Black Lace by Dessins DHC

A true monochrome for monochrome Monday.  Also don’t forget to check the sales post in the Weekend Spotlight; it is updated daily.

Dessins DHC - Black Lace

What is it?

Black Lace is a large cross stitch, stitched one over one on 30ct linen. Designed by Dominique Hoel Colin of Dessins DHC. Don’t be fooled, this is a big cross stitch, not a small blackwork.

Why this chart?

This chart was on my wish list for many years before I finally snagged it.  then like most monochromes, it has lagged in my stash ever since while I’ve been paralysed by indecision; what colour floss and fabric combination to use and should I stitch it one over one on 30ct or the more achievable two over two on 28ct.

As is true of all monochrome projects, you can stitch Black Lace in any shade of colour you like on any fabric you like.  White floss on white fabric for a very subtle but effective white work, bold colour on black for a striking version,  multiple shades of colour using hand dyed threads or just different colours for different sections. The possibilities are endless.

Black Lace is at heart a simple design, full cross stitch and back-stitch.  However it is a large chart that will take some time to complete. I recommend this design to anyone passionate enough to stitch it.

Black Lace

Review

Black Lace by Dessins DHC has only ever been released as a printed chart.  The red “original” sticker with Dominique’s signature is the verification that you have a legal copy of this design.

The Black Lace chart pack is printed in black on white A3 (similar to US Ledger)with a yellow front paper page.

The front cover has a large image of the design with a small photograph glued over the top. The back of the front cover sheet includes the fabric and floss used in the model stitch and some general cross stitch instructions.

One A3 page includes the entire design and a repeat of the materials needed to stitch the design. The symbols are far too small on this copy of the chart to use.  The whole design is overlayed with grey to show that it is provided for information only, not as a stitching guide.

The second A3 page is larger as it shows one-quarter of the design. However the individual stitches in this chart are also too small to use and this page is also provided as a guidelines.

The last two A3 pages are have an eighth of a design on each; so the symbols are double the size of the quarter chart.  These symbols are still quite small; you can use them to stitch from only because it is all the same symbol.  I would recommend enlarging this chart again for visibility of the symbols and ease of marking off.

That is all the chart that is given. As the design is geometric in shape, it is assumed that when you stitch both pages of the quarter chart, then you will turn them sideways and stitch the next quarter and so on.

The chart pack lists the materials needed on the inside front cover. Thus you cannot see the size of the design or the materials needed until you purchase the chart. This design, while only stitching with one thread, still requires nine skeins of DMC; implying this is a more complex chart than the small cover photo indicates.  The chart pack does not include a stitchcount, so if you wish to stitch on anything other than one over one on 30ct fabric, you have no idea what size fabric to buy.

Both of the eighth chart pieces do not line up – there’s a one-row gap between the bottom segment and top segment. This means reviewing the quarter chart page to stitch the missing row not shown on either eighth chart page.

But wait, the problems continue…There are no centre marking or 10 grids on any of the segment charts making it overly difficult to line up charts, particularly when you realise that both the eighth segment charts and the quarter segment chart include more than just the quarter. The quarter chart has an extra eighteen rows into the second quarter both vertically and horizontally. There is no sign on the chart that this is so.  The bottom eighth segment chart runs 22 rows past the mid-point horizontally and the top eighth segment runs 17 rows past the vertical midpoint.  If you are unaware of this overlap, you will accidentally stitch them again when you turn the chart sideways to do the next quarter.

This is truly terrible charting, The best suggestion I can make is to potentially photocopy a number of copies of the charts and overlap and tape them together to find your bearings while stitching

Black Lace is stitched in DMC, using one strand over one thread, on natural 30ct linen.  If you prefer Aida, or over 2 stitching you certainly can change the fabric on this design. Just realise that the project will be bigger.

Materials Required

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

DMC 310 - Black

 

9 skeins DMC 310 Black

 

 

30 count Natural Linen (stitch count 474 x 474). This design can be stitched over 2 or over 1.  For the recommended, one over one on 30ct linen (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 22” x 22”  or  56 x 56cm  or  a fat half (27 x 36″).

For 14ct Aida or 28ct evenweave (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 40” x 40”  or  102 x 102cm  or  a larger than a yard! Also you will need 18 skeins of DMC.

Approximate cost for Project

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

Chart: $ 16.00
Floss:  $    4.00
Fabric: $30.00

Total: $50.00 ($58.50AUD or €62.25  or  £39.00)

Places to Buy

Australia:

Colours Down Under has all the threads and a variety of white and off white fabrics in stock.

