Antiquity: Who Knew

Today we discuss the defunct !?Who Knew?! designs distributed by Picture This Plus from 2005-2012.

Ocean Daughter
Ocean Daughter

Stash Antiquities:

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.

Who Knew - Wild Fairy Lights Cover

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 - Autumn Fairy Cover

Review

!?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)

(3)                (4)

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.

Gallery

Who Knew - Autumn Fairy

Autumn Fairy:
2 skeins (20yd) Threadworx 1042 Desert Sunset (NN 129 Sequoia)
1 spool Kreinik Blending Filament 021 Copper

Stitch count 103 x 135.
Model stitched on Picture This Plus “Midas” 28ct Cashel

Who Knew - Ocean Curiosity

Ocean Curiosity:
6 skeins Gentle Arts 0240 Midnight
1 card Rainbow Gallery Petite Treasure Braid PB68 Black Opal

Stitch count 169 x 248.
Model stitched on Picture This Plus “Dwarf” 32ct Belfast linen.

Who Knew - Ocean's Daughter

Ocean Daughter:
8 skeins Classic Colorworks Bejeweled

Stitch count 149 x 159.
Model stitched on Picture This Plus “Crystal Lagoon” 32ct Belfast.

Who Knew - Ocean Treasure

Ocean Treasure:
6 skeins Weeks Dye Works 1285 Twilight
1 card Rainbow Gallery Petite Treasure Braid PB03 Gold

Stitch count 198 x 125.
Model stitched on Picture This Plus “Crystal Loch” 32ct Belfast.

Who Knew - Ocean Whisper

Ocean Whisper:
unknown skeins of Dinky Dyes 136 Sea Grass

Stitch count unknown.
Model stitched on Picture This Plus “Lagoon” 28ct Cashel linen.

Who Knew - Wild Fairy Light

Wild fairy light:
5 skeins Gentle Arts 0310 Claret
1 spool Kreinik Blending Filament 042 Confetti Fuchsia

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

Discussion

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

Evening Flight by Alchemy Stitchcraft

Today we have a timeless chart; tranquil in looks, with Hardanger!

Alchemy Stitchcraft - Evening Flight

From the Designer

Design features a flight of colourful hot air balloons, worked in a variety of counted thread stitches, using solid-coloured and overdyed cottons, metallic threads and beads, against a sunset sky of Hardanger, pulled and drawn thread clouds. This is a companion to Summer Skies.

Combining Cross Stitch, Counted Thread Embroidery, Hardanger, Beadwork, Silk Ribbon Embroidery and more, our clear diagrams and instructions are designed to help the Cross Stitcher explore the world of speciality stitching.

Why this chart?

I love the design, the hot air balloons against a dusk sky; it looks so calm and peaceful.  I adore the hardanger and drawn thread clouds. Change the colour of the backing board and you can really change the look of this piece.  Instead of light blue peeking from inside the clouds, imagine a white or black or hand coloured sunset…

Christine Wilkins produced the Alchemy Stitchcraft range of designs in the early 2000s. Most of her designs used drawn thread work and specialty stitches to crate wonderful pieces of art.

Evening Flight uses Rice Stitch, Elongated Cross Stitch, Modified Rhodes stitch, Satin stitch, Bargallo, Rhodes Star, Partial Eyelets, Straight Stitch, Diagonal Satin stitch,Kloster Blocks, Woven Bars, Dove’s Eyes, Honeycomb stitch, Drawn thread, Hemstitching, Herringbone stitch, Woven Bars, Square Filets, Window stitch, Cable Stitch and Wave stitch as well as the usual whole cross stitch and back-stitch.

Due to the number and type of specialty stitches, I recommend this for an intermediate or advanced stitcher.

Alchemy Stitchcraft - Evening Flight Closeup

Review

Alchemy Stitchcraft designs were only ever available as printed charts.  May charts included optional “goody bags” which contained specialty threads and beads used in the design.

