I’ve been busy the past couple of weeks, and not had as much time for stitching as I’d have liked, but here is the Lavender and Lace ‘Celtic Autumn’ cross stitch design after another ten hours (fifty hours of stitching altogether):
…and after 40 hours:
As you can see, what I’ve been mostly working on is the gold swirls on the skirt. In fact, I’ve hardly done anything else on this, during this 10 hour section! I’m stitching it using Rainbow Gallery’s Petite Treasure Braid number 1 (one strand). Some people who have stitched this design have said on their blogs that they hated stitching the gold thread part of Celtic Autumn, but I quite like it. It clearly defines the areas that are to be filled in with the Anchor stranded cotton, making the next part easier to do. I’ve used other ‘gold’ threads in the past, such as Balger blending filament (which I could have cheerfully thrown across the room, as it stretched and snapped really easily, even when used in conjunction with other threads in the same needle). Kreinik number four braid is a possible substitution for the thread I’m using, but would have worked out quite a bit more expensive. I’m on my third 25 yard card of Petite Treasure Braid already, and I haven’t finished the gold detailing yet.
The method I’ve been using to stitch this part of the chart is not one that I usually use – I’ve been working across a horizontal line of the chart, from left to right, then from right to left, working my way down to the hem of the skirt, just stitching what it says on the chart, and taking no notice of whether I’m making the ‘swirls’ or not. I use a magnetic ruler on top of a metal board, placed aross a line of the chart, so that I can clearly work out which line I’m copying. I’ve read on a cross stitching forum that the design is so complicated for this part, that it’s really easy to go wrong if you try to complete one ‘swirl’ before doing the next (if you can identify where one ends and the next one begins), so I just decided to be like one of those Seventies knitting machines that would read cards with punched holes in, line by line! I managed to get right down to the hem without going wrong, fortunately.