Wednesday, 20 August 2014

My first ever kit (cross stitch)

This was a gift from my brother's then girlfriend .  She is a knitter not a cross stitcher and bought the kit because she knew I liked dragons.  The year before she bought me a pattern book with dragon, prince, castle, unicorn/ pegasus  ext, but the black red and blue symbols made my eyes spin and I did nothing with it.

Perhaps she thought with a kit I might be more inclined to get started on it.  She was right, however a Teresa Wenzler design noted as being for the experienced stitcher may not have been the ideal starting point for the reasonably novice stitcher I was then.

I set to and met the delights of fractional stitches, blended threads and confetti placement that is the hallmark of a T.W design.  I plodded away at it, got fed up with it bundled it away, started other projects, finished other projects and intermittently came back to it.

I used the wrong colour on a section, stared hard at that and decided it made it unique and left it be.  I think frogging would have been such a backward step it might have taken even longer than it did.

I got lost in the mountains below the castle, working from the left to the right.  Although I knew I had gone off by a couple of stitches I could not figure out where.  Another pause and another design variation decision, working from the right side I kept following the pattern till it bumped into the incorrect bit and stuck in a bit more green to fudge in the off pattern section.

At last only the backstitching left to do, ha! T.W does not let you rest there either, the instructions for that were huge with many a shade here and there.  I read it all carefully and then did what I liked with the backstitching as I just could not be bothered at that point. I am sure I have mentioned I do not delight in backstitching although I can appreciate the difference it makes.

From start to finish it took seven years.  You will have gathered by now that it is not unusual for things for me to take that long but still it was a long time in the making.

So to the framing, I had a very fixed idea in my head, I wanted the frame to be green in a shade that picked up the dragon and I wanted it to have a corrugated effect.  I looked and I looked and there was nothing.  Then a new addition to the congregation at church mentioned his occupation, a picture framer, joy.  He kindly brought me his trade catalogues to look at and there it was the edging from my mind made manifest.  He ordered the edging and made up the frame cut the mounts and everything . Actually he insisted, more than insisted,  on doing it all.  He asked for the finished item to be sure the measurements for the frame and mount would be correct and kidnapped it and returned it finished (and not for a Kings ransom either, he ever so kindly did it for cost). Previously I had bought a frame and perhaps a mount but then framed the item myself.  At the same time he did the T.Whe also did framing on a wedding sampler I had completed (that is a post for another day) and re-pinned an item I had framed myself (Nantucket Rose) both of which were started after the T.W and finished before.  Later I had him do the Disney cross stitch already mentioned on "be careful what you wish for" my posts are not particularly chronological as you may have noticed.

And there it was finished at last.  And here it is, I am sure you will have seen many versions of T.W's The Castle, this is mine, unique bits and all.

You will see later that it has been inspiring.

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