The Evening Flight chart pack included the cover page, one page of the chart and four pages of stitching instructions.

The one page chart is very small, too small to discern the individual cross stitch symbols.  This chart was produced as an adjunct to the stitching instructions.

The four pages of stitching instructions include the stitch count and size of finished design on 28ct fabric, the floss and fabric used in the model and instructions on the design.

These instructions tell you where to start stitching, which floss to use and the stitch style to use. Each stitch style is explained with words and two-colour diagrams. Although these are succinct in their explanation, I believe they are sufficiently detailed for the intermediate level stitcher.  If you are completely new to Hardanger I suggest you check out some YouTube videos, such as this one:

If your eyesight is not up to the such detailed work on 28ct fabric, feel free to use 22ct Hardanger fabric or any other count of evenweave. This design is not recommended for Aida due to the drawn thread work.

Materials Required

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

Threadworx 1150 Funky Lilac

1 skein of ThreadworX 1150 Funky Lilac (previously Needle Necessities 191 Harlequin)

 

Anchor 008 Light Salmon

1 skein Anchor 008 Salmon Light (similar to DMC 3824)

 

Anchor 068 Medium Light Raspberry

1 skein Anchor 068 Medium Light Raspberry (similar to DMC  3687)

 

Anchor 110 Medium Lavender1 skein Anchor 110 Medium Lavender (similar to DMC 208)

 

Kreinik 4 - 242HL Magenta Sunset

 

1 spool Kreinik #4 Very Fine Braid  242HL Magenta Sunset Hi Lustre

 

 

Kreinik 4 - 9192 Light Peach

 

1 spool Kreinik #4 Very Fine Braid 9192 Light Peach

 

Kreinik Silk Serica - 6123 Light Dusty Lavender1 spool Kreinik Silk Serica 6123 Light Dusty Lavender

Kreinik Silk Bella - 6123 Light Dusty Lavender1 spool Kreinik Silk Bella  6123 Light Dusty Lavender

Mill Hill 03057 Cherry Sorbet
1 packet Mill Hill Beads 03057 Cherry Sorbet
28ct Silkweavers “Dusk” Cashel linen (stitch count 54 x 120). This design can only be stitched over 2 due to the specialty stitches.

For 28ct evenweave or linen (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 10” x 15”  or  25 x 37 cm  or  a fat eighth (13 x 18″).

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: $10.70
Floss:  $ 23.70
Fabric: $  5.75

Total: $40.15 ($61.55 AUD or €46.45 or  £33.60)

Places to Buy

Alchemy Stitchcraft will sell the Charts and Goody Bags direct to the public if you cannot find them any other way.  Email Christine and let her know which designs you are interested in.

The optional extra “Goody Bags” for Evening Flight are great value:

Goody Bag A: £1.60  ($2.45 US)
ThreadworX 1150 Funky Lilac (previously Needle Necessities 191)
Mill Hill Beads 03057 Cherry Sorbet

Goody Bag B: £11.50 ($17.60 US)
ThreadworX 1150 Funky Lilac (previously Needle Necessities 191)
Mill Hill Beads 03057 Cherry Sorbet
10 x 15″ piece of 28ct Silkweavers “Dusk” Cashel linen

Goody Bag B
Goody Bag B

 

Australia:

Colours Down Under has some of the threads and a variety of plain fabrics in stock. Jo would be happy to order in the chart, and offers a 10% discount on the package (chart + floss). Mention this review when ordering.

Colour Cascade Fabrics suggests ” Barbie Girl or Pretty In Pink”.

Tammy offers a 15% discount for readers of this site. Code is: CSReview. Offer ends 27 February 2015.

Canada:
Traditional Stitches in Calgary has some of the threads and a variety of fabrics in stock.

Europe:

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

United Kingdom:

SewandSo has a range of floss and fabrics to make this design uniquely yours.

