As previously mentioned here, I took out my cross stitching the day exams finished.
Last year, during the family holiday to Vietnam, Twerp and I admired the displayed cross stitching on the wall in the living room. It was of an intricate yellow bloom, was stitched by my aunt, and apparently took her a year to finish!
She offered to buy us some sets to have a go with, and we visited the local store. I was impressed by their selection, mostly of Chinese and Korean designs. The store also offered some of their own very simplistic designs and a framing service for your completed works! I picked a huge, complex flower (and later would also take home a set of vertical bamboo designs) and my sister picked two, one of flowers as well and the other a simple teapot centred design.
When I say sets, I mean the design, colour coded, including all the required thread, and a needle or two. My aunt also bought us a handful of needle-threaders to take home. The sets were surprisingly cheap, at the equivalent of £3 in GBP. For this price, or even more, looking through local crafts shops here, I see only basic cross stitch patterns with imagery I don’t really like. What’s more, in Vietnam there are similar local stores all over the place.
Considering it’s my first cross stitch project, it’s pretty huge… bigger than A3 size! It also looks pretty complicated for the beginner – 35 colours marked by, in some places, similar symbols in similar colours. However, it didn’t take me long to get the very simple technique down and soon I was totally on a roll with my stitching.
There is a small problem-solving element in that some areas are not just lines and lines of plain stitch. The dots can stagger and dissolve and sometimes there’s a random brown dot in a very green area.
So it’s slow progress. You have to thread and re-thread the needle when you run out of your length of cotton, and sometimes you just get bored of one colour. There is so much black, dark brown and light brown in my piece that extra, full hanks had to be included for those!
I have also stabbed myself in the thumb multiple times. Unlike knitting, it’s not really an activity to do while watching TV when it’s simple enough. I prefer to put on a good playlist (or a very audio centred tv show… As in, one that’s in English and not my usual Japanese anime) and stitch away.
This project was on hold for most of the year, so I’m questioning when I will finally finish!