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.
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!
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.
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!