Crafty Kitten “That’s a lovely design, I would go with Evening Sky, Sunset Sky (probably this one) or Apricot Sunset.”

Polstitches Needs a little light fabric i would say possibly Dawn Chorus or the new Raindrops!

Chromatic Alchemy  “I have paired Evening Flight with Halcyon, it reminds me of those glorious pink-hued evening autumn skies but it is also subtle enough to not steal the show from that wonderful cutwork!”

Thread Pickerz Silkz “I would use a selection of complimentary colours maybe grapes and wine, amethyst and candyfloss.”

United States:

123Stitch has some thread in stock and offers a variety of fabrics.

Black Cat Stitchery in Illinois has floss and fabric in stock to make this a project to remember.  Erica is offering a 5% discount for readers of Cross Stitch Review.  Coupon code: CSRSPRING15. Offer ends 31 May 2015.

Stitches n Things has some of the recommended materials in stock for you.

Wasatch Needlecraft can order in the chart and has some floss and fabrics available in stock.

Fiberlicious “This is such an amazing hardanger design! It screams freedom and adventure. The balloon reminds me a lot of a Pixar’s animation called “Up”. I would suggest using Poppyfield, Hummingbird and Apricot Sunshine (silks) to stitch this beautiful design.”

Silkweaver Fabrics has the recommended Dusk in stock.

Under the Sea Fabrics “I’d use Witching Hour for a night sky or Shimmering Seas for a warm sunny sky affect.”

Discussion

Would you stitch this chart?  Do you love or loathe those that have more than just whole cross stitches?

If you liked the review, please share it with your friends.

Last Updated: 22 January 2015

 

Hand Dyed Floss

What is hand dyed floss and how do I use it?

Dinky Dyes silk

Hand Dying techniques

There are many different ways of hand dyeing embroidery floss. Broadly speaking these techniques fall into two categories:

Vat Dyeing – the skeins or hanks of floss are immersed or dipped into a container of liquid dye

Space Dyeing  – where coloured dyes are placed along different parts of the floss skein or hank.

Vat Dyeing is where you make up a liquid solution of pigment or dye, and then you dip part or all if your floss into it, or when you drop your floss into it, giving it a bath. You can tie loose knots in your floss so that the dye penetrates some areas more than others. This is the easiest range of methods for mottled threads or subtle dye variations.

Space Dyeing  is where coloured dyes are deliberately added to specific sections of the floss skein or hank. Usually the dye solution is added to the floss. Space Dyeing methods are mainly used to create colourful rainbow threads.

Dye Types

There are many different types of dyes and pigments used to dye floss.  Some are powders that must be mixed into water or oil, some are already liquid, some are derived from plant materials, or squished insects, others are made in a laboratory.  Some require a “mordant” to hold the colour to the floss, others do not. Often different dye processes are used on synthetic fabrics such as rayon and nylon to those processes used for cotton, silk, cashmere, wool etc.

Every different dyer uses their own type of dying process and dyes or pigments.  This is why some hand dyed threads are colourfast and others are not.  Read the label carefully if you are planning on stitching a large design or a small travel piece, as the threads may not be washable at the end.

Classic Colorworks

Cleaning tips

If you do need to clean an item that has non-colourfast threads on it, here’s how to do it.

  • Turn on the tap over your basin or sink.
  • Use tepid or cold water.
  • Do not put the plug in.
  • Rinse your fabric under the water, thoroughly wetting it.
  • If any colours run, this is usually excess dye leaching from the thread. Leave your stitching under the running water until the water runs clear.

If you put the plug in or swirl this fabric through a basin of standing water then that excess dye lands on your fabric and stains it.  If you leave the water running without a plug then the water carries the free dye down the drain before it can land and stain.

Caron waterlilies

Photographing floss and Colour Vision

The same issues we discussed in the Hand Dyed Fabrics article apply here. There is no possible way for either monitors or printers to accurately reflect the full range of colours that our eyes can see. However, you can often get a good idea of the range and variation in the shading.

