Hello, Tiffstitch here, and I really enjoy cross-stitching to relax after a stressful day and I love being able to create something that can be beautiful, funky, subversive, or anything at all.
Tuesday sweetness with a touch of sassiness. If Cats Could Talk by Kathy Hackford of Designs by Lisa.
From the Designer
If cats could talk, they would probably lie!
Today we discuss the defunct !?Who Knew?! designs distributed by Picture This Plus from 2005-2012.
Welcome to a new class of reviews, for the designers who are no longer in business. These reviews are presented to showcase works that the newer stitchers may not have seen and to have a place to list where they can still be found. Some bricks and mortar cross stitch shops have a few older designs still in stock, so you may find some Who Knew charts when poking around. If you do, or if you are a shop owner who has some of these still in stock, please comment below.
Why this designer?
!?Who Knew?! designs were incredibly popular and have become more so now they are out of print. At one time or another I had five of these designs in my stash, although I can only find one at the moment.
These designs were charted for cross-stitch under licence by Picture This Plus. They used Alison Tanner’s Mermaid and Garden Fairy stencils which were available at the time from Stensource International (which is now part of Quilting Creations).
The original images are copyright Alison Tanner, the resultant cross stitch designs are copyright !?Who Knew?!
Although the images are from another source, I love !?Who Knew?! choice of colour and fabric combination. These are monochrome but not Black & White.
These charts are mostly whole cross stitch only. Ocean Curiosity uses backstitch to denote fireworks and Autumn Fairy uses metallic floss in one strand in the fairy wings. Other than that, it is two strands of the same thread all the way through.
These designs are quite simple to stitch and relatively small. I would recommend these from beginner through to advanced lovers of fairies or mermaids.
!?Who Knew?! charts were only released as printed charts. All charts were printed on good quality heavy paper. The front and back covers are coloured, as are any backstitch lines.
Initial charts had photographs stuck down with glue on the front cover pages. Later copies had images printed on the front cover page. All pages were always printed on good-quality heavy paper.
The charts are printed in black symbols on white pages. Although these were relatively small designs, they were printed over multiple pages, making the symbols easy to see. As these designs are mostly monochrome, the few symbols are easy to differentiate.
Each subsequent page has a three-row overlap to help you keep your place.
With these multi-page charts, some pages have numbers in each corner and this can be confusing if you haven’t seen this before.
In the top left of each page is written “Page 1” (or whatever page of the chart it is.
In the other three corners are numbers in parentheses ( ). These numbers denote which chart page lies directly in that direction.
So the number in the top right denotes which chart page sits directly to the right of the one you are working on.
The the number in the bottom left denotes which chart page sits directly below.
The number in the bottom right denotes which chart page sits to the right of the chart page directly below the one you are working on. So in a six-page chart :
Page 1 Page 2
Page 3 Page 4
Page 5 Page 6
Page 1 would have these in each corner:
Page 1 (2)
The back cover lists all the information we need to kit up and stitch this design: the stitch count, the design size on a standard range of fabric counts, what fabric was used in the model, the floss list and the floss key.
All of the !?Who Knew?! designs can be stitched over one or over two, so select your favourite Aida or evenweave fabric, some favourite threads and start stitching.
Stitch count 103 x 135.
Model stitched on Picture This Plus “Midas” 28ct Cashel
Stitch count 169 x 248.
Model stitched on Picture This Plus “Dwarf” 32ct Belfast linen.
8 skeins Classic Colorworks Bejeweled
Stitch count 149 x 159.
Model stitched on Picture This Plus “Crystal Lagoon” 32ct Belfast.
Stitch count 198 x 125.
Model stitched on Picture This Plus “Crystal Loch” 32ct Belfast.
unknown skeins of Dinky Dyes 136 Sea Grass
Stitch count unknown.
Model stitched on Picture This Plus “Lagoon” 28ct Cashel linen.
Stitch count 111 x 168.
Model stitched on Picture This Plus “Fresco” 28ct Cashel linen.
Places to Buy
Picture This Plus stopped selling !?Who Knew?! designs in November 2012. If you know of any store who has any of these designs in stock, please comment below.
Hand Dyer Suggestions
Some hand dyers have suggested alternatives for a different look or feel to these designs.
Crafty Kitten “Wild fairy light – stitch on Dawnblush (or vintage petals) with Moonlight threads for a slightly different look.
Or if you wanted more a tone on tone, stitch on Moonlight with Twilight Shadows thread.
Colour Cascade Fabrics “Ocean Treasure (I adore mermaids I found it so hard to only send you a few pics Sorry) Mermaid Song, After the Rain, Deep Water & Oceans”
Tammy offers a 15% discount for readers of this site. Code is: CSReview. Offer ends 27 February 2015.
Fiberlicious “Ocean Daughter: I’d suggest using Mermaid of Atlantis to stitch Mermaid, Sea Moss to stitch the plants and fishes.
Ocean Whisper: Ocean Ridge for the background and water flows. Sea Moss for the plants. Sea Dragon/Mermaid of Atlantis for the mermaid
Ocean Treasure: Moonlit water or shades of blue with Gold Kreinik and beads.
Ocean Curiosity: Ocean Ridge for the mermaid and castle. Sea Moss for the plants
Autumn Fairy: Autumn Wreath, Fallen lea, Flamboyant Fall or Apricot Sunshine.
Wild Fairy Light: Carnation Cluster/Camelia or Mystical Garden for the whole design or just the flower. You can add Hawaiian Hibicus which is a pastel rainbow colors into her wings to bring out the dreamy looking of the chart.
Sparklies “I chose Ocean Treasure which I think would look wonderful on Gina’s Delight.”
Chromatic Alchemy “I think Ocean Curiosity looks wonderful on Cirrus which can be used equally well as either a seascape or a brooding sky.”
Thread Pickerz Silkz suggests using “Ocean nebula or tropical teal” for any of the mermaid charts.
Eileen has been updating the Thread Pickerz Silkz website. She offers 10% off each silk thread as it is added back into the collection.
For readers of this site, she offers an extra 10% discount if you use the code: Xstitchreview
Have you stitched any of these designs? Do you have any of these in your stash? Can you help supply some of the missing information or cover photos of missing designs?
Which other vanished Designer would you like me to showcase? Comment below and I will try to find something suitable.
If you like this review of !?Who Knew?! designs, please share it with your friends or groups.
Last Updated: 19 February 2015