Prep Work

The wreath’s outside diameter is approximately 60/66 cm. I chose a piece of Weddigen linen with 16 threads per cm (#925); it was cut 115 cm x 115 cm.

The Weddigen linen used was distributed in the United States as part of the Legacy Linen line. This specific linen was called Alba Maxima (approximately 40 tpi). Unfortunately, it is no longer being made in all the three formerly offered widths. Remaining stock is getting more and more difficult to find. The good news is that 1.40 m and 2.30 m widths are still available. I purchased a large quantity of this beautiful linen so that my customers could get the best fabric for Schwalm whitework! This means that it is possible to purchase from me the exact linen cut used for this project. Other cuts are also available; please email me with your request.

First, the pattern has to be transferred to the linen; this is best done in one step. Transferring with an iron-on pen is a little challenging, because it is difficult to check if the pattern transfer is dark enough. As you can see, my pattern has some parts that were scorched and other parts where the design is very faint. But all in all it is a usable pattern.

If the design were to be split up and individual batches transferred later, there would be a danger that these parts would slip a bit making the overall pattern look unharmonious later. So, you will need a flat surface that is large enough for the overall pattern. To transfer the design on the straight of grain, the middle transverse and longitudinal axis are both marked on the linen with short Running stitches using coloured yarn and on the drawing with a dashed line. After the transfer is complete, the marking threads are removed.

Now, as usual, all outlines must first be covered with stitches. Here the order often plays an important role. As is always the case when you embroider a pattern for the first time and don’t have a template for it, mistakes happen. I’ve embroidered a similar motif before. I have learned from my mistakes and can now share some useful tips with you. These will be shared piece by piece over the days of Advent.

A word about the embroidery threads:
I used coton à broder No. 16, 20, 25, and 30. Although I have indicated the weight used, you are free to improvise.
For Satin stitches I like to use 2 strands of 6-ply stranded cotton, because the two threads lie a little flatter on the fabric and thus cover it better than a twisted thread. But the difference is only marginal – you can just as well use coton à broder No. 30.

My embroidery took
5 skeins of coton à broder No. 16,
2 skeins of coton à broder No. 20,
4 skeins of coton à broder No. 25,
3 skeins of coton à broder No. 30, and
3 skeins of stranded cotton.

I used Chenille needles No. 24 and No. 26 and a Tapestry needle No. 26.

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