From the Designer
What do you get when you cross the opening word of St Luke’s gospel in the Book of Kells (he was speechless when he saw it, by the way) with a 17th century Jacobean Spotte sampler? Answer – Kell’s Kritters, the ultimate fusion piece. Hours of endless fun for one and all, have you got the bottle to attempt the north face without an oxygen mask and a piece Kendal Mint Cake in your pocket?
Being released in just a few hours, Kell’s Eden, a companion piece.
Why this chart?
I love medieval Tertiaries and some of their crazy ideas for animals. I love medieval illustrations and saw the Book of Kells when it came on tour to Australia. I have studied some of the older pigments and style of illumination (though I can’t paint to save my life).
This design touches on these elements. I love that such a large diverse colour chart is designed for hand dyed floss. The quiet mottling of the Gentle Art threads remind me of the subtle colour changes in original medieval illumination; they were not coloured with flat paint, there was a subtle depth to it.
Kell’s Kritters is composed of only whole cross stitch. It is the subject, size of the piece and the use of hand dyed floss and fabric that cause this design to stand out from the pack. I would recommend this chart for adventurous beginners to advanced stitchers alike.
Long Dog Samplers designs are available as printed charts from your Local or Online Needlework Stores. Or you can buy PDF files direct from Julia by emailing her. My printed chart of Kell’s Kritters is a gift from a friend.
The printed chart of Kell’s Kritters is printed on US Letter (similar to A4) quality white paper. The paper is nice and thick and the packet feels larger than the 11 pages it is. As I mark off, fold and otherwise mutilate my charts, I really appreciate it when they are printed on a good quality paper.
The front cover shows a computer mock-up of the finished design. I’m not sure why Julia does this as she does show a finished model stitch on her blog at the time of publication.
The front cover also includes the stitch count. At 297 x 403 stitches on 14 or 28 count fabric, this design huge!
The chart is nine pages long, printed in black symbols on a white paper background. The later pages do not include any over-lap rows or grid-line numbers. You will need to count very carefully or stick your pages together to keep your place when moving across chart pages.
The chart is printed large enough for you to comfortably see and mark off your progress on the design. Most of the chart uses large swathes of colours separated by black outlines which makes this a very fast stitch. However even in the more detailed areas, the chart symbols are different enough for you to follow the colour changes easily.
The last page of the chart has the joint floss list / legend key in both Gentle Arts threads and DMC floss. It also has an alphabet chart so you can personalise your stitched project with your own initials (see bottom left of the design).
This is such a simple design that Julia lists no stitching instructions, nor does she include any fabric recommendations. As Kell’s Kritters has only complete crosses, it can be stitched over one or over two, on Aida or evenweave or any fabric type and count you prefer.
I started stitching this design using the recommended Gentle Arts on 28 count Queen Anne’s Lace by Wichelt. This is only because I could not find my 32 count piece.
This was one night’s stitching. Then I realised that the few colours I was missing, were the same colours I needed right in the middle of the chart.
I really must buy those missing colours and get a move on with this piece! It is very quick to stitch up, even this detailed area.
Also as there is no recommended fabric type or count, there is no listing of how many skeins are needed. As Gentle Arts skeins are only 5 metres long (DMC skeins are 8 metres long), and I am stitching with two strands over two threads on 28 count, (same as 14 count Aida) I am guessing that I will probably need two skeins of each thread.
To stitch the charts exactly as designed, you will need:
2 skeins Gentle Arts Old Purple Paint (similar to DMC 3740)
2 skeins Gentle Arts Apple Cider (similar to DMC 830)
2 skeins Gentle Arts Evergreen (similar to DMC 522)
2 skeins Gentle Arts Banker’s Grey (similar to DMC 169)
2 skeins Gentle Arts Holly Berry (similar to DMC 3721)
2 skeins Gentle Arts Toffee (similar to DMC 435)
2 skeins Gentle Arts Walnut (similar to DMC 3863)
2 skeins Gentle Arts Burnt Orange (Similar to DMC 900)
2 skeins Gentle Arts Poppy (similar to DMC 3328)
2 skeins Gentle Arts Nutmeg (similar to DMC 3853)
2 skeins Gentle Arts Copper (similar to DMC 3778)
2 skeins Gentle Arts Hyacinth (similar to DMC 3042)
2 skeins Gentle Arts Grasshopper (similar to DMC 472)
2 skeins Gentle Arts Butternut Squash (similar to DMC 3821)
2 skeins Gentle Arts Melon Patch (similar to DMC 676)
2 skeins Gentle Arts Lambswool (similar to DMC 3782)
2 skeins Gentle Arts Slate (similar to DMC 762)
2 skeins Gentle Arts Straw Bonnett (similar to DMC 543)
2 skeins Gentle Arts Sweet Pea (similar to DMC 3743)
2 skeins Gentle Arts Oatmeal (similar to DMC 3866)
2 skeins Gentle Arts Black Raspberry Jam (similar to DMC 3750)
2 skeins Gentle Arts Raven (similar to DMC 310)
2 skeins Gentle Arts Flax (similar to DMC 3046)
2 skeins Gentle Arts Apricot Blush (similar to DMC 951)
Fabric of your choice (stitch count 297 x 403). This design can be stitched over 2 or over 1.
For 14ct Aida or 28ct evenweave (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 27¼” x 35” or 70 x 90cm or a fat half (27″ x 36″).
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: $ 25.60
Floss: $ 95.55
Total: $144.85 ($235 AUD or $161 CAD or €167 or £133)
Places to Buy
Long Dog Samplers sells the PDF charts of their designs worldwide. Email Julia with your information and she will send you a PayPal request.
Long Dog Samplers printed charts are available via your favourite Local or Online Needlework Store.
Colours Down Under has all the threads and a variety of plain fabrics in stock. Jo has other Long Dog charts in stock and on sale.
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 has the DMC equivalent in stock and a variety of fabrics for you to make this design unique. Caitlin recommends Islands of Avalon or Jaded.
Tammy offers a 15% discount for readers of this site. Code is: CSReview. Offer ends 30 June 2015.
Traditional Stitches in Calgary have Kell’s Kritters in stock and are happy to kit it up for you!
Casa Cenina in Italy stock a variety of fabrics and floss for your unique creation.
SewandSo has a range of floss and fabrics to make this design uniquely yours.
Chromatic Alchemy “Kell’s Critters is a beautiful piece, full of vibrant colours and wonderful Celtic images. I have paired it with Halcyon as an example but it works on a lot of different colours, I would personally choose something that will fit the decor of the room it is intended to live in once finished”
Crafty Kitten has a variety of fabrics and the threads to stitch this project.
Sparklies “Something with this many colours needs a fairly neutral background. I’ve gone with Parchment or Barely Bronzed for that antique feel.”
Thread Pickerz Silkz 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
123Stitch has Kell’s Kritters in stock, with both sets of floss and a variety of fabrics for you to choose from.
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 in Michigan has a variety of Long Dog charts in store and can easily order in Kell’s Kritters for you. Deb stocks the Gentle Arts theads and the DMC floss for you to choose from, as well as a range of fabrics for your unique style.
Mo’s Sale suggests using 16 count Aida AB5 or 18 count Aida BA6 or 32 count Linen A11 from her fabric range.
Under the Sea Fabrics has a vibrant mix of hand painted and dyed fabrics for your design.
Is Kell’s Kritters the sort of sampler you would stitch; are you eagerly anticipating Kell’s Eden?
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Last Updated: 8 April 2015