A Cross-Stitch Sampler

This Cross-Stitch sampler is comprised of the following stitches:
A and B, solid; C, line work; D, stroke-stitch called also Holbein-stitch;
E, stroke and cross stitches combined.

Victorian Cross-Stitch Sampler
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The common use of cross-stitch and the somewhat geometric kind of pattern to which it lends itself are shown in the sampler, above.

The broad and simple leafage, worked solid (A) or left in the plain canvas upon a groundwork of solid stitching (B), and the fretted diaper on vertical and horizontal lines (C), show the most straightforward ways of using it.

The criss-cross of alternating cross-stitches and open canvas framed by the key pattern (C) shows a means of getting something like a tint halfway between solid work and plain ground. The mere work line or "stroke-stitch," not crossed (D), is a perfectly fair way of getting a delicate effect; but the design has a way of working out rather less happily than it promised.

The addition of such stroke-stitches to solid cross-stitch (E) is not at best a very happy device. It strikes one always as a confession of dissatisfaction on the part of the worker with the simple means of her choice. As a device for, as it were, correcting the stepped outline it is at its worst. Timid workers are always afraid of the stepped outline which a coarse mesh gives. In that they are wrong. One should employ canvas stitch only where there is no objection to a line which keeps step with the canvas; then there is a positive charm (for frank people at least) in the frank confession of the way the work is done.

There are many degrees in the frankness with which this convention has been accepted, according perhaps to the coarseness of the canvas ground, perhaps to the personality of the worker.


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