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 stock a variety of fabrics and floss for your unique creation.

United Kingdom:

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

Polstitches Jo recommends “I would use a Polstitches Sampler Linen and match a thread to the colours in the Linen for Example Tudor Rose has a Dusky Rose theme so would Use Dragon Floss 48 Impulse.”

Sparklies suggests that this design would suit ” Black thread on Misty Morn or White thread on Purpleberry Spludge”.

Chromatic Alchemy  “This one was a challenge lol! This intricate lace design begs for something subtle yet interesting at the same time, here how it looks on Nuriels’ forest.”.

United States:

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

ABC Stitch Therapy has this chart in stock.

Stitches ‘N Things has this chart in stock and can kit it up for you.

Discussion

Even with the chart issues, this is a beautiful cross stitch design.  What colour combo would you use to stitch it?

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: 24 November 2014

 

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Georgian Lady by Catkin Embroidery

A Blackwork almost-monochrome for Monochrome Monday.  Yes there are two shades of thread here.

Catkin Embroidery - Georgian Lady
Catkin Embroidery – Georgian Lady

From the Designer

It has taken hours to make this lady look so glorious. She is fully aware of how beautiful she is. Stitched in black and grey.

Why this chart?

I adore blackwork, using back-stitch or double running stitch instead of cross stitch.  Blackwork stitches up faster than cross stitch because the interiors are left blank or filled in with differing amounts of stitching to give texture and shadows.

backstitch-diagram
Diagram of back stitch and double running stitch

I am careful around corners, otherwise I happily used back stitch as  double running stitch requires more planning.  The main consideration for blackwork, especially high contrast work such as this black on white is to minimise the amount of carry threads on the back.  When these can be seen as shows on the front of the piece it reduces the elegance of the piece.

I love how easily blackwork can be personalised; stitch this on a hand dyed fabric, change the colours of her hat and dress, use a skin tone for her face and arms, change the colour of her hair, the possibilities are endless.

Georgian Lady is a combination of blackwork and cross stitch. She is an intricate design which includes quarter stitches and varying number of threads.  I recommend this for intermediate to advanced stitchers; however if you are a beginner and passionate about this design, start it!

Georgian Lady
Georgian Lady

Review

All of the Catkin Embroidery designs, including Georgian Lady are available as charts, Aida kits or evenweave kits.  I only have charts in my stash, so I will be reviewing that.

Georgian Lady is printed in black on A4 white paper folded in half to create a small packet.  The cover is a light card stock with a photo of the finished blackwork pasted on.  The cover also includes the approximate design area if you use 14 or 28ct fabric. The cross stitch and blackwork floss keys are listed on the inside front cover. I have to purchase the design to see what materials are needed. The chart also does not offer a stitch count; I have to either trust the listed measurements or count out the stitches myself.

The chart is six pages long with a diagram showing the placement of that section of the chart.  Each subsequent page has a two-row overlap to help maintain your place. The floss symbols and blackwork diagrams are printed quite large so this is an easy chart to see and follow.  There is good disparity between the cross stitch symbols and between the blackwork lines.  In the blackwork the heavier lines are stitched in black and the lighter lines in grey.

The chart pack also has blackwork instructions and Notes on how to stitch the Georgian Lady.  The blackwork instructions include general  diagrams and directions on how to stitch both blackwork and cross stitch as well as some aftercare instructions.  The Notes page is specific to the Georgian Lady design and lists what sections are to be stitched in which colours and which areas are to be stitched first; such as the dress fold lines are to be stitched over the top of the stitched pattern in her skirt.

Georgian Lady is stitched in DMC on white or cream Aida or evenweave.  Given my distaste of partial stitches in Aida I would stitch this on an evenweave; however if you prefer Aida then use that!  Use the fabric you are comfortable with.

Materials Required

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

2 skeins DMC 310 Black

1 skein DMC 413 Pewter Grey

14ct Aida or 28 count White or Cream Evenweave  (stitch count 125 x 226). This design can be stitched over 2 or over 1.

For 14ct Aida or 28ct evenweave (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 15” x 22”  or  38 x 57cm  or  a fat quarter (18 x 27″).

Charles Craft - Antique White
Charles Craft – Antique White

Approximate cost for Project

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

Chart: $ 10.33
Floss:  $    1.32
Fabric: $15.65

Total: $21.98  ($39.53 AUD or €19.86  or  £15.77)

Places to Buy

Catkin Embroidery sells the printed charts and kits worldwide. The kits prices direct from Catkin are cheaper than buying the individual pieces from your Local Needlework Shop because they only include the cut of fabric and the amount of floss you need instead of a full fat quarter and full skeins of floss.

