Tuesday, 29 October 2019

New Start - Haunted Library by Mill Hill

Hi everyone!

Yesterday I decided to treat myself to another new start. My stitching for Dark October has already involved a few new starts (more about that in the Dark October round-up post on 31st) but *shock horror* I decided to add in another to commemorate an annual event.

To be fair, I had planned to start this kit this year so don't feel too guilty about adding it to my growing WIP pile. This is, or rather eventually will be, Haunted Library by Mill Hill:

Haunted Library - Beaded Cross Stitch Kit

Haunted Library by Mill Hill
Stitched on supplied 14ct dark blue perforated paper
Started 28th October 2019

It's been 15 years since I last used 14ct and three strands of floss so it felt weird to be stitching on anything other than 16/32ct fabric; I definitely missed railroading and using the cut-and-loop starting method!

This is my first Mill Hill project, so here are a few observations and thoughts.

The threads come in a bundle, rather than pre-sorted, and I'm not sure would be easy to sort out without a shade card, given how close some of the colours are. However, as they're DMC, I didn't even try; I just cheated and went straight to my own stash!

All of the beads came mixed in two bags so, again, had to be sorted. Luckily I'd preempted this and invested in a Tacky Bob; what a life-saver!

I very rarely stitch in hand so couldn't get on with holding the perforated paper. I spent a bit of time sewing some spare aida to the top and bottom so that I could attach it to my frame and therefore use both hands, like I'm used to. Much better!

Apart from where there are stand-alone stitches, which don't lay too well due to the oversized holes in the paper, the coverage is really good.

I don't know if this is down to the perforated paper or to using three strands, but the thread loses its sleekness quite quickly. I'm using 16" lengths, so not exactly long, and finding I'm having to finish quite a way before reaching the end.

I'm very good at procrastinating and have been debating for ages whether to use the supplied perforated paper or swap it for aida. From using them on my monthly birthstone pieces, I found that Mill Hill size 11 beads are slightly too big for 16ct. Part of me wishes I'd done bought some similarly-coloured 14ct aida to stitch this on. Maybe I'll do that for the next one... or this one if I fancy a restart!!!

I'd be very interested to know your thoughts on these kits. Whereas some are happy to stitch on any type or count of fabric, perhaps I'm too attached to my beloved 16ct to be completely happy, and you should all just tell me to suck it up, enjoy the journey, and look forward to the stunning results these kits give!

Take care,
Rachel x

PS I'm way behind on answering emails but hope to catch in the next week or so. Bear with me, you will get yours eventually!


Linda said...

Love your new start Rachel. I have either 2 or 3 sets of the mill hill building series. I have never stitched any of them. I would probably switch to 14ct aida because that is all I stitch on.


Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

This is a fabulous design. I would probably switch to 28 count evenweave rather than perforated paper. I have done a larger Mill Hill on paper but I'm not a big fan.

Lesley said...

After reading somewhere recently that someone had nearly finished a Mill Hill on the paper, got a knot in their floss, pulled too hard and ripped the paper almost in half.........I’d be substituting fabric!!
Even so, love the MH designs

Faith... said...

I think it looks fantastic! I love stitching on perforated paper and I have never had a mishap with ripping or anything like that. Never thought of adding fabric to it to make it q-snap ready but will be keeping that in mind for the future.

Sorry to see that your Dark October is coming to an end.

Leonore Winterer said...

It's a great start. I love the Mill Hill kits and I'm surprised this is your first!
I share some of your thoughts concerning the perforated paper (like the single stitches), but I still enjoy it. Somehow, I find that stitching on the paper has a very unique texture that I enjoy creating, and the beads keep their place so nicely with the stiff canvas! Also (nor applicable for the large kits, of course) so ornaments are so nice and easy to finish like this.

Katie said...

Oh I love this new start. I understand all the points you made. I think it's one of those love or hate things. I love working on the paper and doing Mill Hill kits. I compare the floss to my DMC so I can sort it. I sort the beads while I'm using them. Most the time the marked bags are easy enough to tell them apart.

Astrids dragon said...

Great start so far, that's a fun one. I don't remember seeing it before.
I don't mind the perforated paper when making ornaments and I've used it before when I made the chapel. But when I start the village I think I'll use fabric. I'm just not sure what count yet.

Bethan said...

I am an aida girl. I don't mind count size, although I do end up using the smaller sizes quite a lot. I didn't even know until I started blogging that there are so many different types of fabrics I could use! x

Cathy said...

I've done many Mill Hill kits, using both paper and Aida. One difference is that I usually stitch on 14-count, rarely on anything smaller. Of course, I do things my own way! I only use two strands of floss and like the coverage. Like you said, this allows me to use the loop start and I can stitch the beads and floss at the same time if so inclined. I can usually sort my floss without problems using my ott light, but I do have a color card. I don't sort my beads; I just dump a back in a plastic food storage container and pull from there.

BTW, I learned a lot about your stitching habits from this post!