This page was the fastest I have stitched. I did work on it at least 8 hours each day, but that's not unusual for me when I have a large project underway. I finally feel that I have come to terms with working on a huge project like this HAED. It only took three years to work out a system that suits me - obviously I'm slow learner! I have never gridded or marked charts as I worked, but I soon discovered that when working on the HAED chart this wasn't working for me - I spent as many hours counting stitches and finding my place as I did actually stitching. I tried gridding (several times using different sized grids), carrying threads at the back, stitching in 10 stitch squares (not for me - this one drove me almost to abandoning the project), marking the chart with highlighter, and eveything else anyone suggested.
I found that this is what works for me:
- I break down each page chart into two halves, and enlarge them slightly. This gives me a manageable size chart to work with, and I attach it to my fabric using magnets, so it's always in sight.
- I keep the next page handy as I work at the edges of the page, and check any isolated stitches to see if they continue onto the next page - if they do I stitch them. This saves having to start a fresh thread for one or two stitches.
- I attach a dark lead pencil to my frame, and before I end off a thread I mark on the chart the stitches I have just put in, checking as I do that they are correct (this saves frogging later, and I often discover another stitch charted in the same floss just a few stitches away from what I've done).
- When I'm stitching an area, I first stitch any isolated stitches or small groups - I find that easier than going back to do them later, and if I carry threads across the back for a few stitches the threads get covered up later when I stitch the adjacent stitches. In any case, I don't move on to another stitching area till all those pesky confetti stitches are done.
- I laminate the floss list, and attach it with a long colourful ribbon to my scissors - that way it's easier to find both when I need them.