I bought this cross-stitch Navajo rug design at one of the gift shops at Mesa Verde this summer, pleased to find a needlework souvenir and delighted that it would look charming in Laura's dollhouse.
The kit is "Burntwater II" from NP Designs -- there were a number of different designs of various styles and colors available. Everything is included in the kit but a hoop, and the chart is very easy to read, despite the relative complexity of the design. It would have been even easier, of course, if I hadn't mistaken one of the pale blue-grey shades for another and realized that I would have to pick out the entire center medallion and redo it -- sigh -- but I managed to finish it in a little over six weeks.
There is a sheet of instructions and tips, one of which was to use three strands of the floss -- "if you prefer, you can work the kit with 2 strands but it will not look as dense" -- and another of which was to separate each strand, then put the three back together, to reduce the floss's tendency to twist. This being really only my second major cross-stitch project, I used the three strands as recommended, but I wonder if the result wasn't quite as even as my "Gather Ye Rosebuds" picture because the three strands tended to crowd each other, as it were, competing for the space in that tiny hole. I also tried the separating-the-strands technique, but after picking out my center medallion mistake, I decided not to do it the second time around -- the technique may have helped with the twisting, but like that third strand, it seemed to make the floss "fluffier" so that it didn't lie as smoothly as I would have liked.
There are no instructions in the kit about finishing -- I suppose they assume that you are going to frame it, not use it in a doll's-house -- so I had to look elsewhere. Whipping the edges as the doyenne of doll's-house carpets, Janet Granger, does in her excellent tutorial, did not in fact work here -- I guess because of this Aida canvas being such different proportions of threads-to-holes than the interlock she has used for her tent-stitched carpets -- my canvas showed through quite a lot. Instead I used the long-legged cross stitch recommended by Sue Hawkins in her Dolls House Do-It-Yourself Carpets and Rugs, which when pulled snugly tends to pull the edge under quite nicely for folding, exactly as she says it will.
This finish has a beautiful braided effect, and turned out very nicely, I think.
I tacked down the trimmed edges of the canvas with herringbone stitch, which I decided to work staggered, in case any of it showed on the right side -- don't know if this was at all necessary, actually. (I didn't starch the carpet, though, as Hawkins recommends. It doesn't really seem to need it.)
I must admit that working this really brought home how poor my eyesight is getting -- after stitching happily for a few days, I took a really close look at it and saw any number of stitches where I'd just missed the hole, and the leg of an X here and there was a bit longer on one side than the rest, or that I'd completely missed crossing some at all and had to go back for just half a stitch! I left one of them in on purpose -- it's doll's-house "wear and tear" now! I ended up wearing two pairs of my drugstore reading glasses now and then, or a pair over my regular glasses -- David thought this was hilarious, but then he doesn't have to wear glasses at all, so he would, wouldn't he.
Laura doesn't seem to be as interested in the house as I am, though, so -- well, I have it in my room, now.
I need to make a sink, I see, and a dresser more to scale ...