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Nerds unite - Lady Sylvanas
506 views   26 replies   Latest reply: September 22, 2021 at 1:49:23 AM
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Mar 20, 2021
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Shaleigh message #1
Nerds unite - Lady Sylvanas
March 24, 2021 at 5:26:14 PM
 
So I have never been great at doing things on a small scale. It's how I ended up buying over 600 books in 5 years when living in the UK. It's why I am tinkering on a 40k piece jigsaw puzzle.
And it turns out that cross-stitching is no different. To first get the hang of it again I stitched four 10x10cm (little under 4 inches by 4 inches) coasters for a friend, featuring the starter Pokemon.
But already my fingers are itching for a big project. I have picked my image. And I thought I might document the journey here.
First was the question of getting the pattern right before ordering all those threads.
I love the extra vividness you get from using as many colours as possible. But I am not certain I can justify buying over 250 skeins. Sadly I am not made of money.
I compromised at 100 colours, which still leaves me with 143 skeins.
I got the brightness where I wanted it pretty quick. But then started the question of the contrast. In general I like contrast, and I want the colours to be vivid. But on the other hand I dont want the face and stomach to have these massive blotches of white.
In the end I went with brightness 30, contrast 15, smoothness 0.
Converting between pixels/stitches, inches and cm almost tripped me up bad. I speak metric. So I almost made a picture, the length of which fits in a frame and the width... wouldn't. Thankfully I caught it in the nick of time.
In total this will be 320 x 449 stitches. So a total of 143,680 stitches. Yikes.
Any suggestions on good places to order DMC cotton that would ship within Europe anyone?



 
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Stitchboard Admin message #2
Re: Nerds unite - Lady Sylvanas
March 26, 2021 at 1:41:53 AM  (in response to Shaleigh message #1)
 
Shaleigh,
What a gorgeous image! Kiss
Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. It will be so nice to see the project grow! Kiss
I hope you can find a good supplier. Here in the US, a lot of items are short on supply. So I can completely empathize with the issue you're having of trying to order floss.
Thank you again for sharing with us! Kiss



Melanie  (cat slave and Official Feline Can Opener) =^.^=
~~~~~
I'm a beading, knitting and crochet addict.  If that means I'm admitting I have a problem, then I admit to nothing. Please refrain from helping me.


 
Member since:
Mar 20, 2021
Posts: 25
Shaleigh message #3
Nerds unite - Lady Sylvanas
March 30, 2021 at 3:35:09 PM  (in response to Stitchboard Admin message #2)
 
I got really lucky with threads. I googled all these UK places that would ship to where I live (Estonia), but I was still looking at a pretty penny for all this. And then I found that there is a place in my home town that sells DMC at near wholesale prices. Score.
Of course ordering so many different colours, some got messed up, so I drive up there to pick them up twice, which is not easy to organise during lockdown. But now I have all these lovely lovely threads. You can really see the quality difference between DMC and the cheap Chinese stuff I used to try if I like cross-stitch.
Starting a big project like this now brought up a bunch of new questions that I had not considered when working on small pieces.
I will start with the latest and maybe you have a tip for me Melanie. I am using Aida 14 fabric and DMC threads. And I am not sure if to use two or three threads.
I tested both:
2 thread:
3 thread:
Obviously 2 thread looks neater which is always nice. But it seems to me that quite a lot of white is showing through. And I am worried that with white Aida and a fairly dark colour scheme picture will mean that it will look too sparse.
But will 3 thread get too crowded once I have a bigger area done?
Any tips would be much appreciated!



 
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Stitchboard Admin message #4
Re: Nerds unite - Lady Sylvanas
March 30, 2021 at 7:42:38 PM  (in response to Shaleigh message #3)
 
Shaleigh,
Oooh, so happy (and jealous) that you've found a DMC wholesaler near you! Kiss
Sorry you had to drive there twice, though.
DMC is really good quality. Many years ago I went to a booth at a trade show to talk about kitting some of my cross stitch designs and the guy immediately lost me when he started talking not about using a name brand like DMC or Anchor or even Madeira, but about substituting cheap fibers. Yell I never got back to him. He lost my business with that. I'm sure he didn't care, probably did a lot of business with other people who weren't so persnickety, but whatever.
I'm sorry to say I get an "access denied" message from all of those images. Cry But here's a thought or three...
How about changing fabric? For something so beautiful, perhaps a more neutral color like a blue will suffice, where two strands will work? Maybe the lighter blue of the background (if possible), then you can ignore those particular color stitches?
Another idea, you could go with a darker color, like black. The caveat is black is hard to stitch on if your vision isn't great. LOL, I did that once, did not get very far because it drove me too nuts. But the theory behind using a black fabric is one I got from, of all things, a now-defunct beadweaving website. They compared using black threads to weave darker beads together instead of white (which was simply easier to come by) by talking about the old televisions from years ago. The televisions had some kind of black background through which the colors were projected, so the background would kind of disappear with the points of light coming through. And using a color like black thread specifically beadweaving really seemed to help.
You could also - if you have access to it - try one of those colors (depending on what you can get) in linen. Linen is soooo nice to work with and my favorite is Zweigart. IDK how all of their linens are, but one I love in particular and have worked with when not using Aida is a nice, soft, solid linen. I've tried off-brand linens and some are nice, some are very coarse and I didn't enjoy stitching on the coarser ones, unfortunately. I prefer to stitch without a hoop or frame and I like a linen that doesn't require one.
It looks like Zweigart is out of Germany. IDK how their stock and prices are.
I perfer to save the 3 strands for 11 count Aida, as that needs the coverage.
If you don't have white as a background, then less need to worry about coverage, IMO.
Like the old televisions, the idea of losing the background in a darker color should take away the necessity of using more strands. Kiss
Hope that helps!



Melanie  (cat slave and Official Feline Can Opener) =^.^=
~~~~~
I'm a beading, knitting and crochet addict.  If that means I'm admitting I have a problem, then I admit to nothing. Please refrain from helping me.


