On my last post, I had a question from Craft-i-leigh about aida and other fabrics. So here goes:
I used aida for many years because it was the only thing available: Michael's, Hobby Lobby and Hancock's. I didn't order by mail because I didn't have a computer and even now I'm hesitant about ordering fabric over the Internet because I want to be sure of the color. I have a friend that uses Vikki Clayton 35 ct.. I have a sample of it and I wouldn't hesitate to use it.
The big complaint I always had about aida was that it was SO stiff. It was rough in my hands. And there were so many big holes. When I did my Marty Bell pieces I actually stitched in the sky because I didn' t want all those little square holes (I know. Sounds OCD and it is). I still use aida for some things, especially ornies. There is an aida that is very soft and I use it for table runners, etc. And it has a tiny bit of shine to it.
The first pieces I did on evenweave were the Cricket Collection's acorns. Somewhere in the archives of my blog you can see them. Probably around October or November. I got discouraged at first, but then went back to them with more care and finished them. They are beautiful and the colors wonderful.
I like evenweaves (linen) because it gives a more polished, complete finish: no little (big, to me) holes around. The only size I don't use is 40, simply because I'm old and it's difficult to see the threads. I'm participating in a Round Robin (my first) and I know some of the ladies will be using 40 ct., so I'll put on my big girl panties and do it.
The colors in linen are GREAT. They're a little limited in aida.
Another thing is that you can do is"over 1" on linen. When over 2 and over 1 are combined in a piece the finish is spectacular. Right now I'm doing the petit etui and it combines those two stitches as well as others (which are easier to do on linen). I guess the password is "versatile".
If you're ready to try linen I'd say get a small pattern-maybe a Christmas ornie- and try Use a 28 ct. fabric. And don't give up. It took a little while to get used to linen. It's not unusual to split a stitch. Sometimes you have to frog some stitches. Sometimes you can just compensate.
Go for it. And take your time. Get the feel for it like you did for aida. As I said, do something small.
I don't know if you've tried over-dyed threads. If you haven't, try them. I love them, too. And silk: it's just wonderful. It's more expensive so I used it more for "special" projects. Belle soir is my favorite. Vikki Clayton is great. So are the others.
I will tell you (at the risk of giving away a secret) that I'm going to do a special piece, starting in the next few months. It's going to be for a very special person. It's a Stoney Creek chart. It's LARGE and the only fabric I will use is aida. If I ever split a stitch on that one it would be a major disaster.
Don't be afraid. Step out and do it. You can! If I did it, any one can. Just ask Robin at my LNS. She kept at me until I started stitching on linen. Now there's no turning back.
Any one else out there that has a comment, please make it. Let's convince her to try!