Carrie's Silks

Hand Dyed Means Unique

Again as discussed in the Hand Dyed Fabrics article, there are just some variables in the hand dying process  that you can never plan for:  The minerals in the water used in the dye bath, the temperature of the water versus the temperature of the ambient air on the day, the humidity levels or how the floss was dried.  All of these factors can these can subtly change the characteristics of the final piece.

If you are buying variegated threads for a specific project, ALWAYS BUY THE WHOLE AMOUNT OF FLOSS AT THE SAME TIME . Wherever possible, ask that the skeins are supplied from the SAME DYELOT.

This is particularly important if you are planing to stitch a large piece in hand dyed floss, By requesting skeins from the same dyelot, you will know both the shade and patterning will be consistent throughout your piece.

Gentle Arts Sampler Threads  - Reds and Blues

How do you stitch with hand dyed threads

The way you stitch with hand dyed threads makes a significant difference to the finished effect. To show this, I have stitched a sampler to illustrated some of the more common stitching styles.  I have used a skein of Carrie’s Jelly Fish as there are many colour changes.

2014-12-12 16.36.46

Left block and first long strip were stitched:

\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  then ///////////////// (yes I was taught by a left-hander)

In both the block and the row, some of the colours are barely seen because they are used on the bottom  \\\\ and others are shown more because they are solely used as the top ////,  This can create an unusual look for your piece. I do like the interplay of colours with the yellow over pink add the purple over green.

I’ve only see one pattern that deliberately asked to be stitched that way; “Is it my Eyes” by Susan Saltzgiver. Most of these blocks have the bottom \ in a different floss to the /,  Usually light over dark but sometimes dark over light.

Is it my eyes - Susan Saltzgiver

Middle block and middle strip are stitched one full stitch at a time, so \ then / then \ then /   The rows are stitched:

01, 02, 03 … 09, 10
20, 19, 18 … 12, 11
21, 22, 23 … 29, 30
40, 39, 38 … 32, 31   etc

Although it doesn’t look much different in the block, the row shows how this can lead to a stripey stitched effect.  This method best reflects the real patterning in the hand dyed thread. One such as this:

Fire flower finished

Right Block and third strip were stitched via my way. I’ve developed a habit of stitching two stitches, then going to the next row and stitching the same two stitches, and then back up to the previous row and stitching another two stitches, then down to the next row and stitching two stitches etc.  So the block was stitched like this:

01, 02, 05, 06 … 17, 18
03, 04, 07, 08 … 19, 20
38, 37, 34, 33 … 22, 21
40, 39, 36, 35 … 24, 23
41, 42, 45, 46 … 57, 58
43, 44, 47, 48 … 59, 60 now there are three rows left so
86, 85, 80, 79 … 62, 61
88, 87, 82, 81 … 64, 63
90, 89, 84, 83 … 66, 65

This produces more of a mottled effect instead of stripes:

Angle-of-Love-Finished

Or you can throw all of that out the window and cut your hand dyed threads so that you choose where each section of colour goes.  In this case, I stitched the left project using my usual two stitches method.  On the right, I cut the thread so that the colours went where I wanted them to.

Summary

Hand dyed thread will always produce an effect that is guaranteed to be unique. No two stitchers will create exactly the same outcome and often this variation creates some truly beautiful finishes. Ultimately, you can stitch with your hand dyed threads any which way you please. It all depends on the effect you want for each project.

Stitched Sampler

Places to Buy

World Wide:

These are threads that are available in most cross stitch stores:

Anchor Multicolours. Anchor Embroidery Floss is spun from the world’s finest 100% Egyptian cotton. Anchor offers you 24 multicolours that are completely washable and offer outstanding colorfastness.

Caron Waterlilies Hand-dyed 12 ply spun silk. 6 yard skeins. Easily divided, use two plies for cross stitch over two threads on 28 count fabric.

