Monday, 12 March 2012

How I Got Started Cross Stitching

I never really had a hobby.  I was too busy studying my ass off in high school, then university and throughout my graduate studies, to get into medical school.  But once I got in, during my spare time when I wasn't studying, or partying with my new friends, I found I was kind of bored.  One of my girlfriends in medical school was into painting and horticulture, among other things.  My apartment was kind of lifeless, so she got me started with some household tropicals, terracotta pots and gave me a paintbrush.  It was a lot of fun and for many years thereafter, I amassed quite a collection of potted plants!  But horticulture wasn't my passion, I was soon to discover.

While I was visiting this girlfriend at her family's home, her mother was crocheting.  I remembered my mom doing a lot of needlepoint while I was growing up, her designs were all over the walls of our house.  Watching my friend's mother crocheting, I thought, "I should learn something like that".  So, she tried to teach me  how to crochet, and well, I sucked at it.  It just wasn't for me. My hands cramped up and I just couldn't figure it out.  So, off we went to the local arts and crafts store (Michael's) and we wandered up and down the aisles.  Something caught my eye - a cute little orange cat sitting on a blue chair and above was the writing, "Home Is Where The Cat Is".   Eurkea!  "I want to try that!", I exclaimed.  I picked out a counted cross stitch kit, my girlfriend's mother showed me how to start, and I was hooked.

Here she is.  There are a few mistakes in my stitching.  The most obvious is the letter "r" in "where".  Haha!  This is hanging in the front hallway of my house.  I do love it, despite the flaws.   After I finished it, I decided that I would only do cat-themed projects.  I love cats.  I grew up with a beautiful white long-haired cat named April.  You know how there are dog people and cat people?  I'm a cat person.  Through and through.  

So, that brings me to my next project.  I wasn't brave enough to start anything too large, so I picked a similar sized design, 5x7.  This next one is called, "All Tied Up". I had a lot of fun with this one.  There are some errors in it, I'm sure, but it's hard to pick them out.  I loved the half cross stitching in this one - for those who don't know it's the first stitch in the cross - /.  You can see it - it's the green grass kitty is lying on.  It's wonderful to see how half cross stitches add depth and shading to a project. 

I was on a roll.  Kitty on the blanket was my 3rd kit.  Oh, so I suppose I should explain what a "kit" is.  A kit comes with the fabric (usually Aida 14 count), thread (or floss), needle, and instructions.  It's really easy, actually.  To start, one would fold the fabric and find the middle.  Then you locate the middle of the chart, pick a symbol, search the symbol on the chart to find out what colour thread to use and start!  Easy!  The counting afterwards becomes a bit tricky.  Every single project I have ever done has some counting error in it.  Most of the time it's invisible to everyone else but me.  My husband laughs at me because it's inevitable, at some point during a project, I'll exclaim, "Ah.... fuck!".  Then the frogging begins... "rip, rip, rip".   Stitching is calming, did I forget to mention that?!

Next up -- my first large kit!  Stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. I especially love the third kit you did. Besides cross stitching, I also enjoy quilting. I am trying to learn how to do tatting, and still learning the basics of crocheting.