Tree sampler

I tried finding a photo online of the cross-stitch sampler that I would like to do and came across this one which is a fairly close match. The design style is very similar, but the one I have is about half the size.

I photocopied the chart out of a 15 year old embroidery magazine and went to the craft shop and bought the linen and floss before really thinking about the hours of torture this design on 28 count linen would require.

It’s probably been 10 years since I bought any new projects and my eyes have changed in those years, for sure! I simply can’t do it – can’t see the holes in the fabric to know where to put my stitches.

I may try the design on a 14 count evenweave fabric instead, but I don’t know that I will like the results so well. What makes embroidery on linen so nice to my eye is the level of detail that’s possible and the variety of stitch shapes that are possible when stitching on a fabric that has a little *give*. Every stitch on evenweave fabrics looks the same and that takes some of the charm away.

If you’re not a stitcher and don’t have a clue why I’m going on about how tiny 28 count linen is – think of it like this – I’m stitching over two threads in the linen – so on a 28 count piece there will be 14 stitches across and 14 stitches down in an inch – a total of 196 stitches in a square inch of fabric! The design I’m following is about 18″ by 15″ so that’s how many stitches? Anybody want to do that math?

I did 6 stitches last night and decided that I’m out of my league. I took a photo of my handiwork with the macro lens and only then did I realize that I made a mistake already! See that last stitch on the left in the bottom row – I crossed it in the wrong place. I could get one of those magnifying glass things they sell, but I don’t think that will make stitching any more enjoyable for me. I need to stick with the big clunky stitches that I can see easily.

12 thoughts on “Tree sampler”

  1. That’s a gorgeous sampler! Do you wear glasses or contacts? When I go to my opthamologist I tell her that I need to see really good to do fine work like this and I need to see really good far away to see trees / birds / plants.
    Or how 2 over on 22 count which would make it easier on your eyes. I’ve also been known to do 1 over on 22 ct. hardanger which I like because the stitches won’t slip underneath as hardanger is woven with double threads.
    I’m interested to read what you decide to do!

  2. I’m with Pam on the hardanger. It’s a beatiful evenweave but maybe over 2 on 22 count would be too big. Give it a try! You could also try out those drug store glasses for magnification. The pattern is really pretty and you’re making me want to get my stitching bag out again after all these years!

  3. I never could work with linen. I had to use Aida cloth. And it has been a few years since I cross-stitched at all. Now, it would be a bit more challenging, even though I wear bifocals.

  4. I’m with Lynne on this one – drug store reading glasses do the trick. I used them for computer viewing for a few years while I wore contact lenses, then gave up and bought bi-focal eyeglasses a few years ago. I admire your stitching since I’ve never been into it. Get some magnification and you will sail through your project 🙂

  5. Growing older certainly is a bitch. But, it’s better than the alternative. For me, if it’s not the eyes, it’s carpal tunnel. Crampy hands can’t hold much of anything when that kicks in.

  6. Maybe pick out some of the elements and make a new design for the double weave fabric.
    That is very nice though.
    I have to use a very good light for fine work, at least a 100 watt. as I have cataracts begining.
    Keep us informed. But don’t feel crowded.

  7. how beautiful! I too used to do counted cross-stitch, but haven’t begun a new project in years.. I finished only 3 pieces.. one I gave away, the others are a testment to how good my eyes used to took me months to finish the one I have of wolf eyes, this had to be a major accomplishment. It’s lovely Laura 🙂

    (and thanks too for reminding me of Mary Oliver, I’ve begun reading my books again.. even with a magnifying glass she writes in a way that I need to read right now)

  8. Thank you for doing that math, John! Of course I wouldn’t have to do all 59,000 of those stitches because there’s lots of empty space in the design.

    I’m not ready to get any granny glasses yet; I think I may just put this aside for a while until I find a larger weave fabric to use it on.

    Instead I ordered a few new charts from a favorite designer that I can do on 14 count.

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