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Busy Fingers

Wednesday, June 15, 2011, 12:25 EDT Leave a comment Go to comments

No one will ever accuse me of being a domestic diva, but I can fake it every now and then. In that vein, I recently took up a counted cross-stitch kit I had bought at the gift shop at Old Sturbridge Village a year or two ago. It isn’t too big, about 4½” x 6″ for the stitched area, ideal for getting me back into the crafty spirit. I’ve been working on it a little each evening, usually during baseball and/or hockey games. Just as the Red Sox were ending their nine game winning streak last night, I finished. Click on the image to see more detail.

OSV counted cross-stitch

The kit uses 14-count ecru aida cloth and 14 colors of floss. Cross-stitches use two strands of floss; backstitches and french knots use one. I don’t do use an embroidery hoop for cross-stitching on aida because I don’t stitch tightly, but I imagine I would if I stitched on another kind of even-weave fabric. I also don’t start stitching in the center of the cloth like the kits usually advise. Instead, I work by color from darkest to lightest, so I don’t have to worry about light colors getting soiled by the natural oils in my fingers (something that is inevitable no matter how many times you wash your hands). On this piece, I actually did the dark green first because it included the border and gave me a frame from which to count; I followed with black, dark brown, garnet, dark gray, the varying shades of green, etc. This way, the white house looks pristine.

If I did this pattern again, I would stitch the wagon driver’s body (lower right) in a darker color for more contrast and outline the head. The only reason I didn’t do it this time is because I believe in working the pattern as written at least once before screwing around with it.

Anyone who does counted cross-stitch can also do needlepoint and petit-point, but I have done neither. Eventually, I’d like to do a couple of petit-point oriental rugs for my dollhouse project. I’ll need a magnifier for those, since my eyes aren’t getting any younger and the pieces will be worked in 24-48 count. But that’s a project for another day when I have a lot more time.

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