Australia:

Colours Down Under has all the threads and a variety of white and off white fabrics 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 ” you could go with any colour that suits the decor in your room, or perhaps an ice dye!” 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 this chart in for you.  They also stock a variety of fabrics and floss for your unique creation.

United Kingdom:

SewandSo has the chart in stock and can kit it up for you.

Sparklies suggests that this design would suit one of her neutral fabrics such as Barely Bronzed, Parchment, Dr Smith’s Tonic or Oatmeal.

Chromatic Alchemy  “The Georgian lady is so delicate I feel a heavily mottled fabric would overwhelm her. Having said that there are always options to add some colour, here she is on Dune a subtle sand coloured piece.”.

United States:

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

Discussion

Have you stitched blackwork before? Do you like it? Would you be interested in trying it out?  Please comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

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: 17 November 2014

 

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Free Designs: Kincavel Krosses

For those who want to stitch some humorous sayings or some beautiful blackwork, I present Kell Smurthwaite of Kincavel Krosses.

Kincavel Krosses - Money can't buy happiness but it can buy stash and that's kind of the same thing
Stash

What is it?

To set the mood for a good weekend, I present Freebie Fridays; each week a different designer.  All sites listed here design their own charts. These charts are copyright to the designers, please do not abuse their generosity.

Why this designer?

Kell Smurthwaite of Kincavel Krosses offers designs for sale as well as her freebies. Some of her for sale patterns are quite profound with the proceeds of some going to Cancer Research UK.

Kell has been designing cross stitch and blackwork for at four years with the majority of her designs available for free. Some of her designs can be considered a little subversive, and a tiny fraction do contain actual swear words, so be aware when viewing the site.

kincavell - dear-santa-sampler

Don’t forget to check out Kincavel Krosses range of free blackwork charts. She has a wide variety from sayings with elaborate borders, to biscornus to themed designs, such as this beautiful winter chart.

miniature winter blackwork band sampler
miniature winter blackwork band sampler

Most of Kell’s free designs are small and easy to stitch.  She does include some specialty stitches in some border designs, but these can be easily learned or replaced with cross stitch or blackwork. Kell enthusiastically encourages stitchers to change colours, floss and mix and match her design components. Looking through the Kincavel Gallery we can see so many variations on designs.

I would recommend Kell’s designs to any body, to any level of stitcher.  She has such a broad range of sophistication, stitch count and themes in her designs that I am sure there is something there to suit everyone.

Have a Stitchtastic Day
Have a Stitchtastic Day

Review

Kincavel Krosses free designs are available via Kell’s website or the Kincavel Krosses Facebook group. Kell doesn’t post her designs to any regular timetable, so I recommend following her blog or joining her Facebook group to hear about new or old designs.

To save any of Kell’s free designs, simply click on the image and it will open up in a new tab or window. Then you save the save that image.  How to save the image is dependent up on which device you are using. On a PC, you right-click on the image and select “save image”. All of the images save as .jpg image files.

Do what you love love what you do
Do what you love
love what you do

As can be seen in these samples, all the charts use minimal colour changes and the coloured symbols help keep you on track.  The charts all print to an US Letter (8½ x 11″) format and are quite easy to see and stitch from.  Most of them designs do not include specific floss brands and types, but rather gives a vague suggestion “holly berry red” to encourage stitchers to be creative or use what floss they already have in their stash.

Places to Buy

Kincavel Krosses free designs are only available via Kell’s website or the Kincavel Krosses Facebook group.

Australia:

Colours Down Under is a bricks and mortar store that stocks many different types of floss for you to stitch these designs.

Colour Cascade Fabrics Tammy has many hand dyed fabrics that would add a unique element to your stitching. Tammy offers a 15% discount for readers of this site. Use code: CSReview. Offer ends 6 December 2014.

Europe:

Casa Cenina in Spain stocks a range of floss and fabrics to stitch this design.

United Kingdom:

SewandSo bricks and mortar store that stocks a lot of floss for you to personalise these designs.

Chromatic Alchemy ‘s bold bright colours seem almost made for these designs.

Sparklies has a  large range of hand dyed fabrics that would add a such a sparkle to your project.

United States:

123Stitch is your one stop shop for all types of floss and fabric combinations.

Discussion

Is this site of interest to you?  Would you stitch any of these designs? Have you stitched any of these designs?  I have had some bookmarked for over a year, but I haven’t gotten around to them yet; maybe over the Christmas break.

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.

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Last updated: 13 November 2014

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.

