Just some quirky confessions about this hobby we love, in no particular order, written as they popped into my head…
I enjoy stitching outside in the sun, except when it’s too cold to do so. I rarely stitch at night because my concentration isn’t as good that time of day. I am a very neat stitcher and have gotten many compliments on my stitching (from women who have stitched many more years than I).
I only have one friend who cross stitches frequently and with whom I talk about stitching on a regular basis (cyber wave to RB)…it’s a lonely hobby for one who loves conversing with others about common interests. I do not own a magnifier or a special light or even stitching frames. I stitch in hand but mostly because I have never learned how to do otherwise. I don’t railroad my stitches or look for the ‘leading strand’, although I have seen beautiful results with the former. My DMC floss is on bobbins and not in bags. I can’t feel the difference between the top needle brands.
I own two pairs of scissors for this hobby, one pair made by DMC and the other pair made by Gingher, purchased at a flea market for $2. I have never purchased an accessory-type item. The ones I do have were given to me as gifts and are treasured. I am secretly envious of Honeybee’s needle minder collection.
I have never purchased a kit. On my stitching dream list is this and this and just about everything that’s Hawk Run Hollow. I rarely buy new charts anymore because my stitching time is mostly limited to my own models but I read The Strawberry Sampler’s newsletter every week to see what’s new and then wish I could buy more charts. My stash was mostly accumulated during my first fifteen years of stitching and includes many magazines, as I subscribed to several at the time.
I love silk threads and 40-count linen. However, I am somewhat new to this area as well and have not really experimented enough stitching with various silk threads to see what the differences are between the many companies that produce them. (As a side note, the very generous Robin in Virginia sent me some HDF silk threads and I am still mourning the fact that I discovered them after they were no longer being produced.) I love the feel of silks and the fact that they seem to knot less than cotton threads when I am stitching with them. I love the delicate look of a design stitched on 40-count. I prefer linens with a softer hand…Legacy linen is probably my favorite splurge.
I love stitching flowers, hearts, words, letters, interesting bands and borders. Seasonal type pieces catch my eye. I love bold colors as well as pastels but not washed-out hues. Some of my favorite thread colors are The Gentle Art’s Buckeye Scarlet, Mediterranean Sea, Island Blue and Tomato and DMC 154, 470 and all the DMC purples, to name just a very few. I haven’t designed with all of these threads but they make me happy just to look at them.
I am a real stitcher, too. I stitch every single one of my models and find mistakes in the process – from my charted design to the combination of colors I chose. I greatly admire those who can design and have another stitch their design – I have not yet arrived at that higher level. As a designer, I try to do my very best in my finished product. I realize my designs are not appealing to everyone. I realize not everyone can or will stitch on linen. I realize this hobby can get expensive (silks, linens, specialty buttons, accessories, overdyed flosses, framing, etc.). But when it comes down to designing, I have to design what I love and what I want to stitch. I don’t want to emulate someone else – I just want to be me.
I offer these things in full disclosure to prove I am not or do not claim to be an expert when it comes to cross stitching. I have never taken a class, attended a retreat or anything such as that. Am I saying none of the above will change and that I am content to stay right where I am in my skills set? Absolutely not. I hope as time goes by, I will improve more and more and perhaps even learn special skills and techniques I have not yet tried.
What are your cross stitch confessions? I would love to hear them all.