I finally got everything together and got going on this project. Although it called for Ivory linen, I picked Flax which I think looks more natural. It called for a large piece, 18" x 40".
It is very challenging to work on the 40 count linen, and it is certainly very slow going, but I think the results will be worth it. I hope so anyway!
For the silk, I decided to go with Hand Dyed Fibers from Victoria Clayton. She has made up a conversion package for The Old Aviary that was quite reasonable. I had never used HDF before, and was quite pleasantly surprised. The silk is truly a joy to work with!
This is what I have done so far:
The stitches are so tiny here that it is a bit hard to see in the photo, but the top row is actually 2 rows of cross stitch.
The next row is also hard to see. It is done in a very pale light peach in the herringbone stitch.
The next row was an absolute nail biter! The instructions were to find the center of the row, then CUT 2 horizontal threads, and un-weave the threads all the way to the ends of the rows. Then, the ends had to be re-woven into the edge of the fabric! Let me tell you, I was pretty nervous about cutting the linen, but I guess it turned out ok. Re-weaving the linen strands with 40 count linen was no easy task. It doesn't come out nicely. It tends to shred while you are pulling it out. When that was done, (which took forever), I worked my way across the row with a hemstitch over 4 threads.
The next section consists of two rows of sawtooth satin stitches. In the center is a group of 4 cross stitches and one smyrna stitch (over 2). This part is really easy to miss because there is nothing in the instructions about it. You would have to pick it up from the chart.
The next part is the small case alphabet which I have just started. This part is all cross stitch (What a relief)!
The directions tend to be a bit spacey, but otherwise I am thoroughly enjoying this piece!