Monday, February 26, 2007

Kitting a Chatelaine

This is a subject which has been occupying me faaaar too much over the last few weeks, so I thought I'd get it all down online.

Many Chatelaine designs use a variety of silk threads, both solid colours and varigated. As they're silk, this significantly adds to the cost of the project. Fortunately, Martina Weber also publishes a DMC conversion for these projects so that stitchers can choose how much they wish to spend or swap out those threads they dislike. The question of buying beads also needs to be considered as Martina normally uses Delica beads, but also produces a conversion to Mill Hill.

I've now got 2 Chatelaine projects started and will be adding a third fairly soon. Each of them has been kitted in a different way.

Project number 1 - Watergarden
Watergarden uses quite a lot of DMC threads, as well as silks, so is easier than for many other designs to get hold of all the materials. However, for this design, I chose the oprion of making a simple purchase from European Cross Stitch for all the silk threads and Delica beads. This really was the simple, easy option.

Chatelaine's Watergarden WIP photo
Project number 2 - Medieval Town Mandala
I started this project on my birthday but have made little progress to date as I discovered I have a couple of threads missing. Other than that, I have all the silk threads for this project, no DMCs at all. In this case, the silks were all collected as Christmas and birthday presents from my family. I emailed them a list of the threads needed and suggested a couple of online shops to buy from. From my point of view, this worked our fine, but I have now discovered a couple of threads missing and I haven't been able to find an online source in the UK. I've now emailed European Cross Stitch who have the necessary threads and will be able to send me them.

For the beads, I bought several of the colours required on ebay, but have one colour I don't have yet. I know of one or two online shops that stock this bead colour, but it seems a bit ridiculous to pay more in postage that the actual price of the beads!

Chatelaine's Medieval Town Mandala I haven't made much progress stitching this one as I discovered early on that I needed to use the threads I'm missing. I could keep going, but would prefer not to as I don't want to risk mistakes.

Project number 3 - St Petersburg White Nights
This will be a 12 month project with the chart issued in monthly installments. The materials list and DMC conversion were issued in early February and the first chart will be issued on 1st March.

For this project, I've decided to go with the DMC conversion rather than use the majority of the silks. That part at least is straightforward! The problem really is to decide which of the varigated silks to keep and which to swap for DMCs. There are some online shops and thread producers who show sufficiently detailed photos of the thread to see just how much varigation there is. Even then, it's still not as good as having the actual threads in your hand. However, I have made my choice on this basis, and I'll see how it goes.

For the beads, I've given in and simply ordered the bead pack from European Cross Stitch.

Chatelaine's St Petersburg White Nights

Although I've mentioned European Cross Stitch several times already, I haven't mentioned the different options they offer for kitting a Chatelaine. For St Petersburg, they offer full kits with all fabric, threads and beads. You can get a kit without the fabric, without the solid colour silks, or just the bead pack. On other designs, you can order only the silk threads. I see that Needlecraft Corner too offers a similar service for some Chatelaine designs, althout I've never bought from them at all.

I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that, for me, European Cross Stitch is the answer. In future, I may just opt for a full kit minus solid coloured silks and fabric - the other ways are too much hassle!


Gina said...

I can heartily recommend Drema at Needlecraft Corner. I have used European Cross Stitch in the past but usually use Drema now.

catandturtle said...

I am stitching St. Petersburg Nights too. I can't wait for my fabric to arrive so I can start it. I am using DMC instead of NPS, they were just too much money. Ann.

The Cabbage Rose said...

I hear what you're saying...I have several Chatelaine partial kits sitting in my stash waiting for me to finish kitting them up to start stitching. I love the designs and wouldn't trade them, but it's always that random thread or two that keeps us from starting out!! I have always used Europ.XS...and find them extremely accommodating and quick to respond. Many local beading shops have delicas nowadays, too!

thimblethumbs said...

Chatelaine designs are so beautiful. You have made a great start there.
I am contemplating starting one soon. I am British (well, OK, English LOL! I adore LOTR too) but living in Greece. I can get DMC flosses here but would really like to buy the kit from europxs. Can I just ask what the postage to the UK was? I am terrified the cost of p&p alone will put the price up too high for me - plus some of our mail here goes walkabout, so add insurance too (boo hoo). Perhaps it might be cheaper and safer to have it posted to M&D in UK. Any thoughts or price indications?

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