Caron Wildflowers A single strand hand-dyed cotton in variegated colors. It has more of a matte finish when stitched.  36 yard skein.

Classic Colorworks (formerly Crescent Colours) A hand dyed floss that begins with 100% cotton DMC six strand floss and gentle fabric dyes designed specifically for cotton. Available in a variety of beautiful colors that work well with cross stitch. 5 yard skeins.

Classic Colorworks (formerly Crescent Colours) Belle Soie Silk Floss These silks are hand dyed with the same creative eye and flair you’ve come to enjoy in their cotton flosses, with a softness unmatched in other silks. They start with a 12-stranded spun silk, and package them into 5-yard skeins.

Dinky Dyes Now based in the United States, Dinky Dyes started in Western  Australia.  Luxurious hand-dyed 6 strand spun silk sold in 8 meter skeins.

DMC Color Variations These give you the look of hand dyed floss with the added quality and reassurance that they are made by DMC. Twenty-four beautiful multi-color and tone on tone shades that are colorfast.

Gentle Art Sampler Threads Six Strand hand over-dyed floss. Sold in 5 yard skeins.

Gloriana This spun silk has silk’s beauty, luster, and shine but doesn’t catch on your hands. Gloriana Silk is soft and remarkably easy to use. 12 strand silk, 6 yard skein.

Gloriana Florimell Au Ver a Soie Soie d’Alger artisan-dyed 7 strand silk by Gloriana Threads. 5 yard skein. Hand-washable in cold water.

Needlepoint Inc Northern Lights 8 Strands. Colourfast. 100% Pure Chinese Silk. Overdyed to create this wonderful range of multicolour silk threads.

Thread Gatherer Silk N Colors 100% silk, 12-ply, 6 yard skeins. Silk N Colors initially separates into 3 groups of 4-ply. Before stitching, separate and put together the desired ply. Cross-stitching: we recommend 1-ply on 30 count or finer, 2-ply on 28 count linen.

Threadworx Overdyed Floss A premium quality, six-strand embroidery floss made from the finest long-staple, 100% Egyptian Giza cotton. Sold in 20 yard skeins.

Threadworx Vineyard Silk Artisan dyed by ThreadworX. 100% Pure Chinese Silk. Twisted. 20 yard skeins.

Valdani  Superb Hand-Overdyed colors in Cotton Floss for the “matte” look. Embroidery Floss Skeins in 6-ply cotton for cross-stitch

Weeks Dye Works Hand Over-Dyed Floss. 5 yard skeins. The colors are variegated enough to be noticeable, yet subtle enough to blend naturally. Because it is pliable, this fiber is perfect for cross stitch and needlepoint on many counts of fabric and canvas.

Australia:

Colour Streams Colour Streams hand dyed embroidery silk threads are available in 50 glorious overdyed colours.

Cottage Garden Threads Our passion is to produce hand dyed threads inspired by the diversity of colour among the flowers and foliage of a cottage garden.

Primke Threads are hand dyed cotton threads from Australia, they come in 72 colours.

Stitches and Spice is Australia’s only floss hand dyer. There are 56 colours in Naomi’s range and they complement her fabric colours. 5 metre skeins of Hand-dyed 6 stranded 100% cotton.

France:

Annick Abrial creates beautiful hand dyed floss colours. 100% cotton, 6 strands stranded, hand-painted, which are capable of steam ironing. The colors are guaranteed in time and are 8 metre skeins.

Rainbow Fingers  I’m a fiber artist living in France that has a passion for dyeing also.

The Silk Mill Our silk is 100% pure Chinese monofilament silk thread. The thread comes in skeins of six strands of 6.5 metres long, with a total skein length of 39 metres. There are 700 shades of silk to choose from.

Italy:
Romy’s Creations Overdyed DMC floss in beautiful colours.

Poland:

Nina’s Threads 100% stranded cotton threads, hand dyed with professional dyes, for embroidery and cross stitch. 8 meters / skein. Rinsed in neutral scent after dye.

