Google+ Beverly Is Yarn Crazy!: Cross-stitch

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Long ago in a distant galaxy ....Okay, Last March 2008, one of my sisters-in-law requested that I make her an afghan for her birthday, in April. Yeah, you heard me, APRIL, I had less than a month. She wanted a very specific type of afghan, Tunisian crochet with cross-stitched moose and tree motifs. Oh, and did I forget to mention that she wanted it to be king-sized! Needless to say that even with my best efforts, it was no where near ready for her birthday last year. The 3 panels of the afghan base were completed about a month after her birthday and, may I add, my wrists and shoulders were throbbing.

Looking at those afghan panels and the many hours worth of cross-stitch that lay ahead of me became the bane of my life. It mocked me. I would stack finished items on top of the project so that I didn't have to face the fact that I really needed to get back to work on it before her next birthday...sigh...which is now quickly approaching.

I picked the afghan back up this week and I have started to work exclusively on the cross-stitch for this afghan. Every time I am tempted to work on anything else, I mentally slap my self around and wag my finger in my face, then get down to business working on this never ending project from hell.

While my fingers worked the tidy little stitches across the crocheted grid, I asked myself, "Why do I hate doing this so much?". It turns out there are a few reasons.
  • I had to design this afghan myself, since I couldn't find a pattern that encompassed all that she requested. Unfortunately, I am not confidant that what I have tried to come up with will pass muster. So, it appears that fear of failure, and the possible rejection of my work have stopped me in my tracks. This issue has come up so many times in my life.
  • Pain. This is a huge, and very heavy project to work on and I experience a lot of pain and discomfort in just supporting it with my hands, wrists and shoulders. Of course, if I had worked on it a little bit at a time throughout this past year, instead of waiting until it is almost time for her birthday again, I may have been able to mitigate much of that pain. Now I must endure long, painful sessions working on it if I am to complete it in time for this April.
  • Lastly, I get annoyed with the fact that I have to re-thread this damn needle every 10 minutes or so. When I knit or crochet I use a continuous fiber that only needs to have a new end attached when I come to the end of a skein. With this cross-stitch project, I am working with 24 inch lengths of yarn that last me 10 minutes or less. But in all honesty, this is just a mere annoyance and the first 2 reasons are much more relevant.
Well, I wish I could take the time to expound on this topic, but I am mentally wagging my finger in my face right now, because I really should be working on my SIL's afghan. Slap! Ouch...okay, I'm going!


  1. I CANNOT Cross Stitch. My eyes start to cross after about 5 minutes. You are way talented lady. Now... If I could just get this knit stitch down I'd be satisfied for the day lol.

  2. I don't know if it will help, but to lessen (or at least confine) that re-threading annoyance try threading a whole pack of needles at one time. Then leave them in a nearby pin cushion and pull a new one out when you need it.
    Yes it's a lot of threading at once, but then... ahhhh... the sweet relief of sewing for an extended period of time!

  3. I have the same frustration with embroidery in general. The rethreading of the needle is just such a pain in the rear.

    Don't doubt yourself and your designing skills though! It will be wonderful! =D

    As for the supporting issue, have you thought about maybe using one of those big quilting hoops that have the stand built in? They're kind of expensive... but maybe you have a friend you can borrow one from? That seems like it will take a lot of the weight off of you.

  4. You've got more self discipline than I do Beverly! I would have given up on that a long time ago. I'm sure it will be beautiful when you're done.

  5. I'm with Beth. I too would have given up. My only attempt at cross stitch was eventually thrown in the trash after 3 years of hiding it underneath other UFOs.
    Good Luck! You can do it.

  6. I love Kathleen's needle idea. I'll have to remember that one.

    I think you're really nice to take on such a huge project as a gift. Pat yourself on the back instead, and think about how great you'll feel when it's finished!

  7. I laughed out loud when you said "mentally slap my self around" haha Oh my that's a huge project and she man she better appreciate it! Do you have pictures of your progress?

  8. I think you may need a match..... :)

    Seriously, Bev, you can do it! I'm sure it will turn out lovely.

  9. My mother(who I taught to crochet) made me a queen size granny square bedspread and it took her a long time. Now that she has past I love it more than ever.
    King size afghan stitch with cross stitch added!
    You are nuts but I can't wait to see it.


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