 
Member since:
Mar 20, 2021
Posts: 25
Shaleigh message #5
Nerds unite - Lady Sylvanas
March 31, 2021 at 12:45:35 AM  (in response to Stitchboard Admin message #4)
 
Thanks for the response Melanie Smiley.
I know what you mean, my 14ct cloth was Zweigart and it felt really nice.
I was hoping to avoid having to buy a new cloth, as I am both so excited to get started and also it is such a hassle to shop during lockdown. I thought it would likely be a few days before it would either be delivered or I could go to pick it up.
But if it is the best solution... It's such a big piece I want it to look as good a possible.
Black background sounds pretty, but my eyesight is actually already a bit.. well... crap. I really like the idea of pale blue though. I will have to pick it up for a future project once lockdown is lifted and I can shop like normal.
I found a solution though. Some googling told me that the one obvious answer might be to just go for Aida 16 then. Smaller picture, but that I don't mind much. And 2 threads means I can still use the loop method for starting a thread, which will come in handy in those spots the colours change a lot.
In most guides I found:
Aida 14 - 2-3 threads
Aida 16 - 2 threads
Aida 18 - 1-2 threads.
Based on this 16 seems like a safe bet.


I phoned through half of Tallinn (capital of Estonia) to try to find a place that would have Aida 16 bigger than precut 15inch / 39cm  ones. There was a wholesaler, but they sold minimum 5m (15ft) at a time. They had one that was almost 4m (12ft) that they could have sold me but thats still... so much fabric and I have already spent a fair bit on this project. After I was ready to give up, I phoned the wholesaler one more time and asked that if they already have this cut up piece.. maybe they could cut one more piece off of it and sell me 1m (3ft). And the lady said that "You know... why not. If you are willing to drive over then yes, I will get you that piece". So off I went, bought a big chocolate as an additional thank you and I got my cloth! Wholesale price and everything.
So this is now me, at the beginning of my project.



 
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Stitchboard Admin message #6
Re: Nerds unite - Lady Sylvanas
March 31, 2021 at 6:26:59 PM  (in response to Shaleigh message #5)
 
Shaleigh,
How outstanding - congrats! Kiss
So happy you were able to get exactly what you want. And wholesale...you can't beat that!
And YES on the loop method of starting! Is there really any other way? Wink
LOL, your original post brought back memories of a forever WIP that I couldn't handle stitching because it used, UGH, 3 strands. It was so beautiful, but working the 3 strands drove me nuts. Could NOT handle it. Probably should have changed from the original 11 count to a 14 count fabric and (since it was a kit) just used 2 strands. Didn't think of it at the time. Did too much of it (as I seem to recall) to switch now, since there wouldn't be enough of certain colors of thread.
Hoping perhaps you'll be taking pictures here and there to show us? Kiss



