Fair warning: this is a long, rambling post in which I'm begging for your opinion, if you've one to venture.
Well, I'm having a bit of trouble deciding which fabric to use for an upcoming new start, so I figured I'd write about it and get some input, if you're willing. :) The chart in question is called Crystals and Crows, by Omar Rayyan, an artist whom I adore! HAED has already been charting his wife's work, and I thought if he ever submitted work to be charted, I would definitely pick one to stitch. So here we are!
I must confess, I'm actually surprised by my own choice. I thought I might wait for Contessa with Squid to be charted (a personal favorite) or perhaps something like The Favorite. Instead, I chose the more whimsical fantasy piece, Crystals and Crows:
My quandary is choosing which fabric count to use: 18, or 25? Ordinarily, I would stitch my usual columns on 25ct. However, a chart with this much confetti does not lend itself toward column stitching at all, as I've found with Pavonia. It's not impossible, but cross country is much easier, as I don't like having too many parked threads, and each 10x10 block can easily contain over 50 colors. (I counted one with 78 colors on Pavonia once.)
I've never done cross country on 25ct, and as I'm getting older (new glasses again this year) I thought maybe it's time to switch to 18ct. (I've decided I don't like 20ct very much anymore; it gets too bulky with a lot of confetti.) I know this project will take several years, and all that confetti can be hard to see sometimes, as I've learned with Pavonia. However, I am resisting the commitment to 18ct! It's a matter of pixelation: I want the details to be as defined as possible, but I also need to see when I'm missing a stitch. Normally I don't mind the difference between different fabric counts, but for some reason, this one is bothering me.
To help with my decision, I did a small test swatch on 25ct and 18ct fabric. I wish I had chosen something specific to test for detail, but I was more interested in testing the confetti factor. So I stitched a bit of random background leaves, and not even well defined ones at that, from the middle of the pattern in a 3 square grid, so 900 stitches. I did meander a bit, but it's mostly the same between the two:
|18ct on the left; 25ct on the right|
For those that are interested, here are the backsides to each swatch:
Every time I think I've made up my mind, I change it again. Non-stitchy friends have claimed the colors are easier to see on the 18ct, and it looks brighter. I agree, but I don't know if the brightness is a side effect of the white fabric (didn't have ivory in my stash).
I think I may know which way I'm leaning, but I thought I'd fish for opinions from fellow stitchers before I decide for sure. :) Thanks in advance for any comments or opinions!