The first finish was a Dimensions Daydreams kit. I'm not fond of working on Aida and had the extra problem of having miscounted one of the squares. Of course, I didn't know this until I had stitched most of it, so major frogging was necessary. At the time when it happened, I simply couldn't stand the thought of it and put the project aside. At any rate, it is finished now. :)
The next finish was much more challenging. This came as a kit-- one of three that I've purchased from this designer. I've had nothing but trouble with every one of them, but this was by far the worst of the bunch. The design was apparently done for the 1998 CATS festival, as it has this charted on the design, although it is not shown on the kit photo. The kit photo shows a blank space where the "CATS 1998" would be. Since the top & bottom three bands are identical, it looks like they simply left something off. Try to imagine a blank space between my bottom two rows, and you'll get the idea.
Kits from this designer are widely known for their shortages. I was aware of this when I started, thanks to first-hand experience with the two previous kits. Even so, I wasn't quite smart enough to check thoroughly before starting it. Silly me! I found out, too late, that the fabric was too short. Not just a little too short, but WAY too short.
Disgusted, I put the thing down. Fast forward about 10 years, and I pulled it back out again. I decided to start over. But, as I had already stitched about 1/3 of the design, there wasn't enough overdyed silk to start again. (There was barely enough in the kit to do the entire design once, much less make any mistake along the way.) This necessitated a color change. I decided to use Waterlilies "Harvest" floss on Apricot linen. Unfortunately, the colors didn't show well in my photo... poor lighting, and perhaps the wrong lens filter, I think.
Starting over wasn't so bad. The new colors suited me a bit better. But of course, there were more kit problems. First, there wasn't nearly enough #8 perle cotton. I had plenty in my stash, but that doesn't change the fact that this was a kit and should have had the correct supplies. To make up for the shortage of #8, there was WAY too much #12 perle. The instructions also had various flaws, mostly instructions that didn't match up to what was on the pattern. Easy stuff to figure out as long as you're paying attention, but just one more thing that shows poor quality control.
Aside from the kit issues, I also had several stitcher-created problems along the way. I took this project on a vacation in April and did a lot of the work on it then. Not being very bright, I decided that it would be a good idea to work on the Hardanger edging in the evening... in poor light... while I was tired from a day of sight-seeing. BAD idea! I ended up cutting the wrong threads (of course) and got to do some really fun (NOT!) Hardanger repair.
In case you haven't guessed, I am really, really glad this is done! LOL