South Africa:

Chameleon Threads are individually hand-dyed in South Africa using cotton, rayon and pure silk.

House of Embroidery Un-dyed cotton threads are imported from Europe and un-dyed silk is imported from Japan. Our threads are dyed in South Africa, using European dyes.

United Kingdom:

Crafty Kitten These threads are dyed to match our fabric colour range.  Each skein is 5m in length. These threads have been hand-dyed on high quality DMC white stranded embroidery cotton.

Jodyri Designs Hand dyed cotton threads priced at 99p per 8m skein. These cannot be guaranteed to be colourfast

Polstitches Dragon Floss has some wonderful thread names.  6 strand cotton, 8 metre skeins.

Rainbow Girl Each item is unique, and cannot be reproduced. I use a low water immersion technique with procion dyes. Every item is thoroughly rinsed and washed in Synthrapol, after dyeing, but I cannot guarantee that they are colourfast.

Sparklies All my threads are full skeins of DMC, hand dyed to an overdyed finish. Currently these are mostly two-tone, but I hope to expand the range to include multi-tone colours in the future.

Stef Francis 6-strand cotton, length 10m.  12 strand Silk, length 6m.

Thread Pickerz Silkz Here you will find wonderful silks to help make your cross stitch projects stand out. Each silk skein has 50 single strand lengths of approx 0.96m in length.

United States:

Carrie’s Creation Threads All threads are 100% cotton DMC,  and available in either the 6 strand cotton, the premium weight floss known as Floche, or Silk!

Dragonfly Lotus Produces hand dyed silk and wool threads.

Fiberactive Organics Our Shop Specializes in hand-dyed organic cotton products. We use low impact Fiber-Reactive Dyes to achieve the most vivid and fade resistant colors for all your project’s needs.

Fiberlicious  is a Facebook only dyer. Cotton floss is 6 strands and 10 yards long (approx).Silk has 50 single strands of 1.2m long which is 60 m in total. They are dyed with variation of colors (not colorfast). My silk is Pure silk (Flat Silk, 2 plies), not processed silk with polyester so it’s pretty soft and delicate.

Garibaldi’s Needle Works is an ebay only store that produces beautiful mottled fabrics and threads.

Hand Dyed Fibers by Vicki Clayton. Silk floss comes in two sizes. Regular silk floss is about the same size as DMC. Premium floss is much thicker and has single strand coverage over 2 on 28 ct. – 32 ct. You can use the drop down box to choose which type of floss you would like. Vicki is swamped with orders and has taken down her floss pages for a couple of weeks.

Mo’s Sale a Facebook supplier that now has her own website. Often releases new colours in themes such as MockingJay and Harry Potter.

Rumple Beary Rumors On Facebook and Etsy.  My skeins are hand measured and dyed/painted, so each will vary.  10 yards each of 6 strand cotton embroidery floss  Most times you will get a bit more than 10 yards. My threads are hand painted/dyed on a DMC base white thread and are variegated.

Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe On Ebay and Etsy. My floss is 20, one yard pieces, per skein.

Discussion

Did I miss any good dyers?  Please comment below and I will add them to the list. Also, what article do you want next weekend?

Feedback

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

Last updated: 13 December 2014

 

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Tribal Mouse by White Willow Stitching

A Monochrome for Monochrome Monday.  Also don’t forget the current giveaway and the Weekend Spotlight is updated with even more dyers!

WWS - Tribal Mouse

What is it?

Jamie Larson of White Willow Stitching was the first to adopt and popularise the “tribal” style designs in cross stitch patterns.

Why this chart?

I looked through the White Willow Tribal designs in my stash and this little fellow leapt out at me. I might just start stitching him this weekend.  WWS Tribal designs range from animals to seasonal to a homewares.

As is true of all monochrome projects, you can stitch this little guy in shades of grey, or you can break out and use any combination of hand dyed fabric and floss you like.  Have a look through the White Willow Stitching customer gallery for some inspiration.