Melanie  (cat slave and Official Feline Can Opener) =^.^=
~~~~~
I'm a beading, knitting and crochet addict.  If that means I'm admitting I have a problem, then I admit to nothing. Please refrain from helping me.


 
Member since:
Mar 20, 2021
Posts: 25
Shaleigh message #7
Re: Nerds unite - Lady Sylvanas
April 4, 2021 at 4:21:43 PM  (in response to Stitchboard Admin message #6)
 
So I am now a few days into this project. I have already spent... a lot of hours on it. I am actually keeping track of how long this takes me. I am an accountant by trade so I just like data and numbers. But I wont report the numbers yet. As I am still only 2 months back into cross stitching then it feels like I am veeery slow still.
So far I love doing this. I am also so glad I got the 16ct fabric. You can make out the x's but there is not a ton of white shining through.
To keep track of where I am, I colour in the done parts with a highlighter.  I decided to start with the bottom right corner, from the last pages of the pattern. Because page 1, so the top left corner, had a lot of colour swaps in a small area.
Progress so far:
Seems like decently big chunk. Until you put it into perspective:
I started with a hoop. And though it was only in the hoop for maybe 2 hours that first night, you can still see the ring of it on the fabric. I am also worried about pulling and stretching already stitched areas with the hoop later. So I decided that this is the time to learn to stitch in hand. At first it was tricky. I had gotten used to the hoop with the small projects I did before. But now its not so bad. I am getting the hang of holding the part of the fabric that I am stitching stiff, but not stretching it too much.
I will try to update again in not too long.



 
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Stitchboard Admin message #8
Re: Nerds unite - Lady Sylvanas
April 4, 2021 at 6:07:02 PM  (in response to Shaleigh message #7)
 
Shaleigh,
Thank you for posting such awesome pictures! Kiss It's looking great already...and that's a fantastic idea, to highlight the parts you've already done. Especially with something so large, you need to know where you've already worked.
I much prefer stitching without a hoop. It was likewise odd for me, too, when I first started without one, but eventually it became second nature and was kind of freeing to work sans a hoop! Kiss
Please feel free to keep posting pictures of your progress...it's so nice to follow along with you! Kiss



Melanie  (cat slave and Official Feline Can Opener) =^.^=
~~~~~
I'm a beading, knitting and crochet addict.  If that means I'm admitting I have a problem, then I admit to nothing. Please refrain from helping me.


 
Member since:
Mar 20, 2021
Posts: 25
Shaleigh message #9
Nerds unite - Lady Sylvanas
April 11, 2021 at 4:21:41 PM  (in response to Stitchboard Admin message #8)
 
Glad to hear that more experienced people do the same Smiley Read a lot of opinions on hoop/no hoop, but in the end decided to go with what sounds reasonable to me.
By the way, it is really nice that you comment and give advice on all these posts Melanie. It makes it much more fun to post these updates, knowing I wont just be yelling into the void.
Another week has gone by, so here is where I am at now:
A fair bit extra and I have put in some serious hours too. I really wanted to get to the lady herself and also to have a break from the gray tones. Which is why I have sort of worked diagonally upwards.
I was quite surprised that the main colour in the cape is 154 - Grape (heheh, that rhymed). Its more purple than red. But next to the other main colours in the cape it looks nice, so I am reserving judgement until I have a bigger patch done.
The work continues and hopefully I will have another update in a week.



 
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Stitchboard Admin message #10
Re: Nerds unite - Lady Sylvanas
April 11, 2021 at 5:35:10 PM  (in response to Shaleigh message #9)
 
Shaleigh,
Always look forward to your updates...thanks so much for posting them! Kiss It's such a joy to watch a project taking shape. So many times people do the projects but very few post even the finished ones, and some don't post that at all. So it's wonderful to watch your progress! Kiss
And I'm so glad you like me living vicariously through you on this. KissLaughing
You're really making great progress soooo quickly!
The grape cape Laughing will be lovely! I personally can't have enough purple and it looks so divine.
Hope the color turns out as well as you want it to. Kiss



