During the Fall season I usually get the urge to make some cross-stitch gifts for the holidays. This year I decided to make a wolf counted cross-stitch picture for one of my teenage grandsons for Christmas. I needed something masculine and thought a wolf might be nice.
I looked at a lot of different wolf pictures and decided I liked the Wolf counted cross-stitch kit from Dimensions.
Like the other Dimensions kits I had bought the kit included the pattern, pre-sorted cotton thread, 18 count white cotton Aida, needle and instructions.
The Wolf pattern uses full counted cross-stitch, half cross-stitch, french knots and outline stitching for emphasis and depth and this detailing really makes the picture stand out. The design of this cross-stitch gives the finished picture a 3 dimensional aspect with the cross stitch, half cross-stitch, french knots and outlining being used for artistic effect.
The pattern came with starting and working order instructions as well as samples of the various stitches required, color coded keys (with code #'s, lengths, color names, and cross-stitch symbols) and a chart with color coded symbols.
While I was very pleased with the end results of this design there are some things in the kit and in the instructions that can be improved upon.
I was very happy with the color coded chart as it was quite large at 13" by 9" and very easy to read.
As was the case with previous Dimensions kits the thread sorter was poorly designed. The embroidery threads were glued to foam backed 4" by 1 1/4" strips of cardboard that had a picture of the color of the thread and it's number. In order to get to the threads you had to separate the foam back from the cardboard strip. Very quickly the threads separated from their section and then you no longer knew what the thread number was to tie to your symbols & legends.
As I have done with other cross-stitch kits I've completed I had to alter the thread sorter to suit my needs. I pulled the thread sorter apart to get rid of the foam and then punched holes in the cardboard strip just above each color and color #. I inserted the floss threads that went with that color and color # through the hole and tied them in a loose knot. I then added color coded symbols with colored pens beneath each color so I would know what symbols went with what color.
Short of changing the thread sorter all together to make things even easier for the user the color symbol should at the very least have been shown on the thread sorter strip of cardboard as well. That way you would only need to use the thread sorter strip of cardboard to follow your chart.
I also decided to once again utilize the rectangular wood frame jig that my darling husband built for me that I could tape the edges of the 18 count white cotton Aida to. The wood frame jig is a rectangular embroidery hoop of sorts and can accommodate a 5" by 5" cross-stitch picture kit or 5" by 7" cross-stitch picture kit. He had made it out of 1/2" x 1" pine wood strips with an adjustable center strip that I use for the 5 x 5 square designs.