A window into the life of a professional geek, wife and mother (and nonni), stitcher/designer, bibliophile, old-school gamer, and whatever other roles she finds herself in.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Life's a stitch

Catching up on the Stitcher's QotW. I've been rather preoccupied with non-stitching lately, but since I'm in a Stitching Blogger webring, I really should talk about stitching once in a while! So I'll field the last three weeks' worth.

9/13/2004 - Do you stitch small projects one at a time that you can finish quickly, have numerous large projects going at once that you rotate, or both? How does your current system work for you and have you thought about changing it?

My current system is a mix of both. In general, I have one (well, two at the moment) large piece going that I alternate with smaller items. I do have a rotation, which I blogged about back in April. I initially started the rotation after hearing other stitchers talk about it, and decided that it was a good way to give attention to pieces that have been languishing. So far it has done a good job of that. My initial plan when setting up my rotation was to devote 10-hour blocks to the project, although in practice I haven't been strict about that. If I'm working on a piece I've lost interest in, I'll make sure I do that 10. Smaller pieces, if I think they'll take less than about 20-25 hours, I'll go ahead and finish at one go. It's nice to get a finish in once in a while. And sometimes I'll work more than 10 on a larger piece, for whatever reason - whether I want to get to a good stopping point, or because the piece has gotten attention from family. I worked only on Last Supper during Lent - seemed apt.

I have altered my rotation over time, mostly in the form of adding or rearranging slots. There may be times I skip a slot altogether, if I don't have a piece on-deck for it. And I do suspend it from time to time or rearrange pieces. Right now I think Last Supper is going to be my BAP for a while - DH has been asking about it. And DD wants me to go ahead and finish Floral Swirls, which would be my next slot anyway.

I may try to sneak a couple of small pieces in as I go, since they're a lot easier to tote around the house. We'll see.

9/6/2004 - How do you explain cross stitch to non-cross stitching people? Do they get it or do they say “Oh, right.. you do knitting then (or sewing, or needlepoint)"?

"Stick thread in needle. Make small X's on fabric."

I rarely have to get that detailed. I don't always do just cross-stitch, so I tend to say 'needlework' in general. And some people assume cross-stitch (often people who have relatives who do), others assume needlepoint or knitting or crochet. Now, I mostly do counted-thread, but I do crochet and have occasionally done needlepoint or knitting, so I give them credit most of the time - at least they're trying to relate it to what they know. Usually a "mostly I do cross-stitch" gets the point across without my having to resort to "make small X's on fabric". And with fellow geeks, I can say "like using graphics editors, except I use Xs made of thread instead of pixels".

And then there's DD, who categorically calls it all "needling".

8/30/2004 - Do you feel cross stitching requires patience?
Sometimes, but probably no more so than most other hobbies. I think that a lot of people assume it takes a lot of patience because they can't envision themselves doing it, but if you can follow a pattern and count, you can do cross-stitch. The patience comes into play when you're doing larger pieces, and stitching in general takes longer to see results than for hobbies like painting or woodworking. And it certainly takes patience to frog.

I don't have a lot of patience - ask anyone who's ever been near me in a long checkout line. But then cross-stitch (or any needlework, for that matter) is different, because I'm actually *doing*, not waiting.

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