I think everyone who writes on this blog can agree that crafting is a huge rabbit hole. Learning one craft is just never enough. Me, I have varying amounts of experience in knitting, crochet, sewing, spinning (both on a drop spindle and a wheel), needlepoint, dyeing, and a tiny bit of weaving and embroidery from when I was much younger. Several of those are things I’ve said I never wanted to try, before eventually caving and finding I enjoyed them.
Over the last couple years, I have seen some of the knitters I follow on Instagram or whose video podcasts I watch share cross stitch projects here and there. At first, these just made me really nostalgic for the kid’s needlepoint kit I did when I was little. My grandma had sent me this Lisa Frank golden retriever needlepoint kit and I remember working on it in the dressing room backstage during the annual ice show when I was little. That was the only needlepoint project I ever did, but a couple years ago during this wave of nostalgia, I bought two “adult” kits: one of a cat and one of a dog. I started the cat and I have probably done about half of it at this point. I’ll pick it up for a week, then put it down for months, so I get a lot done at once but then not again for a long time. I started it probably two years ago and am still not finished. The dog will probably never get done because I’m not feeling it anymore. It’s unopened, so I will probably donate or sell it at some point, I just haven’t gotten around to it.
During all of this, I kept favoriting cross stitch patterns on Etsy (seriously, all my Etsy favorites were cross stitch patterns for the longest time), but I had this arbitrary rule that I wouldn’t try cross stitch until I finished my cat needlepoint project.
What happened? The library happened.
My library is pretty frickin’ sweet. They have spinning wheels for loan, which is how I have tried spinning on a wheel. They have a swift and ball winder you can borrow. They have events upon events upon events, all of them free. When I went on their website to check out an ebook I had been notified was ready, I ended up browsing events and saw there was an “8-Bit Cross Stitch” class, suitable for beginners, the next night. Um, okay!
I couldn’t convince my boyfriend to go with me, so I texting a crocheter friend to see if she wanted to go. She was in and we checked out the class together. All the supplies we needed were provided, which was pretty awesome considering there was no fee and we didn’t have to register in advance (or at all). There were many patterns to choose from, most of them Pokémon or Mario characters. We both chose Toad from Mario. After agonizing a bit over which color Toad I wanted (red or green?), I realized I could make him whatever colors I wanted, duh. I got a little creative and made a pastel purple and green Toad.
After the Class
The class was 90 minutes and I spent the first while figuring out how to form the stitches based on the handout we were given, so I didn’t have time to completely finish my little Toad. After the class, we headed to a beer garden for a bit, but then I went home and stayed up until I finished the project. I needed probably another hour on it, maybe a little more.
As you can see from the photo above, I really like this new-to-me craft. The day after the class, I went through all those Etsy favorites and chose a pattern I wanted to stitch. I bought the In the Forest pattern by Stitchrovia. I went to Joann and picked up all the supplies I would need. I bought new embroidery scissors, the DMC floss colors prescribed by the pattern, bobbins to wind the floss onto, some 16-count Aida, an 8-inch hoop, plus a tiny 3-inch hoop to frame my Toad (they gave us 5-inch hoops at the class) and some ribbon to hang him on the wall. (You can see how my Toad framing turned out in the photo above.) Guys, I know I just went with the basics here, but cross stitch is WAY cheaper than knitting, in my limited experience. The whole lot of stuff (minus the pattern) came to $21 after my two coupons. I hear things like fancy linen is where it can get expensive, but I’m not there, YET.
I don’t have as much time to work on this project as I would like because I am deep in prep for the Ann Arbor Fiber Expo, but it is coming along. I just started the third tree yesterday morning.
Writing this, I’m thinking I might try to grab some time tonight to work on this some more! It would be lovely to finish it during fall since it’s such an autumnal scene, but I’ll probably hang it any time of year. I am feeling inspired to stitch decorations for different holidays and seasons, so we’ll see where that goes.
Funny how new obsessions, I mean hobbies, can sneak up on you like this.