Thursday, 3 June 2010

A foray into the domestic arts (part 2)

While I was finishing the knitting I realised that it was the perfect occupation to accompany watching television. I watch television most nights when I am too tired to do anything else, but it feels like a bit of a waste of time sometimes and I don't really like staring at a television screen after staring at a computer screen all day. This realisation coincided with the demands of a friend in hospital for some cross-stitch, and shopping for something to satisfy her, I ended up with my OWN cross stitch project, a picture of The snowman. Unseasonal I know, but I have a great fondness for The snowman, and it was reduced (because not many people want to do a cross stitch of The snowman in May)

Those who know me well will know that patience is not an attribute that I possess. Unfortunately patience is something that seems to be needed in bucketloads for cross stitch. I was anticipating needing patience for doing the actual stitching but I should have applied my patience a bit earlier. Suffice to say, that failing to understand that I should have started in the middle, failing to identify the colours in the kit correctly, and failing to split the threads into the correct number of strands, along with an inability to count the squares, led to a huge amount of undoing, a very big mess, and eventually (following 3 whole evenings of cross stitching) a trip to the art shop to buy the same set again to start over.

Anyway, two weeks after my foray into cross stitch I can share with you the completion of my first ever cross stitch.

I've been given some other pieces of advice too - to stitch so that the top crosses all point in the same direction (and in fact, the back of the packet advised stitching a whole line of half stitches and going back and making the crossover), and also to get a hoop to keep the fabric at the right tension. This has made a huge difference to cross stitch number two (happy stitch even!)

And, I've concluded that it's something I find really relaxing and really enjoy. I went back and bought three more Snowman designs from the art shop, and then went on ebay and ordered some more Forever Friends kits for something a bit less unseasonal! And I hope to have more cross stitch to share with you all in due course. So watch this space!!


  1. Blimey, for a beginner these are *really* good & didn't you improve from first attempt.
    Well done.

  2. Well done you! I love cross-stitching too, although I don't have the patience for anything really elaborate, because I passionately hate doing the back-stitching. But mainly it's a lovely, relaxing way to occupy my hands while watching films or whatever. I'm glad you're enjoying it! :)

  3. Glad you got there in the end, Verity!

  4. These are very sweet! I used to do loads of cross stitch whilst listening to books on tape when a knee injury confined me to a chair for months on end. I remember finding it very soothing (once you get over the initial teething problems!). Good luck with your future projects.

  5. Well done, Verity! Watching this lovely image unfold before your eyes becomes so addictive doesn't it?! I bought a plastic box which comes with cardboard butterflies for winding floss onto. You write the number on each card and store them numerically for quick retrieval. Helps prevent a huge rat's nest of strands everywhere!

    I'm very much looking forward to seeing more of your domestic arts.

  6. I think that these look quite pretty Verity, patience or not. have you ever thought of quilting? I think that would be nice to do in front on the Tv and would have the advantage of creating something to sit under...

  7. Well done on completing the cross stitch kits, you've made a very good job of them.

    I always count the squares more than once, to be on the safe side, before I stitch.

    Another thought that's just occurred to me have you realised that most charts have a darker line every 10 squares, that helps with the counting process.

  8. What a big improvement in just one project! I love doing cross stitch, and most family members have at least one sampler I've done for weddings, births, etc. I enjoy following your foray into the domestic arts.

  9. Well done, Verity! I find cross stitch kits relaxing and started with easy ones which I could finish fairly quickly to encourage myself. In Italy I could find really interesting continental scenes with the picture printed on the material which kept me relaxed in between reading. I graduated to the bigger pictures where you have to count the rows starting from the centre and was less successful, especially as my eyes have deteriorated. My daughter bought me a kit for my birthday depicting a beautiful rose, so I will have to take the craft up again, saving it for my time on holiday in Italy this summer. Anyway, keep stitching, knitting, baking and reading!

  10. I love that snowman--I love the Raymond Briggs book and have the film as well. I've never seen that pattern, so am guessing it is a UK design. They both turned out lovely and once you've got a few designs under your belt it will be automatic and you'll find it is very relaxing! I like to cross each stitch as I go, but sometimes the other method works well for a design--and I am not a fan of white floss as my stitches always look particularly messy with it! Looking forward to seeing more! :)

  11. Thanks for the compliments Alison.

    Danielle - I've got a total of 5 Snowman kits. They don't seem to be available anywhere on the internet, I guess I was lucky to find them. Am saving the rest for when I feel Christmassy.

    Linda - I'm not sure I could cope with some of the bigger designs - the appeal of the small ones is that they don't take TOO much effort, and can be completed reasonably quickly.

    Darlene - that sounds like such a good invention - I already have many tangles of threads.

    Cornflower - thank you!

    Geraldine - you are obviously more patient than me to count twice!

    JoAnn - I'm planning to do a sampler for MY wedding...

    Jenny - I struggled with the backsttiching on the forever friend bear - I guess it might get easier with practice.

    Skirmish of wit - I wish I had come accross it sooner as I have been confined to the sofa so much over the last few years - it makes a nice change from reading.

    Hannah - I'm not sure that I have the patience for quilting unfortunately, nor the skills. At least cross stitch is easy!

  12. Congratulations Verity, they are lovely. I do the bulk of my stitching when watching television, I find I don't have the patience to just sit without something to do with my hands.

    A good site(but dangerous) for UK stitching supplies is Sew and So (

  13. Karoline- thanks for the link - eeek!


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