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I must confessed that I am absolutely addicted to counted cross stitch! I always have a project going and boy am I popular at Christmas when I give samplers as gifts! I have also done Maltese cross stitch.

It's not hard, but you have to be a crafty, detail type person to enjoy it, I think.

Here's the link to my favorite online store. Click on search and enter "guitar" or even "music". I found a book of "one nighter" patterns by Jeanette Crews that has 38 musical instruments that might be fun for you to try:

http://www.stitchncountryinc.com/

I've posted this link before, but for those of you who do cross stitch, check out this free pattern for a Maltese angel (they are calling her a Bichon, though) It's is beautiful made up.

Scroll down about halfway - she's March:

http://www.vsccs.com/charts/FreeCharts.html
 

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If you have a Michaels or AC Moore near you, you can get everything you need there for a lot less.

You will get a pattern to follow. It will also come with a list of the floss colors you need (25 cents each at AC Moore). You can get a package of 14 count Aida cloth for a couple of dollars there, too.

I'll see if I can find some good basic how to instructions for you to download.

It really is fun and addictive if you like doing that type of thing!
 

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Kodies Mom:

http://www.stitchncountryinc.com/index.cfm carries it. It's made by Pegasus Originals so you can search by designer or just "maltese".

Pico's Mom:

Janine (Alex's Mom) is our needlepoint expert here, I think. She would probably know more about patterns for needlework. I know you can get a canvas printed from a photograph to work in needlepoint. That would be wonderful to do of Pico, wouldn't it?

As far as the threads/floss go, they used to be all the same. Recently they have come out with hand dyed floss with variations in color which add a lot of interest and are especially great for doing samplers.

I started with needlepoint many years ago, then a friend introduced me to counted cross stitch. I've been hooked ever since!
 

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Kodies Mom, I have no problem clicking "add to cart" to order it. Is that what you tried?

At the top of the page is a link to email Laura directly if you still have a problem. I have found her to be very helpful. I'm sure she can send it to you.

FYI, her shipping is minimal, basically what it costs her to send something, I think. With the high price of gas, it's cheaper to order from her than drive all over town.
I have ordered as little as one skein of overdyed floss from her!
 

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I don't know what is going on with Stitch and Country. I have ordered from them for quite awhile and ever had a problem, but the last order I placed for a pattern and some R&R overdyed fabric was a problem, too. I got an email from Laura saying neither were available any longer and she needed to update her website.

I thought it was just a fluke, maybe a not so mainstream pattern (Celtic birth announcement), until you related your experience. I feel badly for recommending the company to you if they have scaled down their stock.

A word to the wise about the Pegasus Maltese. It IS for advanced stitchers. You have to work with about 5 or 6 different shades of white and gray that all look alike, plus use belnding filament (for sparkle) in some areas. I keep needles threaded in bags with the floss for the different colors because sometimes you have to change the color every few stitches or so. You also have to work in small squares or you lose your place.

The finished piece is lovely, but it can make you crazy sometimes! Best to stick to the easy ones in the beginning!
 

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Walmart and AC Moore have the cheapest floss for about 24 cents. It lasts a long time so you really won't spend that much on floss unless you start getting into the hand dyed sampler threads.

I'd recommend starting with a 14 count Aida or another evenweave. It has little squares so it is much easier to use than a linen. When you get your floss, take a look at them and you'll see what I mean.

You'll have to get blending filament from a specialty needlework store or online as craft places like Michaels or AC Moore don't carry it. In the Pegasus Maltese, I used a white, pearlized blending filament mixed in with the floss to give the picture a shine/highlights in certain areas. I am currently working on a birth sampler for my brand new grandaughter that also calls for blending filament. I ordered it from Stitch & Country.

I can't wait until you are able to start a project. It is very addictive! A a great stress reliever...unless you make a mistake! Check your work often as those little X's are a pain to take out!
 

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It;s much harder to count on linen since there are no squares. You have to go over 2 threads and have really good eyes because the weave is so tiny.

You can switch to 14 count Aida easily. If your pattern calls for 28 count linen, it will be the same size on 14 count Aida.

Happy stitching!
 
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