Sunday 5 February 2012

A review, some stash and a knit-along

I received an email recently inviting me to review one of the cross stitch kits from Yiota's X-Stitch -  
I spent a long time on Yiota's website browsing all the different designs she has to offer. Something for everyone is a bit of a cliche, but in Yiota's case it is quite justified, the site offers a huge range of designs in a wide variety of styles, covering almost every subject matter you could care to think of.  There were several designs which caught my fancy, but I found myself coming back time and again to the William Morris designs. I've always had a thing for the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Goes with my love of the gothic I suppose. I eventually chose a Morris design called Lily, and sat back and looked forward to it's arrival.
The kit arrived quickly and well packed in a sturdy board backed envelope, and is well presented and thought out. 
The chart is spread across two A3 sheets with a clearly marked overlap, and uses large, clear computer generated symbols, and full instructions are provided. 
The evenweave fabric (all the kits come with a choice of aida or evenweave) is generously sized, with a needle tucked into the corner so that the kit is ready to start right away, and the threads (Madeira) are pre-wound onto cardboard bobbins and clearly labelled by shade number, a real bonus when so many similar shades are involved in a design. 
If I had to change one tiny thing about the kit, I would have liked to find the fabric serged at the edges, but that is quite trivial, and doesn't detract from the overall quality of the kit.
The design itself seems to be a sympathetic conversion of the original artwork, with nice clean lines and subtle gradations of colour, and I'm really looking forward to stitching it. I've got a long train journey coming up next weekend and I think I will probably start it then, so watch this space for updates.
I also got some new hand dyed linens and threads this week from Sparklies, a company I hadn't used before, and I have to say I am very pleased with my purchases. The fabric colours are (clockwise) Black Dahlia, Rainforest, Vireo and Parchment. I particularly love the Parchment colour, I think it will be useful for a lot of things.
Have you seen the Knit-along Deramores are running in conjunction with Rowan Yarns? As soon as I saw this I knew I wanted to knit it, and ordered the wool (Rowan Alpaca Cotton). It came the next day and I started right away. The wool is cloud soft, and knits up beautifully, and I am totally besotted with this wonderful muted damson colour. This is my progress so far. Hope the cold weather doesn't end before I've finished, I need an excuse to wear this.


Hazel said...

Love the kit you got and your KAL is looking fab. I just couldn't work out how to do the yarn over and knit two tog in the back without the yarn over disappearing! So I have just done a normal knit 2 tog instead and it still looks nice. x

Nicola said...

I love the colour of your wool. Deramores is a great company to deal with. I am going to check out Sparklies. What is the weather like with you, it is milder today but grey on the South coast.

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

It is interesting that Yiota now offers a choice of fabric. I reviewed a kit last year as did several other bloggers and we all said the same thing - they only came with aida.
It's nice to know that she's listening. I choose the Coffee Fairy who will look great on a piece of Sparklies' fabric I have.
I started using them last year and love the vibrant colours. Your's look like great choices. Looking forward to seeing what you stitch on them.

Julie said...

My kit only came with aida, guess that's what reviewing does, improve the service. I'm looking forward to seeing your Lily grow.
Love the colour of that wool, off o check out Deramores.

cucki said...

It is a very sweet kit,,,I love it,,
Beautiful new stash,
Keep well
Happy stitching xxx

Kathryn said...

Ooh - love the Lily, and love William Morris too. There's a Morris in my family tree, so I assume I must be a distant cousin or something, and if he didn't produce any offspring I don't want to know.
I like your dark fabric - but it's going to be a bugger to stitch on, eh? As for the knitting: love the colour, but can't knit so just have to admire yours in utter ignorance.

Linda said...

I am interested to see your cross stitch kit review progress. Parchment Sparklies will make fabulous antique reproductions.
Love your KAL. The color is mine and it looks so soft in the picture. Do you feel like sending the finished product to me? Even though we are having unseasonable warm temperatures, they are still C-O-L-D to you. :-D

Mouse said...

love the kit and glad you have got a choice now of aida and evenweave :) and wooo hooo sparklies fabric :)
love mouse xxxxx

Unknown said...

Thank you for the review! Just a note to everyone that we are now offering evenweave as a choice in your kit. It will take us a bit of time though to update all of 800 products so please bare with us :-)

Sally said...

Love the kit you chose to review. I looked at that one a few times before deciding definitely on the robins!

Lovely start on the scarf. It's a lovely colour you've chosen.

Gorgeous fabrics from Sparklies. I can see a fabric purchase in my not too distant future!!!

Barb said...

Hi CHristine
Oh I am knitting along too , love the colour of your wool I wanted that one but by the time I had got to checkout it had all gone. So I got fog which is pretty too.
Have a safe journey , you may have it finished by the time you get back lol.
I love the pre Raphelites too visited Kelmscott where WM lived for a while a few years back ,did I drool.

Heidi said...

That Rowan yarn is gorgeous! What are you knitting?

I too am a big William Morris fan. I have a petit point project to start with a sample of one of this designs. I keep putting it off hoping to get more of my UFOs done but how many more years can a girl wait??? Lol! I love that lily and will look forward to seeing your progress.

Hope you package arrives soon.

Hugs from Holland ~

Carin said...

great kit you pick to stitch. And I love the fabrics you bought, great colors !!

Mylene said...

Great design you have chosen...this reminds me i think i got an e-mail of her too the beginning of January but been in a chaotic mood since we got back i haven't been checking my mails well. Looking forward to your updates.

Lovely linens and threads you've bought.