February 23, 2018 by

Experimenting with a New Linen

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Categories: cross stitch

A few years ago, I came upon a post about a new line of linen, featured on a blog I visit which mostly revolves around embroidery.  I don’t embroider, but this woman makes me want to jump on the embroidery bandwagon in the most desperate way.  There is something about embroidery that is so beautifully elegant and tempts me to try my hand at it.  I haven’t succumbed yet, but the more I visit this blog, the closer I get to falling into the hole.  The blog is a very popular one – if you have not visited it, you should, as it is such an inspirational place.  The blog is Needle ‘N Thread by Mary Corbet.  It’s a great place to spend some time and learn some very interesting things (if you want to see a gorgeous stitch, look up “star stitch” while you’re there).

This is where I discovered Legacy Linen’s Provincial line.  I’ve shared before that Legacy linen is my absolute favorite linen to stitch on – it has such a sumptuous and rich feeling.  I was so intrigued after reading Mary Corbet’s post that I decided to order a few pieces.  I started with “Ivory Piano Key” and “Buttermilk Biscuit” (fun names).   Mary Corbet does such a great job of covering all the basics of this linen that I do not need to reinvent the wheel, but I can share with you some things I have observed in my stitching on this linen.  It is a 20-count linen, so there are 20 threads per inch.  I am stitching on mine over one, using two strands of DMC floss.  I’ve gotten too far along now, but realize I probably should have used three strands for better coverage.  You’ll be able to see this in my photograph.  I believe the “Provincial” title is very appropriate, as this linen just says “rustic” to me, so I designed a pattern for Christmas more in a homespun kind of flavor, with subdued colors and not the bright traditional colors of Christmas.

Here are (from top to bottom) Buttermilk Biscuit and Ivory Piano Key:

There are a good amount of slubs which you can definitely see in the above photograph, so you need to be aware of this, in case that kind of thing is bothersome to you.  Also, because the threads vary so much between fat and plump and slim, the linen seems to eat stitches.  I’m sure there are more technical terms I could be using but “eating stitches” seems to perfectly describe it to me.  I think it’s also called “disappearing stitches”, and because the threads in this linen seem to move around a lot more than others, I’ve had to fiddle with my stitches more than I usually do.  This is why I think it would be better, if you are using DMC, to use three strands to create more weight, or use something heavier like perle cotton.  So I’ve had to fiddle with the disappearing stitches a bit.  It’s a learning process, but I like the challenge of experimenting with new materials.  I took the Buttermilk Biscuit linen and put in some stitches using various threads.  First, I tried DMC Perle Cotton 815.  The first block is stitched over one, and the second block is stitched over 2.  Continuing down the fabric, I put in some stitches of DMC 902, three strands over one.  Then I finished with The Gentle Art Simply Wool (Ruby Slipper), one strand over one.  As you can see, this is a very fuzzy linen.

Just recently, I ordered three new colors:  Sea Water Black, Silver Pine Needle, and Crimson Caroline.  They are all stunning, especially the red one, because it is truly a traditional red.  I got out my DMC color card and tried to find which colors best matched the colors of the linen, but could get no true matches.  (Side note:  this always amazes me, as there are so many colors in the DMC line.)  I pulled a few samples and photographed them to give you a better idea of the linen color.  Here they are in order:  Silver Pine Needle, Crimson Caroline, and Sea Water Black.

Have you stitched on this linen?  If so, what are your thoughts about using it?

One Response to Experimenting with a New Linen

  1. Robin in Virginia

    What an interesting post to read! I haven’t stitched on the Provincial linen, but have stitched on the 34 count variety. From your pictures, it looks similar to the 18 and 20 count linens from Zweigart. Thinking of you!

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