Archive for category Black Swan

Copyright Karen Weaver, Black Swan Designs, 1996.

Guardian of the Enchanted Forest

Cymberleah by Black Swan Designs

Chart: The chart uses easy to see and easy to distinguish symbols. The chart is on a large A2 folded cardboard sheet. The outside panels are the front and back covers, the Enchantra story and advertising. The inside unfolded sheet is the entire chart, symbol key and stitching instructions. When working from a large chart like this, the symbols on the creases tend to rub and wear off over time as the chart is folded and unfolded through use, so I would make a working copy of smaller sections and stitch from those, to minimise handling of the orignal.

Stitches: Pattern uses whole cross stitch, quarter cross stitch and backstitch. There is an alternate legend provided for “African-American colors” to stitch Cymberleah’s skin tones and hair colour.

Materials: DMC stranded cotton, Kreinik blending filament, Kreinik #8 Fine braid and Mill Hill beads. Stitched on 32ct Zweigart “Dirty” Linen or Wichelt “Natural” Linen. No, there’s no way I’m stitching this one on Dirty Linen. There’s got to be a nicer background!

Designer’s Notes: Meet Cymberleah, Guardian of The Enchanted Forest. All who inhabit this magical land are under her protection. Her eyes and ears are the forest’s wild creatures whose finely tuned senses forewarn of danger or need. Legend has it that Cymberleah and her faithful wolf companion, Vartan, were the first inhabitants of The Enchanted Forest. This is a land of perfect peace and balance and Cymberleah invites you to join her in the world of Enchantra.

The belief in magic is fragile and so are the boundaries of Enchantra. Danger may be found in forms of magic or in the simple disbelief of what cannot be seen, touched or heard. Suspend reality for a while and enter “The Enchanted Forest” where Kings, Queens and Gnomes reside – but more about them later …

Why I was attracted to this design: Like Dragon Lake, this is another of the Enchantra series. I had plans on stitching the series and then framing them identically and framing the story of Enchantra that goes with these pieces.  I was in the SCA when these pieces were released so I had grand plans of asking a friend to calligraphy the story not just frame my typing or cut up the charts.

So why haven’t I stitched it? I love the drape of her cloak, I love the bunny and the deer. But the wolf always looked a little too blocky to me. And the background fabric. I have this irrational dislike of dirty or natural linen – perhaps its the name?  However, I wonder if this would work on the Sunny*Dyes Faerie’s Deep Woods or Polstitches Nature’s Grace or closer to the original, Doubloon from Picture This Plus?

Where can you buy it? Your LNS can order this in for you via Needlework Showcase. According to the Black Swan site this chart should cost around $8US.

Discussion questions: Am I being hypercritical of the wolf. This was designed in 1996! Is fur really difficult to design? Should I stitch the wolf in Rainbow Gallery Whisper thread? Also fabric, help me out here – suggestions, recommendations?

Status:

28 Feb: Still confused on fabric

 

A Project A Day – Counted embroidery work is my main hobby and I have a huge stitching stash. Some of these projects are huge and take years to stitch, and while others are quick projects, I often spend months without stitching at all. So while I have hundreds in my stash, only a half-dozen ever see attention any given year.  To address this imbalance in 2012 I will each day write about one project languishing in my stash.

Dragon Lake by Black Swan Designs

Copyright Karen Weaver, 1997.

Black Swan Designs

Dragon Lake by Black Swan Designs

Chart: The chart uses small but easy to see and easy to distinguish symbols. The chart is on a large A2 sheet folded and stapled inside a cardboard cover. The staples go through non-stitching areas of the chart. Personally I’d make a working copy of each section and enlarge the symbols a touch. When working from a large chart like this, the symbols on the folds tend to rub and wear off over time as the chart is folded and unfolded through use. (Been there done that with other charts). This is the type of chart that now (15 years later) I would love to buy as a PDF.

Stitches: Pattern uses whole cross stitch, quarter cross stitch and backstitch. There is an alternate legend provided for “African-American colors” to stitch the water spirit.

Materials: DMC stranded cotton, Kreinik blending filament, Kreinik #4 Very Fine braid and Mill Hill beads. Stitched on 32ct Zweigart “Pearl Grey” Silk/Linen blend or Wichelt “Royal Crown Bonnie Blue” Linen.  I like the silk/linen blend over straight linen, but I’m liking blue over grey.  I have an email in to Wichelt asking what colour replaced “Bonnie Blue”

Designer’s Notes: Dragons are elusive creatures, even in the land of Enchantra. One only hears their occasional roar or feels the shudder of the air as they take flight. Or, that is as it should be … if all is well.

Once, in a time now consigned to myth and legend, a gentle dragon named Thanos was persecuted by the outside world and the mist-covered hidden lakes of Enchantra seemed his only refuge. All was well for a time but with safety came loneliness. Soon his cries filled the valley echoed beyond the hills until they reached and touched the heart of a similarly endangered water spirit, Meriana.

Meriana evaded mortals, conquered land hazards and mystical spirits until she finally surfaced in Thanos’ lake. Now the only sounds heard are the bubbling laughter of lapping water and the contented dragon hiss of misting spray. Legend says that anyone fortunate enough to glimpse the happy pair is forever blessed by fortune.

But, this rarely happens … for dragons are very elusive creatures, even in the land of Enchantra.

Why I was attracted to this design: I *think* I have the entire Enchantra series in my stash. I had plans on stitching the series and then framing them identically and framing the story of Enchantra that goes with these pieces.  I was in the SCA when these pieces were released so I had grand plans of asking a friend to calligraphy the story not just frame some typing.

So why haven’t I stitched it? Like all grand schemes … something else got in the way – or became a higher priority or I simply didn’t stitch fast enough.  In these cases I didn’t even get any of them kitted up.  So starting with Dragon Lake, hand dyed fabric? Or is the pattern too busy?  Would a plan background be preferred for this one?  Not a grey though.

Where can you buy it? Your LNS can order this in for you via Needlework Showcase. According to the Black Swan site this chart should cost around $8US.

Discussion questions: Do you have grand schemes for a series in your stash?  Or a series that you want in your stash?  Tell me about your grand plan!

Oh and don’t forget to vote in the Project-a-Day Poll please?