bird detail
Image by romana klee via Flickr

E is for Embroidery or, actually hand cross-stitching.

A few years ago, I was thinking that I didn’t have any material thing hobbies.  I collected things and learned how to do things but that’s not the same.  I started looking through all kinds of hobbies: candle-making, hair jewelry, plastic spoon art.

I finally settled on cross-stitching which startled my family a bit the first time that I brought out my embroidery bag.  I used the Klutz Guide to Simple Embroidery to learn.  It was perfect for me. Each stitch came with a little project.  I just copied it free hand from the book and did it.

At the end was project that used all the stitches together but I didn’t do it.  First, I am lazy.  Secondly, I wasn’t interested in the scene.

Now I have the rudimentary skills to make the stitches but I still don’t know much about when to use them.  When do you use a French knot and when do you  use a backstitch?  Dunno.

Next step was to find some pre-made patterns.  I learned that counted cross-stitch is very, very different from free-hand cross-stitch.  I don’t think much of counted cross-stitch, it’s like putting together a puzzle that takes a really, really long time.  I want my embroidery to have a quicker payoff.

Turns out there are lots and lots of sweet aphorisms and cute little animals.  That’s about it.  While I wouldn’t say no to a Hello Kitty pattern, I want to move onto something different. is much more along the line I want.  But they do counted cross-stitch.  Boo!

I have all these hobbies supplies that make me so happy.  I have a wooden embroidery hoop and someday I plan to get a metal one.  I don’t like the plastic kinds.

My family gave me tons of embroidery floss one year.  Thanks!  I want to buy some gold thread too.

There are all kinds of needles but I just bought a basic set of 16.

I have a cute strawberry pin cushion but I lost a needle in it and and now I just use a magnetic tray.  Safer for me.

My niece was interested in what I was doing.  So, I gave  her kid sized hoop and floss and needle and started her on a pattern.  Next time, I see her I hope to show her more.

Here are useful links:

History of Embroidery

Printed Resources

Beginner’s Guide

Another Beginner’s Guide


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