Due to this being a small design, using only complete crosses, I recommend Tribal Mouse for everyone looking to stitch something a little different.

White Willow Stitching - Tribal Mouse

Review

Tribal mouse is printed on US Letter (8½ x 11″) white paper and then spiral bound.  The paper is quite thin and the chart pack feels quite flimsy; it would benefit from the front cover being card stock or all pages printed on heavier paper.

The front cover lists all the materials used to create the model stitch. The back cover has all the information needed to stitch this design in DMC on white Aida; an easier and cheaper option.

The chart itself is quite easy to read and follow; the symbol is a filled in square which is very visible against the grid. The chart is over two pages, but there are no overlap rows to help guide your stitching.  There are 10 stitch grid lines and markers to aid your counting.

The design has been model stitched using hand dyed cotton. While White Willow Stitching have provided a single DMC colour alternative, please keep in mind that a solid colour can never mimic the movement and subtly of a hand dyed thread.  So choose the thread that suits your purpose and style with this design.

 Materials Required

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

Threadworx 1120 Foxy

1 skein – ThreadworX 1140 Foxy (similar to 3 skeins of DMC 3022)

 

Ubelhor - Light Gold

Übelhör – 22ct Light Gold Hardanger (stitch count 155 x 74). This design can be stitched over 2 or over 1.

For 22 ct Aida or Handanger (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 13¼” x 9½”  or  33 x 24cm  or  a fat eighth (13  x 18″).  If you reduce your margin size to 2″ you can fit this on an ornament cut: 9″ x 13″

Approximate cost for Project

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

Chart: $   7.00
Floss:  $   4.10
Fabric: $13.10

Total: $24.20  ($29.95 AUD or €13.95  or  £15.70)

Places to Buy

White Willow Stitching sells their charts globally and Tribal Mouse is on sale.

Australia:

Colours Down Under has all the threads in stock. Jo would be happy to order in the individual charts, and offers a 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 6 December 2014.

Europe:

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

United Kingdom:

SewandSo has the chart and thread in stock and offers a variety of fabrics.

Sparklies suggests “Titian or Sahara thread on Dr Smith’s Tonic”.

Chromatic Alchemy  “so for tribal mouse any fabric would work I think but I think it’s a perfect opportunity to go bold so I would pick Ashardalon Breathes”.

CA - Tribal Mouse

United States:

123Stitch has the chart and thread in stock and offers a variety of fabrics.

Nordic Needle stocks the chart, thread and the Übelhör fabric to stitch this design.

Discussion

Woulld you stitch this mouse in shades of grey or brown? Would you use another colour and why? Or would you not stitch a mouse at all?

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.

Was this read worth a cup of coffee?


Me and Thee by Ewe & Eye & Friends

For today’s Throwback Thursday, we have Me and Thee from Ewe & Eye & Friends.

Ewe & Eye & Friends - Me and Thee

From the Designer

Ewe and Eye and Friends published their first cross stitch design in 1991. It wasn’t long after I opened my shop that a customer introduced me to Barbara Stark and Kam Snyder’s incredible designs and I was instantly a huge fan! When Barb and Kam decided to pursue other interests in May 2005, it only made sense that I buy their cross stitch design company! Please note that many of these designs are stitched on small count linens. Stitch on whatever count you like! – Ruth A Sparrow of Twisted Threads

Why this chart?

Me and Thee is a small, quick design with a lovely sentiment, the perfect gift for a stitching friend, especially one who loves old samplers. If this is not your style, then change the fabric colour and use brighter threads to create a more modern effect.

This is an adventurous beginner level chart.  It’s small, it has only a few colours but it does include eyelet stitches.  The Twisted Threads webpage does have instructional diagrams for all specialty stitches used in their designs.

eyelet-over-4
Eyelet Stitch over 4 threads

Me and Thee was first released by Ewe & Eye & Friends in 1993.  When Ruth Sparrow took over their business in 1995, she kept Ewe & Eye & Friends as a separate division inside Twisted Threads.  This design can still be purchased by any needlework shop either direct from Twisted Threads or via one of their distributors.

