I was very flattered to receive an email from Yiota asking me to review one of her cross stitch kits. I got to browse all the goodies on her website and pick the kit of my choice, which is this one:
The kit came in the post in a cardboard-backed envelope, and contained a cover page with a full color computer-generated mock up of the design, the chart on A3 size paper and a sheet of instructions. Papers and materials were inside a plastic envelope, and therefore protected from the elements.
Materials-wise, when you purchase a kit from Yiota you get to choose between Aida 14 count and evenweave 28 count. I really can't stand Aida anymore so I chose the evenweave option, which ended up being a very nice antique white lugana, cut to size with plenty of allowance for framing (2 to 3 inches all around), with a needle stuck in it.
The enclosed floss is nice quality Madeira thread, and best of all, it was already bobbinated! This particular aspect of the kit is my favorite, as it allows you to just go ahead and get started as soon as you receive it; you don't have to spend hours cutting thread and winding it onto bobbins, or trying to figure out which color is which :)
Not all bobbins are full skeins, but it does look like there will be plenty to complete the design. Colors that require multiple skeins are on as many bobbins, no need to wind your extra skeins as it's already been done for you!
For those who are hardcore DMC fans, the symbol key thoughtfully provides the DMC equivalent for each color, as shown below:
I haven't started stitching it yet but I had a good look at the chart, and I was happy to see that it is large format, clearly printed on good quality paper, the symbols are very clear, and it is very rare to see two similar symbols next to each other.
So all in all, a very well put-together kit, which provides everything one might need to start stitching right away. Yiota and her husband provided great attention to detail and put together a very good product.
The only suggestion I would have would be to serge the fabric before sending it just to make it that much more extra special.
Go ahead and have a good browse at the website here, you will find a huge selection of cross stitch designs, which you can order as kits or chart-only if you are so inclined.