HNW - Re: Linen evenweave? or cotton?

Mike Newell 72123.411 at
Wed May 5 15:19:51 PDT 1999

Dear Chris:

<In craft stores, if you look hard in the embroidery section you can
sometimes find packages that hold an 18-inch square of evenweave linen for
7 or 8 dollars; this is still cheaper than the $50-$60 per yard one pays
for the top-quality imported stuff in a needlework store.>

Yes, I've on occaision gotten some -- but they tend to be woven thinner and
flatter than the stuff I have. It's puzzling -- maybe I should take a
swatch of mine and compare it to all the variables the craft store has.

<As for Aida cloth, the competitions I see are pretty forgiving of it,
simply because so many people are beginners and that's what everyone starts
out with.>

I'm suprised at this -- I started on 22 count hardanger over 20- years ago
for cross stitch  and still like it.

<The advice my own Laurel (= mentor) gives is that, when you have to use
non-period materials, simply *explain why.* Don't feel you have to make
elaborate excuses or feel guilty.>

I agree-- we can't all afford tons of silk floss or lots of linen. I like
knowing that people at least understand what materials should be used.

<An approach that sometimes works for doing counted-thread work on non-even
linen, by the way, is to use waste canvas or an easy-to-count fabric on the
*wrong* side of your collars, cuffs or other garment pieces.>

I tried this many years ago for a chemise collar and cuff (the chemise was
made of a lightweigth, tightly woven cotton batiste). I didn't like using
it because insead of working stitches through holes of fabric and holes of
previous stitches, I was aiming at the center of a square of waste canvas.
I never used it again.

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