Yesterday I had a question from a long time reader who is thinking about trying linen. She’s always used aida. She wondered if I knew of any place that sells sample type packets of linen so you could get one small piece of several counts and try it. I do not know of anything like that. Do any of you?
When I first started stitching, which hasn’t even been a year ago yet so . . you know I am not an expert . . but I had the not so bright idea but it seemed bright at the time, that I would order a bunch of the 9 x 13 size pieces in different sizs and colors and they would be sort of like swatches so when I had a project that needed gray 36 count linen, I’d pull out all my gray swatched and see which one worked and then I’d order the correct size – like 18 x 27. What I did not know know was that linen is so hard to get, when I needed a piece of linen for a project, I’d happily take anything that was close to what I wanted IF I could get it. I could have had 10 grays and that I ordered in January and by March when I needed a gray, NONE of them were available. For the most part, you really do have to take what you can get when you can get it.
My advice to someone wanting to try linen, and please feel free to share differing opinions, would be to order small sizes in a variety of colors/counts. 123 Stitch has a 9 x 13 piece of 28 count Zwiegart linen for $4.14. I started out using 32 count, which is the same as 16 count aida because with aida, you mostly stitch over one square and with linen, you mostly stitch over 2 squares. So, order a small piece of 28 count, order a small piece of 32 count linen. Order a small piece of jobelan and a small piece of lugana – try it all! There are lots of very small designs you can stitch on small pieces of fabric and make pillows or ornaments, etc.
Do not order a lot of anything until you know what count you’re going to like. My favorite is 36 count and I like 40 count with a super good light. I will stitch on 32. I really do not like stitching with two strands of floss. With 36 or 40, I know one strand is good. With 32 count, it’s good for me because I don’t care so much about having 100% coverage. I like it a little ‘faded’ looking.
I don’t see how anyone unless you have really, really good eyes, can stitch on even 32 count all day without a magnifying light. My recommendation – find one you like and get it and save yourself the frustration of thinking you can do it without a magnifying light.
When I first started talking about cross stitching, my friend, Donna, told me that she has bought and sent back a LOT of lights trying to find the right one. I thought . . how hard can this be. Trust me . . it’s HARD!
The first one I bought was an Ott . . nope, it didn’t work well for me at all. Then I bought one – don’t even remember the brand but it wasn’t terribly expensive, and it’s ok. Then I bougth a Brightech is ok so long as I’m sitting in a dining room type chair and it’s hanging over the work from the back – straight on – does not work with a recliner at all.
Then I bought a Brightech with a round, rolling base and it works great with my swivel recliner downstairs. I can move my chair out of the way, roll the light into position, then roll my chair back where I want it.
I have another light on order that hopefully will be here next week. I’ll report on that one after using it for a while.
I wish I could give you a name, model number, link to a perfect light but I haven’t found a perfect light yet.
Considering the price of the lamps, and the trouble I’ve had finding one I love, I’m pretty impressed with these magnifying glasses. They come with little batteries and you can use them and make it into a light or not use the batteries and use some kind of light. Without the batteries they’re light weight and I’ve worn them for hours and not had any discomfort. Nicole gave me a cheap, plastic cover floor light that has an LED bulb in it when I had the apartment in Nevada. I have it downstairs and that, along with those glasses, is about as good as any lamp I’ve tried yet.
Anyone else who can offer more info, please weigh in here!