I just finished stitching the new Winter Alphabet design. It's the 4th in a seasonal series of alphabets, with each letter getting it's own "star treatment" with a different border and font. It's been such a fun series, I have truly enjoyed designed and stitching each letter and the little motif sections in between. Below are the covers for the already released Spring, Summer and Autumn Alphabets.
So while I am waiting on the frame for the Winter Alphabet, we are working on the text, assigning symbols, etc. Then Alan comments..."so you decided not to use the letter J on this one".
HORRORS! I had graphed AND stitched the whole thing and completely left out the very essential letter J!!! Yes, I know that historically the letter J was often not used in samplers. I have boxes of antique reproduction samplers that I have stitched to prove it! The sampler experts could explain it better than me (and there are different explanations), but briefly, the letters "J" and "U" are relatively new to the English language. They appeared in the 16th Century. Below are a few snippets from my cache of reproductions, demonstrating the mysterious absence of the letter J.
Think about those Roman letters you learned in school (oh wait...if I don't remember the current alphabet, I probably don't remember those either!). The Roman spelling for our word Justice was "IYSTICE". Instead of J they used I, and they subbed letter Y for our current letter U. Anyway...I digress from my current dilemma....
Alan made 2 helpful suggestions:
1) leave out the letter J (sure to elicit tons of responses and questions from shops and stitchers)
2) squish 2 letters into the same square (inconsistent with previous designs!)
So I thanked him for the thoughtful advice, and returned to my graphing software to solve this problem! With the design already stitched (and I was really happy with it!), I concentrated on changing as few squares as possible, while not neglecting the letter J.
After some quality time with my scissors removing stitches (see the missing areas?), I'm ready to restitch several sections and return the letter J to it's deserved importance!
Which reminds me those Sesame Street lessons I always enjoyed watching with my kids..."this episode is sponsored by the letter J!"