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Have I been Stitched Up
Cross Stitching in general
Member Name: AngelEyes76
Cross Stitching in general
Date: 05/02/13, updated on 05/02/13 (76 review reads)
Advantages: makes beautiful pictures for your home, cheap sometimes, kits available, great hobby
Disadvantages: can be expensive and time consuming
I have been cross stitching on and off for years now and still to this day I enjoy it, I am glad I have taken it up as one of my hobbies but like any other hobby it can be quite expensive. I don't have a lot of time at the moment for my hobbies apart from when my little goes to school and bed, but to be honest be time he goes to be I am shattered and don't tend to much apart from sit in front of the tele, as I am to tired. When it comes to doing my hobbies in the day it also is a little difficult as there is always chores to do or because I am now a rep for avon that takes up my time too. So I do tend to fit this hobby in when I can.
HOW DID I GET INTO CROSS STITCHING?
I got into one day with a friend of mine, she was in the middle of doing one and it looked so beautiful, but did look difficult and thought to myself I would never be able to do anything like that. I never did get to see the finished piece. One Christmas she bought me a winnie the pooh kit, I love winnie the pooh, so this was great, although I was not familiar with cross stitching at all, I gave it a go though as nothing tends to beat me. I actually finished it and that is where it all started for me, if it was not for hers that she was doing I would not have known about this hobby and again if it wasn't for her buying the first kit I wouldn't have tried it out.
I bought many kits since then unfortunately though I tend to move from one to another too soon and leave many of them half-finished and then can't find the thread to go with the kit. So from now on I will start and carry on until that is finished before buying another one, once I get my head into a cross stitch kit then I can be occupied for hours, although they tend to be slow to make sometimes depending on how fast you are at stitching and also how big the kit is.
WHAT IS CROSS STITCHING?
Cross stitching is a hobby; it can be done by adults or children of an older age, cross stitching is a picture made from thread, following a pattern of colours and from different types of stitches. It can be difficult for new beginners to follow but if I can do it anyone can. The material is called Aida, it's a piece of fabric which as many little holes in it, for your thread to go through.
All cross stitching that you do will use the same materials, pattern, needles, Aida, threads, and you will also need a ring, I will go into all this in more detail for you.
The pattern is followed by you, which is on a piece of paper and printed on it you will find such things as the type of stitch to be used, the picture that you will be stitching, how many threads to use, how many threads there are, colour of threads which are coded, the pattern is in a grid format but easy enough to follow. The colour of threads to use in the picture are in the code, so in the picture just find that symbol matching on the thread code, then you will know which colour to use for that specific area of the picture. A little tip because the pattern is paper you can cross out what you have stitch by using a pencil, so it is easily rubbed out and can be used again, this is so you don't get confused to where you have stitched and where you haven't.
The thread comes in strands and very long, if you following a pattern within a kit then you will be provided with a card with holes in so that you can separate the colours of strand by placing them in the holes on the card, either they will be done for you with the code written on the top of each colour or you will have to do this yourself. If you don't have these supplied then you can easily make them yourself, get a slim piece of cardboard and punch holes in the edges with a hole puncher. The strands are noted on the pattern, this will enable you to know how many strands you have of each colour and which will complete the picture. Sometimes you will need to use 2 strands per stitch or it can be one, especially on the back stitching. If you do end up running out of the colour then it is easily match at craft shops, but you would normally not run out, I haven't yet when doing a kit.
The material you will be stitching on is called Aida this is strong material which can be easily cut down to the size you want it if you're not following a kit, if you are following a kit then you will have right size material to complete the picture. The Aida is strong and long lasting for your stitching, the aid has tiny holes just the right size to put your needle through it. Some aida has bigger holes some are smaller, depending on what is right for you, but the bigger the hole the more strands of thread you will need for each stitch. You can buy this separately from any craft shop, you have to buy the kits at all if you don't want to, especially if your following a pattern either you have yourself or one that you have done before. I would also like to mention that the material will obviously get creased when your stitching onto it, but no need to worry as you can iron them out at the end.
This is a must have obviously; the needles are provided for you in kits, so no need to buy them, although you do only get one, which is enough. You can buy additional needles from anywhere really; they are not special needles to use so any sewing needles will work just as well. I do like to stock up on these as sometimes I might find myself losing them, or borrowing them from my stitching and never putting it back. Be careful when using the needles as they are sharp, keep the needle safe in the material when unaided as you don't little children getting hold of it.
In order to stitch with ease the best thing to buy for this is, are such things as rings, they secure your material when stitching and keeps nice and tight letting you perform good stitches, if you wasn't to use these then you would find yourself in a pickle to say the least, the threads would be very loose and would probably look a mess. You can buy many sizes and made with different materials, you can buy wooden ones, plastic ones or even rubber ones, just place your material around the bottom of the ring then place the top of the ring over the top, then secure it with the screw at the top of the ring, be careful your material isn't crumpled in anyway, keep it nice and straight.
You can buy a cross stitching kit there are many out there and depending on where you shop, how big or small you want it, depends on the price it will cost you. You can buy very small kits that will probably cost you around £2 they would be ideal to get you started especially if you haven't done it before, and want to give it a go. You can pay up to around £30 - £40 maybe more than that in some shops but a big sized one. You can normally get the small ones in the cross stitching magazines which what I sometimes buy. Like I have mentioned in my review you don't need to buy anything when buying a kit because everything is inside and everything you will need to complete it. Although if you don't have a ring then you will have to purchase one depending on the size of your picture.
Design your own
There is software out there that can transform pictures of yours into a cross stitch pattern, now I have heard about it but never actually use it, not sure where you can buy them from or how much they are, but I am sure doing a Google search you will probably find it. Or if your imaginative then you can always try your hand at drawing your own design and follow it on the material with your own colored threads something again I have never tried, but would love to try it. If you have any patterns lying about or one that you would like to do again then buying the materials is a must do, although might be more expensive than buying the kits. You can if you have a computer and printer do a search on the internet for free patterns for cross stitching where you can print them off and use, I have done a lot of this in the early days of cross stitch but never put them to use.
AVAILABILITY & PRICE
Like I have mentioned depending on where you shop for kits and materials is going to reflect the price you're going to pay. I have bought all my kits off eBay not paid too much for them, you can buy the materials from such places as eBay, The Range, Argos, or even pick them up in the cross stitch magazines, also I know it might be a little expensive but places like hobby craft which is a good place for your hobby needs but can be quite expensive.
I don't have much time on my hands at the moment but I know this is a hobby which will always be there and will still remain to enjoy it, it is time consuming, but it doesn't have to be as it is something you can put down and return to at a later date. A little advice for you, when stitching make sure you do the same routine with the stitches, this keeps the stitches clean and tidy, don't stretch your thread across the material, as this wastes the thread, and also makes the stitching on the back look untidy, and can pull the holes in the material causing them to stretch. If you have never tried this hobby then it is one I recommend, like I have mentioned you don't need to be talented in any way to do this, and they make brilliant pictures for your home, when completed as you can place it in a frame.
Summary: Advice on cross stitching