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I bought this kit at Barnes & Noble on a whim (for a little more than bn.com has it; they had it at half-price in the store).

Creepy Cross Stitch kit

It came with a booklet with twelve patterns and project ideas for the finished pieces, six pieces of 14-count Aida (three white, three black), six colors of floss (DMC colors 310, 535, 703, 712, 744, 900), and two needles (which I did not find). Three of the projects called for DMC 3862, which was not included. The floss came in skeins secured by tape like the grey in the picture; I’d already wound the rest onto bobbins by the time I decided to take the picture The booklet implies the floss is DMC; the colors that I had on hand (grey, a little green and black) seemed to match well enough, but the texture of the floss did not seem the same as DMC; it also seemed to fray and separate more at the ends. The booklet contained a cross-stitch tutorial, the twelve patterns and project ideas (six for black Aida, six for white), an alphabet and some accents and borders, and some references and links. I couldn’t find the needles that were supposed to be included, but I probably wouldn’t have used them anyway (they were size 24 and I prefer a smaller needle).

All in all, I’m satisfied with this kit. The designs are great and work up easily. The charts themselves are OK; they use colored X’s that go from corner to corner of the grid and faint gridlines; I think I would have preferred smaller X’s or different symbols or even solid colors and stronger gridlines. I don’t know if I will do any of the project ideas, but they all look relatively simple (for someone who sews regularly, anyway). The reviewers at bn.com did mention that the instructions were not suited for an absolute beginner, and I think I agree with that: the instructions did seem to assume a basic knowledge of sewing and working with embroidery floss; they did not even mention cutting your floss to a reasonable length before starting. There were also the occasional 1/4 and 3/4 stitches that were not mentioned in the stitching tutorial.

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