I've been stitching along, happily if intermittently, on the Shirvan miniature carpet -- happily although more than a little daunted by the small size of the chart and the mid-1990s photocopy-generation printing quality in the book. Mystifyingly, Cooper also used two very similar symbols for two very similar shades of red and for two similar shades of green -- a serious error of judgment, in my opinion, since of course it is therefore very easy to confuse not only the two reds, but the two greens.
Well, I was quite pleased to feel myself ready to start the center section the other day, and carefully counted out the white stitches -- since of course if you make a mistake setting it up, everything from there after is thrown off! -- and was rather puzzled to find that the next-lightest shade, an off-white, was combined with the white in the round medallions in the corners, and then in the diamonds a little further up. Two whites together -- well, he knows what he's doing, right?
Then after I'd worked a substantial amount of the second white, I looked at the color photo, and it isn't two whites at all in the finished carpet, it's white and medium-red! And not even in the same places as on the chart! See the little tuning-fork shapes in the chart? those, the blank squares, are white, the slash "background" is off-white, and the dot is dark red -- but in the finished carpet, the tuning-fork is definitely red, the background maybe off-white, and the outline white?
Cooper's symbol for medium-red is the dot with a slash through it -- I thought maybe he'd confused the slashed dot with the plain slash, medium-red for off-white -- but no, it's actually the reverse of that in the finished carpet. And that's just the round medallion -- the diamond above is also completely different.
Let's not even get started on what happened to those little plusses across the bottom, under the spidery figure, which have almost completely disappeared in the finished carpet! They are all fairly bright colors in the chart -- including white and off-white! -- and should stand out clearly.
What a shame -- these are all wonderfully detailed charts of some really beautiful little carpets, and while I'm still excited about making many of them in future, I'm feeling really frustrated not only at the difficulty of deciphering similar symbols on a small and not-very-high quality print of a chart, but now I can't trust that the chart will produce something that looks like the photo of the finished carpet. Hence the "grrr." I think this carpet will be really lovely when it's done, but ... grrr.
(I have, by the way, found only a single instance of this miniature carpet on the internet, by a stitcher on the American Needlepoint Guild website, but she obviously changed her colors along the way to look more like Cooper's finished one. I'm guessing she just said to herself, "the heck with it," and did what she wanted for the center section, as those diamonds at the sides, the ones I'd just started, are like neither Cooper's chart nor his finished carpet!)
No, I didn't really like the white/off-white combination anyway, so -- heavy sigh -- I am going to pick it all out now.
Perhaps needless to say, I have also just now enlarged my high-resolution photograph of the two center-section charts, enlarged those, and made myself some copies of half of each -- so four gigantic charts, each one quarter of the center section, which I am now going to cross-check and re-color. But first, a nice cup of tea, I should think.