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Let There be Night by Funk & Weber

Today we have eleven almost-monochromes for Monochrome Monday. This is the Let There be Night collection by Funk & Weber.

Funk & Weber - Let There be Night

From the Designer

They’re here! Our best-selling silhouette patterns all together in a single e-book. You asked for it; you’ve got it! Now you can print only the pages you need and feel free to mark them up as you stitch—you’ll always have a clean copy. Because the designs are all the same size, you can rotate them through a single frame (or two or three).

  • Celebrate holidays (Valentine’s Day, Halloween, Christmas)
  • Celebrate seasons
  • Celebrate different places in the world

Of course, you can always finish them as pillows, quilts, placemats, etc., too.

  • silent night – First in the Let There Be Night series, this charming white-on-black design has just a touch of color shining through the cabin window and Orion in the sky.
  • arctic night – A polar bear peeks into an igloo and reflects the light within. As in real life, the Big Dipper (complete with a double star on the handle) points to the North Star.
  • the night before christmas – Festive colors in the cabin window and on the lead reindeer’s nose! Reins sparkle when stitched with Kreinik tapestry braid.
  • antarctic night – At the south pole, Emperor penguins gather on an ice floe in the moonlight.
  • looner night – At a peaceful cabin on a lake, loons call and geese fly in the moonlight.
  • african night – In Africa, a zebra and giraffe graze on the plain in the moonlight.
  • dead of night – For extra spook, stitch with Kreinik glow-in-the-dark thread.
  • night howl – Coyotes howl and an owl hunts in the desert moonlight. ow-WOOOOoooOOO!
  • lovely night – Linger on this Lovely Night. Will you be my Valentine?
  • night lights – It’s the best view in the city. (If you ask me what city, I’ll say Mike-alopolis.) City lights reflect in the water on this moonlit night.
  • “bearly” night – In the bamboo forests of China, it’s “bearly” night and time for a bite.

Why these charts?

These charts are from my stash.  I love Jen’s use of colour. The trick is that you stitch white floss on black fabric giving an Assisi feel to the completed project.

Lovely Night

Jen also links to how-to articles on her site that might help you to stitch these designs, including:

However like all monochrome projects, you can easily stitch black on white or any combination of colours you care to imagine. Try bright colours on a white background for an Andy Warhol look, or try reverse stitching as shown below:

Reverse Night Howl

Due to only using complete crosses and a little back-stitch, I recommend these designs for everyone looking to stitch something a little different, from beginner to advanced stitcher.

Review

You can buy these charts individually, they are printed on US Letter (9 x 11″) white cardstock folded in half. The cover picture on the front, the stitching instructions on the back and the chart across the internal of the card.

Or if you love the series you can buy the set as an e-book directly from Funk & Weber.

In both the printed and e-book forms, the design symbols are very easy to see and to differentiate.  In the e-book, the background grid lines may print a little too pale, so make sure you print the chart pages on your “best” setting.

The projects are quite small, each designed to fit inside a 5 x 7″ frame, so each chart in the e-book  is on its own page, including the instructions.

All projects use DMC threads on plain fabric so you can change these to your heart’s content, or stitch them as is.

Night Lights

 Materials Required

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

DMC White

 

1 skein – DMC White, plus a snippet of other colours, varying per chart.

 

Zweigart -  Lugana Black

Zweigart – 32ct Belfast Black (stitch count 100 x 64). This design can be stitched over 2 or over 1.

For 16ct Aida or 32ct evenweave (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 12½” x 10″  or  31 x 26cm  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 Let There Be Night design using the recommended materials (prices are in $US, at recommended retail and do  not include postage):

Chart: $ 6.00
Floss:  $ 1.33
Fabric: $4.37

Total: $11.70    ($24.50 AUD or £19.35)

As many of these designs use the same colours, this price could be reduced further.

Places to Buy

Funk & Weber: Individual printed charts sell for $6.00 each (plus postage) or the e-book of the entire series of eleven charts sells for $45.00.

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 dusk, twilight and almost black fabrics for you to make your design unique. Tammy offers a 15% discount for readers of this site. Code is: CSReview. Offer ends 6 December 2014.

United Kingdom:

SewandSo offers a variety of threads and fabrics.

Sparklies suggests “Ink or Pitch, or Moonlighting or Midnight”.

United States:

123Stitch stocks all items for you to complete these designs.

Discussion

Would YOU stitch one of these charts?  Would you stitch white on black, or black on white or reverse stitch black on white, or would you use a dawn or dusk or twilight fabric?  How would YOU stitch one of these?

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?