I swear that I'm not going to post about this cross stitch along every week, but last week I had to start over. Which I thought was a bit noteworthy, seeing as I had only been working on the sampler for one week.
I had finished one letter, and decided to begin the most challenging of the pictures between the letters. The letter looked ok, but the picture was getting unbelievably cramped. I was squinting and cramming the needle through the holes, but it just looked like a big, nasty mess of knots.
I decided that the problem had to be the linen that came with the kit. I just must not be a good enough stitcher to work with such tiny holes in the fabric, I told myself. In googling to see if I could buy extra embroidery floss locally--I was concerned that I wouldn't have enough to finish if I started over--I discovered a local cross-stitch store. "Fabulous!" I thought, "I can get some extra floss and some cloth with reasonably sized gosh-darned holes."
I stopped in on my lunch break one day, and explained my problem to the Nice Cross Stitch Lady at the counter. She was kind, but I could tell she was a little bemused at my beginner flub-ups.
"Now, are you putting the floss in every hole? Or every other hole?" she asked.
"Every hole!" I protested, thinking that was the right answer.
"Ahh, well there's your problem. On linen you do every other hole. And you were probably doing two threads too?"
Realizing where she was going, I made a wince-y face and nodded my head.
"That would get you a mess, all right. If you're doing every hole, you use one thread and a magnifying glass. For what you're doing, every other hole, two threads."
Thankfully, she was able to hook me up with a new piece of linen, and she said she had the floss I needed too, if I do end up needing extra.
And, sure enough, when I got home and began stitching correctly, the sampler and I started getting on like gangbusters. It's funny how much nicer it looks when you aren't trying to cram thread into half the proper space.
As the Nice Cross Stitch Lady was ringing up my purchases, I stopped to look around the rest of the store. From the hundred or so beautiful sample pieces on display, I realized that the Nice Cross Stitch Lady is a better cross stitcher than anyone else I will ever know. It made me wonder how someone decides to make that their "thing", but I also left feeling a little inspired by her. If you're going to get "schooled" in something, might as well get schooled by a master.