Lately the knitting has been sitting in a pile on the coffeetable—three ongoing projects all in need of some attention, hence, they are being ignored. What do I do in these situations? I break out the cross stitch. I just love the meditative quality of stitching—more meditative than knitting, for me. Because there’s absolutely no thought involved in stitching; I count, and I watch the boxes fill in. When I’m knitting, I’m thinking, designing, planning, perfecting. The scope for perfection in cross stitch is very narrow, and I love it.
When I decided to return to the stitching, I had to spend the first hour taking out about, I don’t know, 200 stitches that were all placed one stitch too low. In some ways, I don’t know how much it would have mattered to the final product (other than being one stitch larger)–it’s going to just be a cloudy sky, nothing that requires precision. But it would have been impossible to figure out how to stitch the whole thing with this erratic misplaced shape. I hope I’ll have enough of that floss left to use fresh thread, but really, there are like 6 other colors that look practically identical, so it shouldn’t matter.
Which brings me to the only problem with this project. It’s too abstract. There’s no satisfaction in finishing up the latest tree, or shape, or border. Instead, it’s, “wow, I just filled in all the ‘/‘ within that area of the image, and it makes . . . no recognizable shape at all.” I’m thinking I might need to buy a new cross stitch project, something that looks like something, but finding cross stitch that I like is really tough.
A lot of my friends who had cross stitched when kids express this, too—they think they’d actually want to dabble in it again, but they don’t actually want the finished product when it’s all over. So far my favorite large source for projects is Keepsake NeedleArts, which has such a large range that you’re bound to find something, and the stock changes pretty regularly (this sky project, for instance, is no longer in the catalog—and the designer’s site is not live right now). Googling “cross stitch kits” is a real crapshoot. This Cross-Stitch Art site has some nice pieces. I just found The Stitchery, which is another one with a large stock. Anyone else know of a good source?