finally our dear friend Ariadne guessed what was the mini stitch enigma that has kept many of you busy guessing for a week: my very first cross stitch project, the Forever Friends kit my mother gifted to me back in 1997.
for those interested, here is a comment to each clue explaining what it meant:
- it is a very serendipitous piece – I came across this kit very serendipitously both times. I had been looking for it for a really long time with no luck, and then on February 8th BANG! lucky strike!
- I have mentioned this in a page you can read any time – I wrote about it in The tale of how I came across stitches in the about me page since the first day of this blog.
- it took me years to find it again – I needed a second copy of the pattern because at some point years ago mine got lost (plus I had used the original as a working copy 😬). since I got it in the mail, I’ve been stitching the exact same stitches I learnt to cross stitch with, doing much better the second time around. :D
- the following two pictures show the threads and thread cards from the kit, pre and post sorting. so the first thing you gather from the snaps is that it is a kit, or I wouldn’t have to sort out that bundle. secondly, if you compare the numbers with the shades you can tell they are not DMC, and given the names and colour tones, your second best guess is.. Anchor! last but not least I added “I would pay close attention to those browns if I were you ;) “ which are the dominant colours in the palette and therefore the design, the classic Forever Friends golden/brown shades.
- the mini ;) stitch enigma continues with the third clue.. – I kept on stressing out the fact that this was a small design, a mini kit, which is usually the best way to start stitching; so a good place to look wasn’t the list of my current WIPs but rather the beginnings of my stitching adventures.
- ..one of the reasons why I changed the fabric for this project is because the one it came with had been stained by the elastic band wrapping up the threads, which had dried up with time - first of all a confirm that it was a kit. secondly, if the elastic band had time to dry up it must mean this kit was very old, discontinued and most likely not available to purchase in every shop. then there’s “one of the reasons why..” which means there are other reasons coming into play for not choosing the fabric it came with – which with kits is traditionally Aida, and with me being the linen freak that I am, there was no way I was going to stitch this on a dirty piece of Aida. fat chance! :D
- also featured in this clue were these two pictures (the measuring tape indicates it’s very small on linen as well, especially considering the finishing margins are included):
- in the following post I shared another WIP snap:
- it would fit the smalls SAL because it’s a pretty small piece – another hint at the size because many of you were guessing or looking at gigantic projects compared to this one.
- I started it last Monday and finished it just a little over a week later – another hint at how a quick and easy stitch it was. again a reference at the experience level required for this kit and therefore what to look for in this blog in order to trace its identity.
- it wasn’t the first time I had stitched this project – a fat ass clue 😂 if I had stitched this before, you could rule out all the WIPs lists and UFOs, because why would I start stitching something twice if I hadn’t finished the first one yet? again I was trying to point you in the right way :)
- although I paid for this kit I managed to find online after years and years of search, the first time around I got it as a gift – which is why I said to Jo in February’s GiGi post that the serendipitous stitching I was going to start would have been great for her SAL.
- these written clues came with another WIP snap:
and dulcis in fundo, yesterday’s clue that helped our friend Ariadne solve the mystery:
- not in the goals for this month was a project I found, bought, received, started and finished in February but cannot show because it’s the mini stitch enigma that nobody has guessed yet! :D I had been looking for this for many many years and quite serendipitously stumbled upon it in an online needlework shop a couple of weeks ago. they still had one kit in stock from the ’90s, sealed shut and in pristine condition apart from the fabric which had been stained by the elastic band that was around the threads. it didn’t matter too much since I wouldn’t have stitched on Aida this time anyways. as a matter of fact, this wasn’t the first time I stitched this project: in 1997 I got an identical one, shamefully worked on it, and unfortunately lost the chart – so in order to take this trip down stitching memory lane I had to find a double. – here I summed up most of what I had said in the previous clues: it was a kit that came with threads and Aida; that is was from the ’90s hence something I must have worked on in my early stitching years, especially since I described my job as shameful. :P
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[from the about me page] here is what you can read in that account of my first cross-stitch experience:
Anyways, the “I’ll show you” attitude I pull up granted me another kit (this time one I could actually choose) and I went for a Forever Friends subject, a lovely smiling bear on a swing, thank goodness! No stupid girls with old fashioned hats picking up flowers for nothing, in a “that’s so 60’s” colour palette.. nightmare.
was it hard? – ok, too hard? :P now finally the pictures you’ve all been waiting for: :)
and here is the piece finished on February 24th. it took me an entire week because the thread lengths (although cut in the right length) kept on knotting so badly, they drove me mad. it took a passage, down or up the 36ct. linen to form the silliest knots that wouldn’t unravel no matter what I did. I had to cut and deal with two impossible lengths – nightmare!
the only changes I made (apart from picking another type of fabric) were:
- stitching the inside of the clouds in white. the Aida in the kit was off white so they thought one could skip that; I picked a 36ct. raw Zweigart linen so I needed to add a few extra stitches;
- backstitching the outline of the bow in red rather than the charted Charcoal (you can see it on the kit cover below, even in the ’90s I found it looked odd);
- using 1/4 stitches where the backstitching would cross a stitch because I find it lays much more nicely this way.
I will treasure this tiny little kit and all it came with now. despite the knots inferno it was such an adorable piece to stitch once again. I knew where I had started so many years ago, the bottom left corner, leaving almost no allowance on that side :D; I suddenly remembered working on certain sections; the hard time I had on the face because it’s not as symmetrical as one would think. even sorting out the threads brought back memories (and doubts!).
I could not believe when I got my package from Gavand Lace & Crafts, seeing this tiny kit after so many years! it fits the palm of my hand, and the instructions inside held so many info as to how to stitch properly.. had I paid attention to them I would have spared myself so many abominations! :D
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I hope you had fun guessing, I’m already planning something fun for this year’s enigma in April/May and I promise this bit of info will come in handy. ;)
have a great week!