Thursday, 20 December 2018

Mamluk Cross Stitch SAL

As patterns go the Mamluk Cross Stitch SAL isn't very big or very complicated but it is very old and as a result the pattern was drafted from the only surviving section of the embroidery. It's made from flax fabric and embroidered with cotton - as you can see above it's not very clear which colour it was before other than small fragments of red. I suspect it was probably black due to how black seems to discolour as it ages (I could be wrong, this is just a guess of mine and I'm not an expert in the field). Edit: It seems I was wrong... it was blue as can be seen in the Ashmolean link I posted below - which proves that I am indeed not an expert!
As this is such a small fragment of a whole I thought I'd show the embroidery before you start so you can decide for yourself if you want to join in or not. I think it's very interesting that the designs used are so familiar. This is from the Mamluk period (1250-1517), possibly made in Egypt and when I saw it at the Ashmolean (you can read more about it here) last summer I just had to do something with it - it was just too wonderful not to. I have done the embroidery in 2 colours and will offer 2 versions of the pattern.
  • One showing the colours and stitches as you see them (more or less)
  • One with the missing stitches added - so much more red.

Don't stitch these lines!

What: 

  • This is a sampler drafted using the Mamluk embroidery shown above.
  • The pattern is 70 stitches wide and 76 stitches long.
  • The pattern is 1947 stitches.
  • The pattern is whole cross stitch only - no backstitching or speciality stitches! 
  • The pattern is split into sections by area and not by stitch count which means some months you get more than others.
    • January: the area you get is 480 stitches, but the number of stitches you need to actually stitch is 101.
    • February to December: the area you get can fit 440 stitches but as this is NOT full coverage you will have fewer stitches... as you can see by January's stitch count.
  • There will be twelve monthly patterns, see the grid above to see when you get each bit.
    • The pattern is given in two colours, not because you have to stitch it that way but because that's how it seems to have been originally stitched.

     Where: 

    • All patterns are posted here on my blog.
    • There is a Facebook group to share progress and talk about the project here.

    When:

    • Patterns will be given every second Tuesday of the month - there is a "calendar" in the side bar so you can see the exact dates.
    • I will start on the 8th of January 2019 - if you are able to keep up you will be finished before Christmas 2019! Admittedly life happens and so do other projects but the SAL will stay on this blog so you don't have to worry about the patterns vanishing.

    Fabric:

    • I have rounded up the numbers working from the actual size of the stitching to make sure you have enough fabric. 
    • Fabric amounts are given based on stitching over one bunch of Aida or over two threads of evenweave. 
    • If you decide to stitch over one you will of course need less fabric. 
    • I have given 3 inches / 7.62 cm of fabric on each side for framing. 
    • If you wish to calculate the fabric for yourself based on your plans then this is a helpful tool. 
    Size in inches:
    • For 14ct Aida/28ct evenweave:
      • The pattern is 5 inches x 5.4 inches.
      • It requires a piece of fabric that is 11 inches x 11 1/2 inches.
    • For 16ct Aida/32ct evenweave:
      • The pattern is 4.4 inches x 4.8 inches.
      • It requires a piece of fabric that is 10 1/2 inches x 11 inches.
    • For 18ct Aida/36ct evenweave:
      • The pattern is 3.9 x 4.2 inches.
      • It requires a piece of fabric that is 10 inches x 10 1/2 inches.
    • For 20ct Aida/40ct evenweave.
      • The pattern is 3.5 x 3.8 inches.
      • It requires a piece of fabric that is 9 1/2 inches x 10 inches.
    Size in cm:
    • For 14ct Aida/28ct evenweave:
      • The pattern is 12.7 cm x 13.72 cm.
      • It requires a piece of fabric that is 28 cm x 29.5 cm.
    • For 16ct Aida/32ct evenweave:
      • The pattern is 11.12 cm x 12.2 cm.
      • It requires a piece of fabric that is 27 cm x 28 cm.
    • For 18ct Aida/36ct evenweave:
      • The pattern is 9.91 cm x 10.67 cm.
      • It requires a piece of fabric that is 25.5 cm x 27 cm.
    • For 20ct Aida/40ct evenweave.
      • The pattern is 8.89 cm x 9.65 cm.
      • It requires a piece of fabric that is 24.5 cm x 25.5 cm.

    Floss:

    • Floss is calculated based on using two strands over one (or two for evenweave). 
    • Skein amount is given for DMC floss which has six strands and eight metres long - if you use another brand you may need more floss. 
    • You don't need any extra floss for the fixed version - what is given below will be sufficient for both versions
    • If you decide to stitch with one strand of floss over one fabric thread you will of course need less thread. If you need help calculating this please do ask!
    • This pattern is perfect for variegated threads!
     Floss use:
    • For 14ct/28ct you will need:
      • 0.8 skein of a dark colour - I used 3750 in the pattern
      • 0.1 skein of red - I used 321 in the pattern
    • For 16ct/32ct you will need:
      • 0.6 skein of a dark colour - I used 3750 in the pattern
      • 0.1 skein of red - I used 321 in the pattern
    • For 18ct/36ct you will need:
      • 0.8 skein of a dark colour - I used 3750 in the pattern
      • 0.1 skein of red - I used 321 in the pattern
    • For 20ct/40ct you will need:
      • 1/2 a skein of a dark colour - I used 3750 in the pattern
      • 0.1 skein of red - I used 321 in the pattern
    I hope you are as excited as I am to do this SAL - it will be easy to keep up with due to it's small size which will mean you could do this alongside another SAL or large project. I hope to see many of you in the FB group as well as here! If you have any questions please do ask! Either here or in the FB group works and I'll answer ASAP!

    8 comments:

    1. I may have to do this one. This fact that it is so historical appeals to me. I am curious about the original and the website really didn't have much information other than the fabric and thread used which means I MUST do more research :D It's going in the 2019 TOME OF INFORMATIONAL PLANNING!

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      1. It's an easy one to keep up with just because it's comparatively small. The site also gives the place where it comes from - which is nice, but it's a great place to poke around! Yay TOME!!

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    2. I might have to do this one as well, it sounds small enough to manage and I just KNOW you'll make it beautiful!

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      1. It should be pretty easy to keep up with as it's so small - I considered doing it as a short SAL but decided that might mean people wouldn't have time to keep up so went with the year long version. Thank you! :D

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    3. I did pieces of this for a "sampler pillow" for my mom a couple years ago. I used yellow and red colors and long armed cross stitch on a guess. I love you were able to see this piece in person and tell what the stitch used was. Thank you for sharing your experience and educating me (Yay Learning).

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      1. Oh that is fun! Red and yellow together is very pretty :) I was thrilled to get as close as possible to the embroidery at the museum... I was almost nose to glass when looking at it. Both in person and looking at the photo's my fiancé made made me think it was normal cross stitch rather than another stitch. Perhaps the fact that it's not an evenweave made it look different? It's been an education for me too - thanks for sharing your experience with this!

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    4. Again I thank you for sharing your experience. Glad you had so much fun! This is a great project. Found this site form another who posted in another embroidery group I am in. You are now famous as well as the already established awesome.

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      1. You are welcome! It's good to hear how you found my blog - I am always curious about that :)

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