Here is the miniature carpet worked to a 1903 chart, presumably for Berlinwork or something of the sort, that I found in numerous places on the internet with no source given. I was really taken by its air of firmly-controlled chaos, and that wildly-unusual diagonal.
Laboriously typing the Cyrillic into Google Translate -- because that's how much of a geek I am -- I find that the inscriptions say, at the top, "Album of Patterns" and "Appendix to the 'Homeland' [or 'Motherland', but the gist is clear!] magazine" of January 1903, with "Pattern for carpet" at center bottom, and the publisher, presumably, A. Caslary at bottom left.
I fed the image into a chart creator, hoping to get some suggestions for colors, but in the end it was much simpler to just work from a print-out of the image itself, though I did use many of their color choices. I ended up with nine colors, each using two close DMC shades as I really like the depth of color you get by blending threads --
- dark green (in the border, etc.) = 934 + 935
- mid-green (the over-painted squares) = 3347 + 3052
- light green = 3052 + 3053
- light gold/yellow = 3821 + 3822
- dark gold = 783 + 3852
- red = 400 + 3777
- cream = 3033 + 3866
- blue = 931 + 932
- brown-black = 3371 + 3031
- fringe = 3866
As it happened, I realized after I had already committed myself to the dark gold, that a number of the figures -- the red-outlined flowers and the non-green "leaves" on the white stripe, and some of the outlines in the red sections -- are not gold but a sort of goldish salmon. Mine are now all gold! It was also quite difficult to distinguish the light-blue squares from the light green most of the time, certainly on my printout. On the whole, I thought that my color choices, while quite happy together, are more vivid than the somber -- if this carpet can ever be called somber! -- ones of the original chart, so I might work it again someday in different shades, maybe in wool.
I've been wanting to try adding the "tabby" to a petitpoint carpet -- that little natural-colored woven bit on each end, between the carpet proper and the fringe. I've seen this on Anna-Carin's site and in Sue Hawkins's book -- the method is either a running stitch or a backstitch in a plain color (usually off-white). Unfortunately, neither worked on my Russian --
-- I'm pretty sure due to my canvas choice, a Monaco evenweave. Ordinarily I like this stuff -- it is a fine count but not too fine for novices, it stands up well to both stitching and picking out as well as to blocking, and it is readily available. (Or used to be, I should say -- after I had worked a couple of carpets on it, both with wool and with floss, and decided that I liked it, it began to disappear from the various Michael's and Jo-Ann stores around town -- "nobody stitches on 28-count any more," I could almost hear them say -- so I stocked up when I did find it. Now I have rather a lot, mostly white except this stash of "mushroom" that was on clearance.)
But the running stitch (worked with a single strand), in the first photo, pretty much disappears into the weave of the Monaco, and the backstitch (worked with two strands), just sort of gurgles and bubbles ineffectively.
Here is a partly-worked carpet in crewel wool on needlepoint canvas -- you can see how proportionately larger the holes are than in the Monaco --
I suspect that the closer weave makes the threads curve more as they travel in and out, even in the length-wise direction of running stitch and backstitch, and that that in combination with the difference in height between the warp and woof strands makes the thread not sit the way I want it to. So, to make a long story short, I don't think the tabby will really work with floss on Monaco canvas, alas.
So I have fringed my Russian, and with luck no-one will notice or be disappointed that it doesn't have a tabby.
I'm absurdly pleased with the carpet, actually. It was an interesting challenge, matching the floss colors myself and working to the hand-painted chart, and feel that a whole world of antique charts is opening up to me!