There are lots of silks, beads, and other fibers in Chatelaine Designs! Are there kits available?
European Crosstitch Company (ECC) (a U.S. based company) https://european-crosstitch-company.myshopify.com is the only officially authorized distributor of materials kits for Chatelaine Designs. ECC's kits do not include any DMC, so stitchers will need to source DMC on their own. And, charts are purchased separately from the kits. You can choose to purchase a paper chart from ECC (if available) or buy the PDF directly from Chatelaine Designs and still buy the kit from ECC. You will notice that ECC offers kitting options, such as to buy only the bead pack, to choose not to purchase fabric, and to choose not to purchase the NPI (solid color) silks. Typically, ECC kits do represent some cost savings over the regular retail price of the individual fibers and beads.
WOW – those kits are expensive! Any tips/hints to reduce cost?
The short answer is YES. Martina’s designing prowess is quite evident whether you choose to use the specialty fibers or substitute for DMC. Remember, no one who sees your completed masterpiece will know whether or not you used the specified materials. They will see only the completed magnificence!
Martina tried to give a DMC alternative on the materials list whenever possible. Note the word "alternative", not conversion. Martina did not necessarily choose the DMC most alike the specialty fiber. Rather, she chose the DMC color she thought worked the best for the design in that space. Sometimes, she felt there was no clear alternative (noted by n.a. on the materials list) to the original fiber.
You can also Google various canned conversion charts for the called for fibers and do your own conversion. In addition, you can choose other variegated fibers by comparing at your local needlework shop or using online photos or you can use fibers from your own stash you think are close. Personalization is OK!
Other money strategies: ECC does offer gift cards and some creative stitchers have purchased smaller denomination ECC gift cards for themselves on a monthly basis (say $25 or so per month) as their budget permitted and saved the gift cards until they accumulated enough to purchase their kit of choice. ECC has historically held one or two 10% off sales per year. Those are often announced in the Chatelaine Support Group.
How long does it take for European Crosstitch Company to ship a kit?
It depends. Often they are waiting on delivery of certain fibers from the dyers/suppliers. Depending on that supplier’s backlog, it can take weeks or months for ECC to receive all of the necessary supplies. Cindy typically sends kits within a few days of receiving all the supplies. It may take a little longer following a sale due to volume. Cindy is usually very responsive to emails from stitchers. So, before you post about it in the Support Group, please attempt to communicate directly with Cindy to address your concerns. If you are anxious to get stitching, Cindy may be able to send you what is in stock and follow up with the remaining items once they are received. Just ask! Why don’t they keep all the kits in stock all of the time? Well, have you seen the prices for all those wonderful specialty fibers and beads? The cost of inventory would be very prohibitive for a small business to stock ALL of the kits for all of the many Chatelaine Designs 100% of the time. It’s hard to be patient – oh, how well we know!!
Oh, no! One of the fibers specified by the materials list has been discontinued!
Unfortunately, one of the downsides to using those luscious hand/over dyed fibers is that sometimes the dyers discontinue some colors, or they have to change the recipe when their dyes are no longer available. We try to include a list of discontinued colors along with any substitutes Martina may have suggested or that other stitchers have found and shared in the Tips, Hints and Errata section of each design. Sometimes, Cindy at ECC will know and have a substitute to suggest or include in the kit. If you come across something not identified on the website, please post it in the Chatelaine Support Group to ask for help. The admins will try to note the responses and update the website accordingly.
Should I wash my fabric and/or fibers?
From the advice of many experienced stitchers who have tried, the answer is NO! The hand dyed fibers will lose their vibrancy and/or bleed, even if the fibers are washed prior to stitching. We have had horrific stories of people losing entire works (years of stitching) due to bleeding of fibers. There are some stitchers who do wash and have had success, but in our opinion, the risk is too great. Our advice is to use all available methods to protect your work during stitching and spot clean if absolutely necessary.
Fiber Calculation Error
In some charts, the Petite Treasure Braid and Petite Silk Lame have been erroneously calculated. These fibers are sold as skeins of 20 yards (60 feet). Martina's software calculated the skeins as only 8 meters (roughly 26 feet). Thus, the materials list calls for an unusually large amount of these fibers. As we locate each chart with this error, we will correct in the Tips and Hints sections.
In the interim, you can use the following example to help calculate the correct amount:
A skein of PTB and PSL have 720 inches of thread. Take the amount of inches listed in the materials list and divide by 720. This will give you the number of skeins.
EXAMPLE For PSL 72 below: 1768 inches / 720 inches = 2.45 skeins. This means you will need 3 skeins, NOT 6 as the material list states.