I recently was contacted by Yiota Xstitch and asked to do an "intitial impressions" review of their kits. I received the Geisha with Daughter kit from in the UK.
Shipping took about a week to get to the US. That's pretty fast, I think. Even though there was cardboard in the envelope, the PO managed to bend it a little. Why is it when you put "Do Not Bend", it always gets bent?
The kit was packaged in a resealable clear plastic envelope. The design photo appears to be computer generated (scanned image converted to cross stitch). It would've been nice to see a true photo of the chart stitched up. From a distance, the color photo looks fine. Up close the transitions from the shaded areas to nonshaded areas is not very smooth, and detail is lacking.
The design photo and chart are original (not photocopied) and printed on high quality A4 paper. What's really nice is that the chart is printed large enough to see the black and white symbols easily. Charts are available to purchase separately, if you don't want a kit.
The kit comes with Madiera cotton thread wound on bobbins and labeled. I've never used Madiera before, but it feels really good to the touch! Having it pre-wound on bobbins is a big plus for me. The chart also has DMC conversions, which is nice.
The kit comes with a generous piece of 14ct aida. My design size is 8 x 11 1/2". The aida that came with it was 15 x 17". Plenty big enough. I think it would be nice if evenweave was offered as an alternative, even if it increases the cost a little.
A needle comes with the kit, too. It was stuck into the edge of the fabric. Since I don't plan on stitching it up right away, I put the needle in a tiny ziploc bag left over from one of the other kits I've done.
Yiota's website says if you're not happy with the purchase, you can return it for a refund -- no questions asked.