“row of cats”

I was looking back over recent posts on my blog the other day, also updating my galleries with photos of finished projects, and realised I’ve been very productive with crocheting of late, but hadn’t been doing much cross stitch.  So . . . I picked up my WIP: “Row of Cats” by Bothy Threads which looked like this in February


and got busy.

bothy cats april

Two new cats, and backstitch . . . which means only 5 more cats to stitch. 

One of the reasons I’ve been less than enthusiastic in working on this project is the horrible backstitch detail.  Horrible is the only word which describes it.  The kit came with 16 count aida which really is NOT the fabric adapted to the backstitch involved where lines don’t follow holes, but need to come up as quarter stitches in most places.  On  24 count evenweave it would have been a doddle, but on 16 count aida, even using a sharp pointed needle, adding backstitch detail is extremely laborious and messy.  Another criticism:  the kit comes with several colours in Lana threads, which is like a very fine wool.  The idea being to brush some of the cats after stitching, to make them fluffy.  Again, the choice of supplying 16 count aida in the kit is a bad one.  Instructions say to stitch with 2 strands of Lana . . . but it’s impossible to stitch neatly with 2 strands of this wooly thread on 16 count.  I tried, gave up, and have substituted normal cotton thread. 

A side note to Avis, who gifted me this kit and who will be reading this: don’t take my criticism to heart!  It’s not your fault!  The design itself is totally my cup of tea, and it’s going to look fabulous when I’ve finished!  I am mentioning the negative aspects of the kit here in case there is anyone out there who is about to start this design.  If yes:  I suggest you put the 16 count aida to one side, and prepare a piece of 24 count evenweave or linen.  I will also, be contacting Bothy Threads when I’ve finished, to leave feedback since they supply a “customer satisfaction” questionnaire with the kit.   

18 thoughts on ““row of cats”

    • if I’d looked more closely at the backstitch part, I would have started on evenweave ^^ The thing is, with this kit, is the chart is printed in 2 copies, one just the cross stitch and then a second copy with the backstitch detail. I should have looked at the second copy of chart first!

  1. Oh no, too many details! I’m sure when you get it done and over with you’ll love the finished product. It’s a really cool piece and the cats have lots of personality.

  2. Oh dear. I’m so sorry to have lumbered you with this LOL. Maybe there should be some grading on kit packaging because this sounds much more challenging than it looks. I’m sure Bothy Threads will appreciate your feedback. This kit is still for sale on their own web site. If anyone can, you can Claire! Your patience is paying off 🙂

    • don’t be sorry ^^
      If it was too easy, I’d have finished it in only a few days, and where would the fun have been in that, eh? Lesson learned though – next time I try a BT kit, I’ll look at the pages of chart with backstitch first, and use evenweave if necessary.
      I seem to remember I lumbered you with the funny half stitches on a Heritage Crafts kit, so we’re even lol.

  3. Love the cats! What a cute design.
    Backstitch is bad enough without having to do it on aida. I always replace it with evenweave now. Much nicer to stitch on. You’re doing a grand job of it, even with the aida though 🙂

  4. The cats are adorable. Sorry to hear about the backstitching problems, but I’m pretty sure the cuteness of the finished project will compensate more than adequately. (I know you’ll keep going anyway, but some egging on can’t hurt. 🙂 )

    • thanks for the “egging” lol . . . yes, I’m not one to give up that easily, but I do like to whinge occasionally.

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