After my success with the Han Phoenix cross-stitch box lid, I decided to work a lid for another box I had stored, this one for my granddaughter who is interested in snakes, using a design from a book of Celtic Cross Stitch. The book has four designs based on intertwining snakes, and I chose one based on a figure 8 and four snakes.
My first challenge was to reduce the size of the finished work to the size of the box lid. The design was for 28 thread linen, and I calculated I needed to stitch it on 22 thread fabric to get the fit. A bit of searching led me to hardanger fabric, which is, I discovered, commonly 22 threads per inch. I found a sand coloured 22 thread hand-dyed linen at Stitches and Spice ordered a fat eighth for $15 and had it two days later.
Following my Han Phoenix success, I wanted to use silk threads for this, so I began the outlines with a really dark brown Madiera thread I already had, following the 2 thread instruction (designed, of course, for DMC!). I soon worried that I should have used a single thread - both for economy and because it seemed so heavy, but once into it I decided to keep going and dashed off to Country Bumpkin for more thread.
I ended up using a variety of silks to fill the snakes - Madiera, Gloriana and Gumnut Buds. The variegation of the hand-dyed ones worked well for the snakes.
There were some tricky bits around the faces.
I also had some difficulty removing the grid threads in some places. Maybe next time I will be confident enough to work with only centre tacking lines.
The finished piece looked good - and just fitted the lid as I had hoped.
I then used some gold thread to outline my grand-daughter's initials - BSDK- in the twists of the snakes.
It was very subtle - too subtle, I decided, for an eight year old, so I added initials in cross-stitch in the lower right-hand corner and mounted the embroidery into the box.
I lined the box with the same felt I had used for my phoenix box.
This has taken quite a while, but been a very satisfying project - again, it has the variation of tasks that I like.