, 350, 721, 972, 973, 907, 702, 911, 3812, 3844, 798, 3838, 3746, 208, 917, 3804, 601. 32ct Weeks Dye Works "Onyx" Belfast Linen (stitch count 144 x 288). This design can only be stitched over 2 due to the specialty stitches. Weeks Dye Works - Onyx For 28ct evenweave (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 16½” x 27”  or  42 x 68cm  or  a fat quarter (18 x 27″).

Approximate cost for Project

Approximate cost to stitch this design using the recommended materials (prices are in $US, at recommended retail and do  not include postage): Chart: $20.00 Floss:  $ 53.55 Fabric: $23.35 Total: $96.90 ($126.35 AUD or €99.60  or  £61.70)

Places to Buy

Northern Expressions Needlework Etsy store sells PDF charts worldwide.  Due to the changes in UK/EU laws, the PDF charts will be manually emailed to you within 48 hours of purchase. Thread Pickerz Silkz sells the Rainbow Pack of silks used in this design. Dinky Dyes sells an alternate Twisted Rainbow Sampler Silk Pack that can be used in this design. Australia: Colours Down Under stocks DMC, Dinky Dyes and a variety of plain fabrics. Jo would be happy to order in the printed chart, and offers a 10% discount on the package (chart + floss). Mention this review when ordering. Colour Cascade Fabrics suggests "Back In Black or Sorcerer" for this design. Tammy offers a 15% discount for readers of this site. Code is: CSReview. Offer ends 27 February 2015. Canada: Traditional Stitches in Calgary have the chart, Weeks Dye Works fabric and Dinky Dyes threads in stock. Europe: Casa Cenina in Italy has the chart in stock, as well as a variety of fabrics and floss. United Kingdom: SewandSo has the Dinky Dyes floss and Weeks Dye Works linen in stock. Chromatic Alchemy  "I love how the rainbow sampler looks on black but I really am loathe to stitch on it as my eyes aren't what they used to be! So here's an alternative that would be easier on the stitching eye - Elsa" Crafty Kitten "I really love this design - but it’s one that is so busy and loaded with colour I would be inclined to use white or black to stitch it on.  If I was to use a hand dyed it would be moondust, so something subtle which won’t detract from the sampler" Crafty Kitten is also running a competition on her site: any orders placed in January over £10 would go into a draw for a £10 Crafty Kitten gift voucher. Sparklies "I know there are people stitching one of her other designs on my fabrics, not sure if anyone is doing this one, but still, either Ink or Pitch would be ideal for this." Thread Pickerz Silkz Rainbow Pack, one skein each: Christmas red, Salmon, Princes Peach, Golden Orange, Golden Yellow, Buttercup, Pistachio, Slime, Bowling green, Mermaids tail, Turquoise, King of the blues, Periwinkle, Amethyst, P3, Mauve, Fushia, Pink raver. United States: 123Stitch has the chart, dinky dyes threads and Weeks Dye Works fabric in stock to kit this up for you. Black Cat Stitchery in Illinois has floss and fabric in stock and can order in the chart for you.  Erica is offering a 5% discount for readers of Cross Stitch Review.  Coupon code: CSRSPRING15. Offer ends 31 May 2015. Stitches n Things has floss and fabric in stock and can order in the chat for you. Dinky Dyes Twisted Rainbow Sampler Silk Pack, one skein each: Desert Pea, Jindalee, Outback, Tropic Sunshine, Lemon Myrtle, Wattle, Bikley Valley, Peridot, Binda, Bermuda, Turquoise, Shark Bay, Violet, Claremont, Orchid, Hardenbergia, Brambleberry, Wild Strawberry. Fiberlicious "I personally think Rainbow pack from Thread pickers is a really good choice. However, for those who like to stitch with just one variegated colors or one tone of color, I’d suggest using Sea Dragon or Shades of purple for alternative option"

Discussion

Which floss and fabric combination would you use to stitch the Twisted Rainbow Sampler or Twisted Band Sampler?  Would you stitch the specialty stitches or the Cross Stitch only version? Thank you to Amanda Koppelow for her insights on stitching this design. If you liked the review, please share it with your friends. Last Updated: 27 January 2015