EweEyeFriends0MeAndThee600

 Review

The Me and Thee chart and instructions are all printed in black on a single white US Letter (9 x 11″) that is trifolded like a letter and placed inside a buff mailing envelope.  The envelope has a label sticker and a photo of the completed project cut out and glued on. Both of these help stiffen the envelope so the chart pack can stand on a shelf.

While I love the use of the envelope, unwrapping the string at the back heightened anticipation, I really wished the information I need to kit up the project was listed on the outside of the packet.  The relevant details are not even listed on the Twisted Threads website. I presume this is a relic of a time when stitchers were expected to walk into bricks and mortar stores, before the prevalence of online shopping.

The one page chart pack is excellent.  The chart itself is printed large and clear, very easy to see the symbols and stitch from.  Unfortunately two of the three floss symbols are very very similar; a fill in large dot and a filled in heart. However one is used in the wording and the other in the border so there’s little chance of mistaking them again once you start.

The sheet of paper also has the floss colours and symbols, the fabric requirements, a diagram and explanation for the Eyelet Stitch and a full numeral set to stitch in the  year. The floss symbols show both Anchor and DMC thread options. All information is presented clearly and without clutter.  Everything you need is right there on the page.

 Materials Required

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

Anchor 845 - Fern Green Medium
1 skein – Anchor 845 Fern Green Medium (similar to DMC 3011)

Anchor 936 - Fawn very dark1 skein – Anchor 936 Fawn very dark (similar to DMC 632)

Threadworx 01043 - Fantasy Island
1 skein – ThreadworX 1043 Fantasy Island (formerly known as Needle Necessities 130 Woodland Fantasy)

Zweigart - 36ct Dirty linen
Zweigart – 36 count Dirty Edinburgh linen (stitch count 51 x 43). This design is best stitched over due to the Eyelet stitches.

For 36ct evenweave (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is:
9″ x 8½”  or  23 x 22cm  or  an ornament cut (9 x 13″).

Approximate cost for Project

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

Chart: $  6.00
Floss:  $  5.10
Fabric: $ 4.75

Total: $15.85   ($31.85AUD  or  €23.83  or  £21.48)

Places to Buy

This chart can be ordered from Twisted Threads via your nearest friendly Local Needlework Store or Online Needlework Store.

Australia:

Colours Down Under has this chart in stock and on sale. Jo stocks the DMC equivalents to the Anchor threads. She stocks all ThreadworX floss and a range of 36ct linen. Jo offers a 10% discount if you order the materials with the chart. Remember to mention this review when ordering.

Colour Cascade Fabrics stocks the DMC equivalent threads, ThreadworX floss and a range of fabrics for this design. Tammy offers a 15% discount for readers of this site. Code is: CSReview. Offer ends 6 December 2014.

Europe:

Casa Cenina in Spain can order in the chart of Me and Thee and already stocks all the recommended floss and fabric

United Kingdom:

SewandSo can order in the chart of Me and Thee and already stocks all the recommended floss and fabric.

Sparklies has a range of fabrics for you to stitch Me and Thee in a traditional style, or your own unique style.

United States:

123Stitch stocks all the floss and fabric needed to stitch this design.

Stitching Bits and Bobs has this chart and all materials in stock.

Giveaway

Would you stitch this design in this traditional colourway or in a modern version?  Comment on how you would stitch this below for a chance to win this design.

Contest is open to anywhere in the world. The only valid entries are comments below on this post.  Comments on social media will not be included. Contest closes in one week from posting this review (Thursday, 13 November 2014, midday (Melbourne, Australia time). Winner will be chosen randomly from the comments.

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.

Was this read worth a cup of coffee?