Definitely Not So-So!

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A while back I purchased a couple of cross-stitch kits from UK-based Sew and So. They arrived very promptly, and so I went back and ordered another few items last week. I’d put it mostly out of mind, used to international orders taking weeks to arrive, so I was pleasantly surprised to come home to find a nice padded envelope waiting for me in my mailbox.

If you live in Europe, I whole-heartedly recommend and endorse this vendor! They have an excellent selection (didn’t have the kit I first came looking for, but neither did anyone else, so I suspect that’s more due to it being from last year’s collection or something silly like that), their pricing is more than competitive (last order, I paid less than 300 SEK for four medium-small kits and one set of ziplock baggies for floss storage, including shipping – I’m used to kits being no less than 100 SEK apiece and usually more), and I’ve paid more for domestic S&H than I did for international from these guys.

It doesn’t hurt that in my experience, their delivery is only slightly slower than greased lightning, as well.

I do have some minor issues with the kits, but that’s a manufacturer rather than a vendor thing, so I’ll likely get into that in a future post at some point. (And as the resulting work will be gifts, I’m afraid this post will have to go without an image.)

Cross Stitcher Issue 242

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With an eye to the fact that most of the time that hasn’t been spent on actual paying work lately has been spent bent over my too-high-count Aida weave (tiny stitches are pretty but time-consuming), this magazine caught my attention at our local corner store. I think I picked it up from the stand and turned it over in my hands three times before I finally made up my mind and purchased a copy, mostly convinced by the absolutely gorgeous strawberry pattern on the cover.

The magazine contains a number of patterns and project suggestions for them, with excellent instructions, as well as a short section with an introduction to cross stitching and a new related craft (for this issue, cross-stitching on paper, which DOES look pretty cool). I learned some things, and found some patterns I’ll definitely be up for trying out, including the aforementioned strawberry pattern. Each issue also comes with a small project kit, in this case the materials for a little Royal Guard embroidery with a magnet felt frame, which I’m pretty indifferent about.

The pricing is a bit of a shame – it’s definitely worth the cover price of £3.99, but with import costs, tax, and markups, this ended up with me paying two and a half times that for my copy, and subscriptions actually work out to even more per issue. But I’ll probably still pick up one or two more, because I did enjoy what was in this magazine a lot, and the preview of the next issue contained some very interesting patterns.

Bottom line: Definitely recommended if you’re into cross-stitching!


(Also, to the right you can see a small teaser for my secret Christmas project which is by now well underway…)

Project Preview

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While needle felting at the moment holds the position of my primary craft, I do practise other crafts. This particular one is a little bit hush-hush, and the finished product and any progress shots won’t be posted until after Christmas due to the nature of the project, just in case one of the recipients were to stumble across my blog.

I can say that it will entail sewing 12540 cross-stitches, which would average out to just over 90 stitches a day if I were to start today, by Christmas Eve at the latest. Naturally, for a project of this magnitude, with this many colors (49 different colors of floss, some of which I’ll need more than one skein of), I wanted to make sure I found the cheapest supplier I could – DMC floss is many great things, but “cheap” is not really among them.

Supplies for my mystery embroidery project

Some searching lead me to Broderama, which sells its floss at just over half of what my local yarn shop charges (I still like this yarn shop; they’ve got lovely yarns and the woman who runs it is a delight), and which also optionally sells floss in 1 m lengths for whatever colors you don’t need much of. I erred on the side of caution and only ordered the shorter lengths for anything which would require under 100 stitches, so I’ll probably have quite a bit left over once this project is done, but I’d rather do that than run out at an inopportune time.

As a bonus, I made a pretty big, pretty stupid mistake when I specified the amount of Aida weave I’d need, and the woman who runs Broderama took the time to email me and straighten it out instead of going ahead and sending me a uselessly-small piece of fabric. That’s the kind of customer service I, for one, notice and remember!