DH and I have finally decided to get started on Long Dog's Paradigm Lost. We're stitching with DMC 823 (a dark navy blue) over 2 on 28 ct. Antique White. The piece of fabric we're using is 36x40 (which gives us a 5-6 inch border on each side of the piece).
I've already been advised to grid out the project using a contrasting thread, so I picked up a skein of DMC 666 to do the gridding with. Since it's one strand, I assume one skein should be enough to grid out the fabric (I've never gridded before either). The woman at my LNS assures me I should have no problems at all pulling the grid threads out once we're done with it. And we purchased a whole pile of the DMC 823 a while back so I know it's all come from the same dye lot and we should have plenty to get through the project. When I bought it, the stitchers at my old LNS said they used about 23 skeins for the project, but we bought 30 just to be safe.
This is by far the largest project we've ever taken on, and there's no way it's going to fit on our usual scroll frames. I have a very hard time stitching in hand - my hand cramps up and it's very uncomfortable for me, so we've decided to try Q-Snaps for this project. I've never used Q-Snaps before, so any advice on using them would be most welcome, as would advice on stitching a project this large. Do the Q-Snaps stretch out the fabric or the stitching? What's the best way to deal with the excess fabric not being stitched on? Is there a better way to stitch a project this large?