A Mon Seul Desir

by Andrea Elizabeth

Christ is Risen!

Today I received the cross stitch chart of the Three St. Johns that I wrote about last week. I’m not going to use it as is, because it looks like the computer made a very low resolution chart of the icon, thus blurring the Saints’ eyes and the other finer details. Also, the shading is in black and gray instead of darker shades of the beautiful blue on their cloaks.

Since I’ve also been thinking of cross-stitching illuminated manuscripts, I have been looking into computer pattern makers. The free ones duplicate a pretty low resolution version with huge blocks of one color for shading as well as the blurring of finer detail just described. I may purchase the Hobbyware Pattern Maker professional version as it has gotten good reviews. With it, it looks like you can edit the details and customize it to bring out the things you like in the original. St. Joseph’s sent a large, richly colored copy of the original icon as well, so maybe I can use it to create a pattern that has brighter colors and more detail. Then maybe at some point I can create detailed patterns for illuminated manuscripts.

Meanwhile, in tomorrow’s mail I should receive the rest of the materials to start my new Scarlet Quince pattern, Lady with Unicorn: A Mon Seul Desir, copied from a 14th century tapestry. It is the sixth of the Unicorn series in which the other five depict the five senses. Read here for the meaning of each. Scarlet Quince also has the patterns for them if you want to see them.

This pattern is extremely detailed. A picture of the finished cross stitch is displayed instead of the original piece of art, showing how it will turn out. It has 650 x 534 stitches, 136 colors (DMC floss), and will be about 36″ x 30″ (18 ct). None of my local stores had Aida cloth big enough for this project, nor all the colors, or at least the right amount of particular colors, so I had to order what I still needed. Scarlett Quince patterns take experienced cross stitchers about a year to complete, so if you divide the time into the cost of such a large undertaking, it turns out to be a pretty cheap way to be beneficially occupied.