Unicorn by Teresa Wentzler

For today’s Throwback Thursday, I thought I would revisit one of my favourite designers, Teresa Wentzler.

Teresa Wentzler - Unicorn

From the Designer?

Deep in the night forest, a wandering unicorn comes upon a cobblestone path winding through an overgrown courtyard. His attention is caught by music…someone singing?…. and, curious, he cautiously approaches an open window…

This is my only design adapted from a piece of my finished artwork: a pen and ink drawing. I wanted to work on the challenge posed by using color on black, since black is notorious for absorbing or “bleaching-out” colors used on it. I wanted to impart the drama of a night time scene, and, of course, to highlight the mysterious nature of this most elusive of creatures: the unicorn…

Why this chart?

Of all the Teresa Wentzler charts I saw and loved in the 1990s, this is the one design I have never seen stitched.  I love stitching on black and I love the bold colours.

However as this is a Teresa Wentzler design there are blended colours, many fractional stitches, frequent colour changes and back stitch; this is a chart for an intermediate to advanced stitcher.

Unicorn was first available in the mid 1990s as a tri-fold cardboard hand drawn chart.  It was then converted in 2000 into a typed chart as part of the Best of Teresa Wentzler Fantasy Collection book.  Finally it is now available as a digital download from Patterns Online.

Note: to read files from Patterns Online, you need to download their Pattern Viewer. Even then, you cannot see the actual pattern on your screen, you need to print it out.  I simply print to PDF to create a file of the chart.

 Review

I have Unicorn in both the book and the Patterns Online chart in my stash. (I had the hand-drawn tri-fold chart for over a decade too).  Formatting aside, each option provides the same chart; your project will be the same regardless which source you stitch from.

Both the book and the Patterns Online chart contain the blended threads key/legend and a diagram and instructions for stitching the fractional stitches. Both have a one-row overlap between chart pages.

The Patterns Online chart has presented the chart in six large easy-to-read sections and provides a materials list; easier to pull the skeins needed. The back stitch is only provided in black outlines, but there are instructions for colour selection.

The book version of the chart is only in four sections, but it is still very easy to see. The back stitch lines are drawn in the four different colours so it is easy confirm colour section.

The Patterns Online website is outmoded, but they offer a superior chart; larger symbols, included floss list and it is cheaper than trying to find an out-of-print book.

 Materials Required

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

Unicorn TW

 

1 skein each – DMC 310, 311, 315, 316, 317, 319, 320, 336, 367, 368, 413, 414, 451, 452, 469, 470, 471, 500, 501, 502, 520, 522, 535, 552, 610, 611, 612, 645, 646, 791, 823, 838, 839, 840, 844, 890, 924, 930, 931, 934, 935, 936, 937, 938, 939, 3011, 3012, 3013, 3021, 3031, 3041, 3042, 3051, 3052, 3053, 3362, 3363, 3364, 3371

Zweigart - 25ct Lugana Black

 

Zweigart – 25 count Black Lugana (stitch count 176 x 141). This design is stitched over 2.

For 25ct Black evenweave (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is:
21″ x 18″  or  53x 45cm  or  a fat quarter (18 x 27″).

Approximate cost for Project

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

Chart: $    7.00
Floss:  $  26.00
Fabric: $13.30

Total: $46.30   ($82.10 AUD or £54.60)

Places to Buy

Australia:

Colours Down Under has all the DMC in stock.

Colour Cascade Fabrics stocks DMC and recommends Purple Haze or Riders on the Storm. For readers of this site she offers a 10% discount for this fabric. Use code PeaceOut during checkout. This code is valid for the month of October 2014.

United Kingdom:

SewandSo stocks DMC and black lugana.

Sparklies recommends Ink or Pitch from her range of fabrics.

United States:

123Stitch stocks DMC and black lugana.

Discussion

Would you stitch this design? Do you know someone who has? Leave a link to a photo of the stitched piece or work in progress in the comments below.

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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The Red and the Black by Prairie Moon

As Barb and Sue, the designers behind Prairie Moon, are retiring at the end of October 2014 (three weeks away) I chose The Red and The Black for today’s Throwback Thursday.

The Red and the Black
The Red and the Black

What is it?

The Red & the Black is an ornate alphabet sampler stitched in red and black on a mottled dark ground background.

Why this chart?

The Red & the Black is in my personal stash. I love bold colours, and this unisex design would look great in a wood panelled study or library.  However being a design of such few colours it is very versatile and would look amazing stitched in pastels, giving it a floral, art nouveau vibe.

Many of the letters and ornamental motifs have borders, so snippets of the chart could be stitched for monogrammed key rings, coasters or a unique nameplate.  Such small projects are a good way to test new colour combinations.

This project is designed for silks; both Rainbow Gallery Splendor and Needlepoint Inc Silks (NPi). If you have not used NPi silks before, I urge you to try a skein in this design. The 502- Red is simply an accent colour and easily switched out for another shade of your choosing. NPi silks feel so luscious – I could stitch them instead of DMC on every design, if only I could afford it (sigh).

There are no partial stitches, no speciality stitches, and no need even to stitch the whole design; this is a great chart for both beginners and expert stitchers.

The Red and the Black
The Red and the Black

Review

The front and back cover pages are printed on US Letter (9 x 11″) heavy paper, housed within a clear plastic ziplock bag.  The back cover lists all materials needed and estimates the size of the project.  Prairie Moon have included a silks to DMC conversion with the number of skeins required. Each company uses a different length of floss in their skeins, so it is useful for the designers to provide an adjusted skein count.

The chart is on a single sheet of US Ledger (18″ x 11″) folded in between the two covers. Unfortunately, through handling, the print on the fold line can wear off and if you stitch using a small hoop or q-snap, there’s nowhere to place such a large piece of paper without folding it.

However, using this larger paper size, the entire design can be viewed and used at once. The chart is printed large enough and the design symbols are disparate enough to prevent squinting and there’s no need to look for overlap lines or judge where pages meet up.

 Materials Required

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

3 cards – Rainbow Gallery Splendor S801 – Black (or 6 skeins of DMC 310)

1 skein -Needlepoint Inc Silk 502 – Chinese Red range (or 1 skein of DMC 321)

Lakeside Linens – 32 count Vintage Autumn Gold (stitch count 140 x 209). This design can be stitched over 2 or over 1.  For 16ct Aida or 32ct evenweave (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 15″ x 19½”  or  38 x 49cm or  a fat quarter (18 x 27″).

Autumn Gold
Autumn Gold

Approximate cost for Project

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

Chart: $14.00
Floss:  $14.20
Fabric: $38.00

Total: $66.20    ($75.50 AUD or £46.90)

Places to Buy

Australia:
Colours Down Under Jo would be happy to order in the NPi and Splendor silk floss.

Colour Cascade Fabrics Tammy recommends Gold Digger Opal from her range of fabrics.  For readers of this site she offers a 10% discount for this fabric. Use code PeaceOut during checkout. This code is valid for the month of October 2014.

United Kingdom:

SewandSo stocks NPi and Splendor silk floss and a variety of fabric choices.

Sparklies suggests Barely Bronzed or Leo from her range of fabrics.

 United States:

123Stitch stocks the NPi silk and the Lakeside Linens fabric.

Who still stocks this chart?

Please comment below if you know of a store that still has this chart in stock.

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?


 

Last updated: 11 November 2014