The Alexanders of Lintrathen 1829 is available as a printed booklet and as a instant pdf download. For the download please click HERE.
There are times when I look at a sampler and my heart will skip a beat; this sampler caused my heart to skip several. There is so much going on in the sampler that my eyes ping ponged back and forth trying to absorb all that a child crammed into a piece of linen measuring 16 by 17 inches. The maker certainly had an eye for detail, and there are many extra touches worked into the sampler awaiting discovery.
At first, I thought that there was no name contained within the sampler, but a closer examination revealed, in the right-hand border, the names of John Alexander and Helen Spaden. The left-hand border revealed the initials: MA, MA, JA, JA, MA, HA, and JA. They are the children of John Alexander and Helen Spaden (Splading), who married on December 23, 1797. The Alexander children were baptised in the church at Bridgend of Lintrathen.
Margaret Alexander, baptised April 9, 1801
Maysie Alexander, baptised June 7, 1804
Jannet Alexander, baptised March 2, 1806
James Alexander, baptised March 19, 1809
Mary Alexander, baptised December 16, 1810
Hellen Alexander, baptised February 24, 1814
Jean Alexander, baptised December 3, 1815
There are a further four sets of initials, all worked in black. We suspect that they are deceased forebearers of John Alexander. The date 1829 has been recorded on the sampler, and we believe that it was most probably Jean, the youngest daughter, that stitched the sampler when she was 14 years of age.
We know of one other sampler that was stitched in Lintrathen. That sampler is in the Leslie B. Durst Collection. It does not bear the maker’s name but was probably stitched either by Betty or Jannet Fenton in 1825. The two samplers have much in common, and we believe that they were taught either in the same school or by the same needlework teacher.
In the 1851 census, Jean Alexander can be found living with her sister Mary. She is listed as a handloom weaver of linen. Handloom weaving was a family business; the trade being handed down through the generations. It is possible that the linen the sampler was stitched on was woven by an Alexander. Whilst the 1851 census contains the last official mention of Jean Alexander, the survival of the sampler she stitched as a child is her lasting legacy. Her sampler is a primary historical source document in its own right.
So often a woman’s needlework contains the only words of hers that survive!
Our grateful thanks to The Contented Stitcher who lovingly stitched the model for the Alexanders of Lintrathen. At the very core of Hands Across the Sea Samplers there is a team of needleworkers who are passionate about antique samplers and being able to share those samplers with you.
Our reproduction of The Alexanders of Lintrathen is dedicated to Leslie B. Durst.
Leslie is a philanthropist and passionate supporter of the arts who has assembled a remarkable collection of samplers from Europe and North America. The Leslie B. Durst Collection is one of the largest and most comprehensive private collections of needlework in the world. Through her generosity in sharing not only the samplers in her collection but also her knowledge, Leslie has done so much to further the appreciation, understanding, and interest in samplers, particularly for Scottish samplers. Discovering her collection really fired our interest in Scottish samplers, and we are most grateful to her.
The Alexanders of Lintrathen has been reproduced with a palette of twenty colours from Au Ver à Soie’s range of Soie 100.3. We have provided conversions for Soie d’Alger and DMC. Thread usage on varying linen counts and number of strands of thread has been provided below.
The model was stitched on 46ct Weeks Dyeworks (Zweigart-based) linen in Cocoa.
