- Pattern: by Teresa Wentzler
- Materials: 28 ct cashel "Castle View" by Silkweaver (old), DMC and Kreinik as (optionally) charted
- Size: 14" x 12"
- Time to stitch: ~51 days since April 2015
I am exceedingly chuffed with my first TW finish!
The pattern is ok... if I could do it again I would get the computer generated version available on patternsonline. My version was old, hand drawn, difficult to read in places, and had tons of errata. So, this pattern has lots of blended floss and fractional stitches. TW has created an optional metallic version, available here , where you add blending filament when cross stitching the dragon, and metallic cords and blending filament for backstitching the dragon. The backstitching is very extensive, 9 separate instructions pertaining to the dragon, plus there's backstitching for the trees, rocks, mountains, and castle walls. I made a little mod to the backstitching... as charted it said to use DMC 500 for all the exterior edges, face, etc of the dragon. Why do that, after you've gone to the trouble of using 6 metallic fibers for the rest of it? I opted to backstitch the exterior edges in Kreinik 018 HL blending filament (navy high luster).
I couldn't be happier with the fabric I chose, 28 ct cashel in Castle View, blue & white subtly variegated, suggestive of water and sky. For a chart like this with so many fractionals, I prefer 28 ct fabric. It's not too small and makes stitching the fractionals easier. I found floss list overwhelming at first, but with floss organized, and floss cards created for the blends, I was able to progress. Stitching with the blending filaments was easy in some cases and very difficult in others. All blending filament is not created equal! Some of the colors (like 009 HL- emerald high luster), were a real pain, bunching and shredding as I tried to stitch. Others like 032 pearl were no problem at all. When it came to the backstitching, the metallic fibers all behaved nicely. Stitching with the cord is interesting. It's more like a super fine wire, than thread, but it was easy enough.
My favorite details are the center turret, with the lit windows, and all the buttressing on the turrets. I also adore how sparkly the dragon is, and her curious pose, checking in on the tower. This chart has a rainbow of colors and a plethora of sparkle. All the blues and greens in the dragon are done with blended flosses plus various blending filaments. The lighter gold colors are done with blending filaments too. It was definitely a labor of love, requiring approximately 51 stitching days. That is an estimate since I started in 2015, before I started tracking days. 3 weeks are estimated for 2015, then 15 days each in 2016 and 2017.
Stitching a TW design was on my "stitching bucket list". However, Castle certainly won't be my last! I think I have embarked upon a love affair with TW's design aesthetic and there are several more I want to stitch... starting with Fantasy Triptych most likely.