The Cross-Stitch Project from You-Know-Where

I’m just back from a wonderful visit with my lifelong best friend Kelleen.  We have a tradition of starting an arts and crafts project whenever we’re together, and this time we went for needlework. We started out in Big Box Land looking for something small and easy just for entertainment value.  Disappointed by the poor selection, we left empty handed.  We decided to visit The Needlework Cottage and spent a happy time exploring the store.  In the end, we found a little project we were both interested in: pin cushions.  There were several beautiful patterns and we had a hard time choosing.  In the end, I wound up with the one below, while Kelleen bought the “Cherry Blossoms” version.

patterncrpd_small

Cute, isn’t it? Kelleen’s is just as lovely.  What neither of us realized until we got home was 1) this sucker is SMALL! and 2) the intriguing Diamond Eye Stitch (the thing making the beige holey border in the middle) is a nightmare when worked on linen using thread that practically matches it in color.

In our innocence, we both rushed to get to the Diamond Eye Stitch, intrigued because neither of us had ever done anything like it before.  We soon found out how important it is to get the stitches in the right spot. I worked the entire border at least three times over due to the many misakes I found myself picking back out. To add to the fun, this pincushion has the same pattern on the bottom, meaning twice the agony… I mean, fun.

Kelleen sorting the microscopic beads that are part of the kit
Kelleen sorting the microscopic beads that are part of the kit

Once we realized what a challenge the Diamond Eye Stitch was, we both took the bit in our mouths and barreled on until we finally finished both sides.

I relaxed once the border was over with, convinced the vines would be much much easier. It wasn’t long before I realized that the counting for this part is just as difficult if not more so than for the DES. Even working in high contrast colors didn’t help. The uneven strand widths in the linen make it difficult to get the counts right. I ripped out as much as I could stand to, but I ran out of patience. I decided to put this messed up version the bottom, and hope that after three more tries on this part of the pattern, I’ll be able to do it correctly on the top.

Tiny, isn't it?
Tiny, isn't it?

My determination to finish this sucker is still high, so I will be working on this daily with the hope that my determination will outlast the project.  Wish me luck!

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Kit Dunsmore

Kit Dunsmore has believed in the magic underlying the muggle world since she was a child searching for the Shetland pony pooka she was sure was hiding in her back yard. She learned early on that books were magic doors into other worlds, and that she could revisit a beloved character or place by opening the right book. As she grew, she decided she wanted to make magic with words, too. Today Kit writes about things she loves: poodles and dragons, witches and artists, quirky underdogs and loyal friends. Whether her setting is 6th-century England, the imaginary Twelve Kingdoms, or an art-obsessed version of modern America, magic always finds its way into her story. She enjoys turning fairy tales inside out and watching characters sacrifice everything to reach their goal, but she also believes in happy endings. When she isn't writing, Kit experiences magic by making things with her hands. Over the years, she's made quilts, fabric sculptures, collages, sweaters, and blank books. Her newest interest is learning how to spin her own yarn, a skill guaranteed to strengthen one of her many delusions: that she is a self-sufficient pioneer woman. She also thinks she is a hobbit, a witch, an artist, and a good cook. Living in the foothills of Colorado, Kit enjoys the giant skies and prairie landscapes which suit her need for wide open spaces. In addition to hiking through glorious scenery with her husband or imagining herself living in the Middle Ages, Kit works as a pillow for her miniature poodle and polishes the next small piece of her handmade life.

4 thoughts on “The Cross-Stitch Project from You-Know-Where”

  1. How lovely! My best friend and I both had to go and look and she wants the shamrock, while I like the cherry blossom. Thanks for a great find, and can’t wait to see it all.

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  2. Wow – I didn’t scare you off? I’m sure Sweetheart Tree is happy to hear that. 🙂 Good luck. And let me know how you do with the DES. Kelleen and I are pretty sure that it’s just hard, but it might just be us….

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  3. Nah, I’ve done cross stitching for over 20 years, so none of it bothers me anymore. The DES is fairly easy, and I learned it from a book years ago because the directions I had on a project when I was in my late teens didn’t explain it, and it’s a matter of going in a pattern. Linen makes it hard, but yours did come out nice.

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