Wednesday, March 4, 2009


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!


Yoyo said...

Marian, I wanted to pop by and Welcome you to the Totally Useless SAL. Nothing to it really, just post a picture of your progress each month, March NEW MOON is the 26th, with a day or two of that is what we're looking at. I hope you have great fun with this SAL.

I have seen craft-t-leigh's post in a couple of different places --- Crafty-t, you are getting some great advice, including here, from Marian.

Donna said...

Marian, I too, jumped to using lines, with Cashel linen being my favorite.
But true linens do not have an even weave. Some of the threads are thicker than others.
I never had a problem with that and enjoyed the Cashel linen. That would be until I tried Jobelin. It is a true even weave and is much easier to count than Cashel.
I also love the different colors I can get in the linens and evenweaves. And I love the way my stitches look on those fabrics.
My favorite count is 28. I don't think I would dare try 40 count, so I wish you luck on that and think you are amazing to try it!

Marian said...

Donna is right. To me, in my rationalizing way of thinking. anything not aida is evenweave! I love cashel and I really like to use jobelin for ornies.

The finished product is muych prettier on linen and evenweave.

Julie said...

When i made the jump from aida to evenweave/linen i was encouraged to use lugana or jubilee first as the holes are easier to see and its not taxing on the brain to learn to do over 2.
I've recently used 35ct Vicki Clayton that someone sent to me, before i'd only used 32 count, although i did need the magnifier for the 35ct.
Linen for me is nice for certain projects, depends on the design i'm putting on it. I have to buy via the web as we dont have a LNS near to me.
Please give it a try, try something small so you get a quick happy dance and a thrill from seeing you have achieved something special. Good Luck!