Wednesday 18 November 2020

Sampler SAL - SAL Announcement Post

For 2021 I thought it would be fun to explore embroidery as a whole with a bit more focus on stitches that are often used in cross stitch and also some of the fancier speciality stitches that seem so daunting when you aren't used to doing them. I also want to do a bit with some finishing methods to help make finishing that much easier.

Many of the things I give can be done on Aida as well as on evenweave. Sometimes I will mention that a particular page will need to be done on evenweave - I don't do this to be a pain to those that prefer Aida - I usually stitch on Aida myself - but because some things just work better when you have more threads and don't need to stab into a bunch of threads (which are rarely an even number) and hope for the best.

You are probably wondering about the page thing I mentioned just now. I'm planning on making mine into a book when finished so I'm making each months patterns fit in a single area that I am calling a page. There will be a new page each month that has space for the planned stitches AND some extra space for you to practice or personalise.

Each month will focus on a set of stitches, a technique, a material or something like that. I'll give the materials list for the next month every third week of the running month unless it turns out more time is needed.

You don't need to buy a bunch of stuff in advance - I'm going to try and use things you might already have in the house so I will give a few things to not throw away should you get your hands in it - I'm not going to guarantee you need it *all* - I'm just listing things to keep in case that's what you choose to use and by giving a wider variety it makes it easier for people to find something useful without spending any money on it. I do not want to make this too expensive to join in with and I'll be rooting around my house for the things to use too.


  • This is a Sampler SAL.
  • Each month will cover an area of 110 x 77 stitches.
  • The patterns will be given in a wide variety of stitches.
  • Patterns will be given weekly.
  • There will be 49 or 50 pdfs (I'm not sure how 2021 will go - if I go on holiday in the summer I *may* not be posting to the blog.) with part of the stitches in them.
  • Pattern colours are used based on what shows up well enough in the pdf. Use your favourite colours, adjust them to the season, use birthstone colours, whatever takes your fancy! Most importantly have fun with your colour choices.


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


  • New patterns will be given every Tuesday.
  • I will start on the 5th of January 2021.


You probably don't want to do this too small - I suggest doing it on 14ct/28ct fabric but it's entirely up to you! If you wish to calculate the fabric for yourself based on your plans or with less finishing space then this is a helpful tool.

For each page you will need a bit of 14ct/28ct fabric that is 14 x 11 1/2 inches.


For January you will need:
  • A bit of 28ct evenweave of 14 x 11 1/2 inches unless you are happy to get stabby with a sharp needle later in the month if you choose Aida.
  • You will need about half a skein of floss but you can do it in several colours if you prefer. I made the design in four shades of blue and need 0.1 skein each but not all stitches are counted correctly with thread use so it's better to have a bit more on hand, especially for the last week.
  • A circular object that is 1 1/2 - 2 inches across. I measured a shot glass and it was about right (as was the mini Hendrick's gin bottle that was next to it). You won't need to stitch it, it's just a handy tracing tool.
  • A pen, or water soluble pen, or chalk - something to draw with that won't run if you wash your finished work - it doesn't need to come out.
  • A needle - any kind will do but perhaps a tapestry needle will be easiest.

Things to keep if you see them for later in the year:
  • Cut off bits from finished embroideries might be handy - they need to be about 3"/7.5cm high x about 6"/15cm minimum. Don't cut to size - keep them at full size if they are bigger.
  • Leftovers from Mill Hill kits and spare buttons are handy to keep
  • You will need at least one skein of variegated thread (or more if you so choose) but it doesn't have to be a whole one - leftovers will probably do.
  • I'll be using DMC metallic and Kreinik #4 Very Fine Braid but you can use any brand you have/like.
  • If you buy new clothes look and see if they have ribbons to keep them on the hangers, this is a good source of skinny ribbon. You need the nice feeling ribbon, not the rougher stuff.
  • Other ribbon that feels nice and isn't stiff will be handy too.
  • If you knit or crochet (or know someone who does) keep some of the slightly longer (foot/30cm) tail ends as they will be handy.
  • Cardboard, plastic or metal discs (perhaps flattened bottle caps)
  • Perle or crochet cotton (not till later in the year)
That's all I think for now but I hope it will help you prepare for next year. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask! 

I'll see you tomorrow for the next part of the Autumn Mystery SAL!


  1. Replies
    1. It should be - if occasionally a little challenging but hopefully not too much so :)

  2. Hermoso regalo de año nuevo. Gracias

  3. This idea seems to have evolved a bit since the last time we spoke about it...and I'm quite excited about this!

    1. It has! It may evolve a bit more as time goes buy once I get used to how much people can stitch in a week without falling behind. I'm excited about it too!

  4. I am new to this group. I have done a lot of cross stitch, a little blackwork, but little embroidery. I am excited to see what this year brings.


Sorry about the comment form moderation... some bored idiots are spamming my blog.