Melanie  (cat slave and Official Feline Can Opener) =^.^=
~~~~~
I'm a beading, knitting and crochet addict.  If that means I'm admitting I have a problem, then I admit to nothing. Please refrain from helping me.


 
Member since:
Mar 20, 2021
Posts: 25
Shaleigh message #11
Re: Nerds unite - Lady Sylvanas
April 18, 2021 at 4:02:02 PM  (in response to Stitchboard Admin message #10)
 
Something I really enjoy about posting these updates.  Both weeks I have thought that I didn't get that much done. But looking at the picture from the previous week helps show that no, there are a fair few new stitches here.
This week I got to work on big batches of solid colour, mainly the grape cape, which is what it's now officially called. As my dayjob was kind of hectic, then working on the rows of solid colours was really nice. A bit less planning needed to make sure I can keep going with the same thread for as long as possible.
I am a huge fan of purple too, but as on the picture the cape is more red then I was wondering how it turns out. But really, as long as the different tones in the cape look good together and I dont have a print-out of the original image next to it, who will know that the cape is a bit more purple than it was intended?
The light was not great for the pictures today. Next week I might try to take the pictures during daylight, so you get a better idea of the colours.



 
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Stitchboard Admin message #12
Re: Nerds unite - Lady Sylvanas
April 18, 2021 at 9:43:52 PM  (in response to Shaleigh message #11)
 
Shaleigh,
Oooh, I can see you're making tremendous progress! Kiss
I had wondered about the red in the cape, too, but absolutely agree, if it works out, that's what counts. No one is going to know what the original image looks like. I'm not sure why the program didn't see the red, but maybe it knows something we don't? Wink
Can't wait to see your next update! Kiss I'm definitely benefiting on the receiving end here...I haven't stitched a single stitch, yet I can see it shaping up! Laughing
Seriously, this is such a joy and gives something nice to look forward to! Kiss



Melanie  (cat slave and Official Feline Can Opener) =^.^=
~~~~~
I'm a beading, knitting and crochet addict.  If that means I'm admitting I have a problem, then I admit to nothing. Please refrain from helping me.


 
Member since:
Mar 20, 2021
Posts: 25
Shaleigh message #13
Re: Nerds unite - Lady Sylvanas
April 26, 2021 at 2:08:35 AM  (in response to Stitchboard Admin message #12)
 
This week I thought that instead of taking the pictures late Sunday night, I will take them Monday morning so I could show what the colours are like in a natural light.
It slightly backfired, because the weather is absolutely miserable. The clouds are so dark that I actually had to put the light on in my office. But I did try to catch as much of the natural light as possible and it is a little better still and quite an accurate representation of th colours.
Very happy with the progress this week.
But I do have some big home improvement projects coming up soon so it is likely that I will get to put in a bit less time the closer we get to summer. Also my wedding refuses to plan itself, so I need to get to work on that too Cheesy



 
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Stitchboard Admin message #14
Re: Nerds unite - Lady Sylvanas
April 26, 2021 at 4:06:10 PM  (in response to Shaleigh message #13)
 
Shaleigh,
Oooh, congrats on your wedding! Kiss
That's tremendous progress for such a short time frame...you're amazing!
Is that the red you were worried about from the cape? Because it looks more red than purple, but it does look purple, too. Comparing it to the original, it seems to be very, very similar if not absolutely the same.
It worked beautifully to use the natural light/office light...I can see the colors so nicely!
Ugh, home improvements. A necessary evil. We're doing the same here. Thanks a lot, life, for interfering with fun stuff! Laughing



Melanie  (cat slave and Official Feline Can Opener) =^.^=
~~~~~
I'm a beading, knitting and crochet addict.  If that means I'm admitting I have a problem, then I admit to nothing. Please refrain from helping me.


 
Member since:
Mar 20, 2021
Posts: 25
Shaleigh message #15
Nerds unite - Lady Sylvanas
May 4, 2021 at 11:14:58 AM  (in response to Stitchboard Admin message #14)
 
Thanks so much Melanie.
What sort of home improvements do you have going on? I don't mind doing them usually, but I am not working on them just for my own place, I am helping my dad renovate some apartments so we could rent them out.
My latest update is a bit... late Cheesy
But I am at the spot I was on Sunday, when I usually take the progress photos. This Monday was probably the first day in a month where I didn't work on it for at least a little while. So next weeks progress might be less. But last week I got to do more than I expected, so that is nice.
Filling in the little gaps in big patches of solid colour takes so long. A lot of colour swaps. One thread gets you sometimes only 1-3 stitches. Working really hard to keep it tidy in the back too. Not always succeeding Cheesy Might take a picture of that next time too.


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