when I decide to stitch design on a solid coloured fabric, I usually pick a Zweigart linen in a high count. that’s what I learnt I like to stitch on at best; in fact most of my pieces/WIPs before I tried out Nina‘s hand dyed materials were stitched on Zweigart #52 or #53 raw linens.
they are by far my favourite option and in the past months I got some classic tones in 40 count (to my discovery my 40ct. stash was solely built on hand dyed cuts up until then) for a few projects; some kitted up, some almost finished, some that heaven knows when I’ll get around to actually start – but that’s another story! 😀
once I decide to go for a solid fabric I certainly:
- take a good look at the pattern. if there are white, densely stitched areas, choosing a white or very light fabric might not be the best of things on the eyes, but of course it depends on the pattern and the amount of good daylight, etc.
- the second thing I consider is: am I going to stitch this using the same colour scheme it’s charted with or not? sometimes just by switching a couple of tones I find I can easily adjust it to the fabric I want to see it on, so again it all depends on what I envision my project to look like, and transfer & transform that idea onto actual materials. most of the time this proves to be quite a personal process, steeped with trials and errors, that’s why I’m very proud (and a tad jealous) of a piece that finally ends up looking exactly like I wanted it to.
I could never start something without a plan (which is one of the primary reasons why I can’t start every Club/SAL I join straight away; coming up with a plan takes time! 😀 and stash! 😀 ). I either take notes or a shot of the materials that I think can work together (which sometimes I post here so that I can easily find it when I finally start that project), and then, as I stitch, I often find it interesting to add or change or somehow elaborate that idea, but I’ve got to have one to begin with. 🙂
- something very useful to me when choosing a Zweigart fabric are their colour sample cards for linens. they work pretty much like the DMC colour card I discussed earlier: there are small circles of fabric glued onto white, lightweight cardboard, divided by count, so in case you like working let’s say on 28 count you can get that card alone. they also offer a quick glimpse at the variety of colours and counts availability, with higher counts being the ones with a narrower assortment (humpf, no wonder I stash linens primarily in hand dyed cuts).
if you went through all the various linen counts steps/phases like I did, you would end up with all the 3 cards, which of course now might be slightly outdated (these were bought in 2012), if I need a more up-to-date look at their current assortment I turn to their official website I linked to at the beginning of this post.
the other really handy thing they provide are CODES. if you buy from a local needlework shop online (via email/website orders) or at needlework fairs like I do, you don’t really care about the name the linen goes by in that shop: if it’s a white Zweigart, it can either be off white or regular white. you can spare yourself the drama of wondering if what you want is a Snow White or a Starbright or a Milky white linen; if it’s a solid Zweigart white linen it can only be #100 or #101, no matter the count.
same goes for code #52 and #53: they come in all sorts of names (Raw, Natural, Ecru, Dirty, etc.) which of course change from language to language, often turning international shopping into a face-palming session); but once you know that #52 is lighter and #53 is darker, you can shop from home all you like: you’re getting exactly the shade you wanted.
regarding counts, you can be sure of the one you’re looking at while browsing a stand at a needlework fair (where tags or cuts can easily go misplaced) by carrying this handy dandy bit of info in your notebook/media device:
- all 25ct. Dublin linens have codes that start with 3604 + their relative colour code; so a white cut of Dublin linen/canvas (PERFECT for over 1 pieces 😍) would be tagged 3601-101, off-white would be 3604-100, etc.
- all 28ct. Cashel linens have codes that start with 3281 + their relative colour code
- all 32ct. Belfast linens have codes that start with 3609 + their relative colour code
- all 36ct. Edinburgh linens have codes that start with 3217 + their relative colour code
- all 40ct. Newcastle linens have codes that start with 3348 + their relative colour code
of course if I had a decent LNS nearby I would be there all the time looking at fabric swatches and such, but since that’s not possible, I have built a sort of routine over the years for kitting up with solid fabrics and I find it works really well for me.
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I usually try to add the Zweigart linen code when I post about a new start; I find this bit of info terribly handy both for future reference and for stressing out the deception of WIP pictures under different light conditions: most of my WIPs on white linen look rather yellow in shots taken late at night during wintertime 😳 here are a few examples:
- bunnies on #53 Zweigart linen
- SODA’s Alice in Wonderland & scissor fob armada on #100 Zweigart linen
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in the next Chapter I’ll discuss my thoughts on kitting up with hand dyed threads and floss storage, part 1 🙂
P.S. could I leave with without a BaBa snap? mmmhh.. 😀 enjoy this kitty collage I made today for a cat lover’s birthday 😉