On a long car ride this past September, I decided to learn cross stitch. My mom was working on a cross stitch and said she would teach me, and we were stopping at a Hobby Lobby to get a couple of things anyway, so I picked out something that looked easy.
It turned out I picked a needlepoint kit rather than a cross stitch kit, but it was still a good project to start learning. Needlepoint, to me, is basically doing half of a cross stitch. In cross stitch, you use only a few threads of embroidery floss, and after you work a row with stitches slanting one direction you reverse your way back down the same row making stitches slanting in the opposite direction. In needlepoint, you use the entire strand of embroidery floss, and only make stitches slanting in one direction.
Whether you’re doing cross stitch or needlepoint, you start the row the same. Most kits come with a chart of some sort to tell you how many stitches to count. Some beginner kits, like the one I chose, have the design printed directly on the canvas. As far as deciding which color to start with, my mom suggested I start with something with some straight lines that would start to fill in a large area. I started with the brown basket, then moved on to black, then the other colors with the background stripes last.
To get the thread started, the instructions said to leave a short tail, then work the tail into the next few stitches. My mom said to just tie a knot–no one will ever see the back.
After I felt pretty comfortable with needlepoint, I started a counted cross stitch (the kind with a chart). I found a really easy one that looks like an old-fashioned sampler. The canvas was a little larger count than most kits, it didn’t have a lot of tricky angles or curves, and the colors didn’t blend much. I finished it quickly, which is nice for those beginning projects when you just want to see results! I started with the red, then black, then the other colors.
Now I’m working on a much harder kit, and I got a couple of fun kits for Christmas. I don’t know if I’ll ever have the patience to do one of those kits of a peacock or a Thomas Kincaid or something so time-consuming, but I’m good enough to make some unique things for my walls!
Crocheting without a pattern…my great grandmother could do it! Can I?