General chatter - Completely random, but does anyone know how to cross-stitch?

02-03-2007, 06:52 PM
Does anyone cross-stitch? I really want to cross-stitch a blanket for my girlfriend, and I don't know what kind of time frame is involved and how long it will take me to teach myself. I also figure it will keep me occupied if I feel like boredom eating :lol: Any ideas or tips for a newbie?

02-03-2007, 07:22 PM
Hi, Dana!

I'm an incurable cross-stitcher :D I've been stitching since I was 14, and have always been drawn to what I call Epic Projects: big designs on high-count fabrics. (Because I'm a glutton for punishment, that's why!)

Anyway. The basics of cross stitch are easy to learn, and most patterns come with instructions for the basic stitches. An afghan has the advantage of larger "holes" and lower thread count, so each section will go more quickly than if you were doing the project on, say, silk gauze.

You will be doing A LOT of "sections" on an afghan, though, so expect to invest some time into this project. I don't think it's too ambitious, but be aware that the size, alone, will have you stitching for several months to come.

I really like About's cross stitch site. There's a library of stitches and lots of wonderful information there, including "reversible" cross stitch (a method I've never bothered with on afghans, but I hear makes the back indistinguishable from the front).

My tips to you (besides telling you to check out the About site) are these: be patient with yourself. Be willing to rip out your work, if you have to. (It's OK. We ALL do it. It's called Frogging - rip-it, rip-it.) And don't carry your threads across the back of the work for more than a few squares on your canvas. (I pride myself on keeping the back of my work neat; my mom, who is a much more advanced stitcher, worries about it much less. It's largely a matter of personal preference -- the Cross Stitch Police are not going to come after you!)

Most of all, enjoy your new hobby. :)

02-03-2007, 07:37 PM
I love to cross-stitch, though I have to admit I haven't done it in a while. Life got busy and I don't have as much free time as I used to. It is super easy to learn, pretty much if you can count you can cross stitch. I'm not sure how long it would take you to do a blanket, it would depend on how complicated the pattern is. There are a lot of "one night" patterns that are only 100-200 stitches. You could probably do something like that to get a feel for how long it takes you.

02-03-2007, 07:44 PM
Hope you will love cross-stitch as much as I do. I find it very relaxing. I was very worried when I started to develop cataracts a few years ago, but I just bought one of those lighted magnifying lamps (like they use on CSI ;) ) and kept on stitching.

It really is easy -- just a matter of counting, really. I would suggest that you start with a really simple little cutsey something about a 5 x 7 inch size. Just to make sure you are going to enjoy it, before you start on a big project. You can purchase a little kit at someplace like Wal-Mart to get you started.

Have a great time . . . and yep . . . it really does help to keep your hands busy. :D

02-03-2007, 10:19 PM
I am also a cross stitcher but to be honest, I have screwed up every big project I've ever tried and got pissed and threw them away. I suggest you start with some small projects to get the hang of it first.

I do love it, it's a great time passer, stress reliever, and it does keep you from munching.

02-03-2007, 10:51 PM
Cinderly- Thanks so much for the link! That's immensely helpful! I like the "frogging" .. haha :lol: Thanks for your feedback.. I'm pumped now! :)

Spideranne, thanks for the vote of confidence... i can count... sometimes :) Wow, I didn't know there were so many types of patterns.

LInda, thanks for your suggestions. I'll have to swing by walmart to check out the easier patterns they have. I went to the rag shop tonight and there was absolutely nada, except a few really ugly ones! Ilk! Hehhe, CSI lamp :lol:

lizziness, sounds frustrating... i think i'll start with a smaller project, becuase I could definitely see the same thing happening to me!

02-04-2007, 11:44 AM
I am going to agree with some of the others-buy one of those tiny little cross stitch projects first-the little 5x7 picture...or the real small little wallet sized picture kits (they usually come with a little oval frame or something.) and see if you like it, are patient enough, and how that turns out.

It is the same thing with any hobby-if you want to knit/crochet, start with a scarf, if you want to sew, start with a beginner pillow or tote bag pattern. Learn the ropes on something easy and unimportant first. :)