...and perhaps I should have checked the chart more closely before I dove into the stitching on Friday night!!
Yes, after completing the first line of the alphabet (a-h), it struck me that there are quite a few (fun!) specialty stitches in the Stag Sampler. And when I looked more closely at the chart, I realized that the band of gold above the alphabet - which I had done in plain old crosses - was supposed to be eyelets. D'oh! So I spent part of last night r-r-r-r-ripping all of that out. Two steps forward, one step back... I still love the sampler, though, despite it all.