100.3 1 strand 46ct / SDA 1 strand 46ct / SDA 1 strand 36ct / DMC 2 strands 36ct / SDA 2 strands 28ct / DMC 2 strands 28ct ~ Colour Description
002 / 131 / 131 / 927 / 131 / 927 ~ Grey green ~ light
022 / 525 / 525 / 832 / 525 / 832 ~ Golden olive
072 / 5384 / 5384 / 598 / 5384 x 2 / 598 ~ Turquoise ~ light
088 / S3932 / S3932 / 543 / S3932 / 543 ~ Beige brown ~ ultra very light
106 / 935 / 935 / 349 x 2 / 935 x 3 / 349 x 2 ~ Coral ~ dark
124 / 4633 / 4633 / 316 / 4633 / 316 ~ Antique mauve ~ medium
139 / 163 / 163 / 823 / 163 / 823 ~ Navy blue ~ dark
222 / 3045 / 3045 / 915 / 3045 / 915 ~ Plum ~ dark
242 / 4226 / 4226 / 3826 / 4226 / 3826 ~ Golden brown
246 / 5025 / 5025 / 500 / 5025 / 500 ~ Blue green ~ very dark
274 / 2146 / 2146 / 3011 / 2146 / 3011 ~ Khaki green ~ dark
307 / 2944 / 2944 / 3832 / 2944 / 3832 ~ Raspberry ~ medium
376 / 4645 / 4645 / 3726 / 4645 / 3726 ~ Antique mauve ~ dark
378 / 3735 / 3735 / 936 / 3735 x 2 / 936 x 2 ~ Avocado green ~ very dark
384 / 3026 / 3026 / 777 / 3026 / 777 ~ Raspberry ~ very dark
527 / 3316 / 3316 / 154 / 3316 / 154 ~ Grape ~ very light
677 / 2244 / 2244 / 783 / 2244 / 783 ~ Topaz ~ medium
765 / 1422 / 1422 / 793 / 1422 / 793 ~ Cornflower blue ~ medium
774 / 165 / 165 / 310 / 165 / 310 ~ Black
335** / 2646 / 2646 / 815 / 2646 x 2 / 815 ~ Garnet ~ medium
** Please note that Soie 100.3 #335 was previously numbered as #2646. This was an anomaly to Au ver a Soie’s numbering system and and Au Ver a Soie have now corrected this.
The design area is 215 stitches (w) x 203 stitches (h). Our calculations have included a 3″ margin for finishing and framing. If working on an uneven linen such as 53/63, we would recommend that you orientate your linen so that the higher count is on the horizontal for this particular sampler.
28ct: Design: 15.36″ x 14.50″ Fabric: 21.36″ x 20.50″
30ct: Design: 14.33″ x 13.53″ Fabric: 20.33″ x 19.53″
32ct: Design: 13.44″ x 12.69″ Fabric: 19.44″ x 18.69″
36ct: Design: 11.94″ x 11.28″ Fabric: 17.94″ x 17.28″
40ct: Design: 10.75″ x 10.15″ Fabric: 16.75″ x 16.15″
46ct: Design: 9.35″ x 8.83″ Fabric: 15.35″ x 14.83″
56ct: Design: 7.68″ x 7.25″ Fabric: 13.68″ x 13.25″
63/53ct: Design: 6.83″ x 7.66″ Fabric: 12.83″ x 13.66″
The reproduction is worked mainly in cross stitch over two threads of linen with a small amount of cross stitch over one strand of linen. Other stitches used are Algerian eyelet, stem stitch and double running stitch. The project has been rated as suitable for needleworkers of all levels of ability.
Cross stitch ~ is made up of two stitches worked over one or two threads. You should make all your stitches cross in the same direction for a neat and uniform finish.
Algerian Eyelets ~ when worked over four threads of linen 8 stitches are laid to create an eyelet. Do not tug on the thread using your needle as your thread will soon break. Instead, apply pressure by pulling on the thread close to the stitch. Even tension should be applied so each individual stitch sits well within the eyelet.
Stem Stitch ~ when working from left to right with a “S” twist thread bring your needle up at 1 and down at 2. Bring your needle back up halfway between 1 and 2 at 3. Be sure to keep the thread below the needle. When working from right to left keep the thread above the needle.
Double running stitch ~ on the outward journey you mark out the motif, and on the return trip you fill in the gaps. It is also called Holbein stitch. Back stitch could be substituted for double running stitch.