Cross Stitch Update

I was on a HUGE high this week with my cross stitch.  I figured out how to cut a frame down.  I actually got the piece laced.  It’s in the frame and hanging on my cross stitch wall.  I’ll show it to you in tomorrow morning’s post. I fully finished two other pieces that I will be showing in upcoming blog posts.  I was just so happy…but then, I had a setback with my cross stitch this week and it’s left me really frustrated.

Being I finished my Forever and Ever last week, I decided that I would work and get the outer border of my Come Into the Garden in place.  I stitched three nights to get it around and connected.  But, it didn’t connect.  WHAT??  I was so frustrated.  Not only did it not come together, but it was off by stitches.  I had never been so off on a border ever.

I did all of this stitching and it didn’t match.  Oh my word.

It didn’t match by this much…it cross stitch world, which is not fudgeable.  That is hunt and search and figure out what the heck the problem is.

I ended up …looking and counting and thought I found the problem.  Up in the right-hand corner, I put in 18 stitches coming down towards the bottom…and 20 stitches going up.

Darn.  I did the same thing in the left corner.  Was that enough for me to be off?
I had just stitched the bottom corner and there 20 stitches up and 20 down.  Darn.  This must be the problem.  I did 18 stitches at the top and 20 stitches at the bottom.  Darn, Darn, Darn.

Okay.  This was going to mean ripping out the stitching from the bottom middle, up the right side and all the way over to the top left corner.  Blah.  I was disheartened.  I realized that I’ll likely have to pull out where I started the flower in the top border too.  I was so bummed…but I wasn’t giving up.

The next night, I pulled it all out.  It took me the whole evening of stitching time.  I hate ripping out this much.  The whole time I was just mad at myself for making the counting error.

I wasn’t going to end the night on a mad note so I threaded my needle and went to redo it and add the extra stitches so there would be 20 stitches like I thought there needed to be.  I put the two extra stitches in and then I double-counted for sure.  I cross-referenced the pattern.  WHAT??

IT WAS ONLY SUPPOSED TO HAVE 18 STITCHES!!!  I ripped all of that out for absolutely nothing.  For no reason.  I didn’t need to do it.  I just wasted days of stitching time.  I was angry…but worse than all of that, WHERE DID I GO WRONG?  Why didn’t the border meet up?

I looked and looked.  I counted and counted and look.  Here at the bottom corner of the chart, the designer added three stitches.  WHAT??  What the heck.  Why didn’t the designer work to make the chart even.  It was totally possible.  She could have.  Instead, she just added stitches.

I understand that things like this happen all of the time in reproduction charts.  Samplers are stitched by young girls who are 10 and making an “even” without the modern tools we have would be difficult.  But a designer with modern equipment could have made this border work without a few added stitches.

In the designer’s defense, it was charted and I didn’t stitch it as charted.  I did the error, BUT, I know stitchers.  We get in a rhythm.  We memorize the pattern and just stitch.  We all do it.  I’m positive there are others who likely have made the same mistake.

In the end, I could have ripped out from the bottom center to the left bottom border and everything would have been fine.  AHH.  I ripped out all of that stitching I wasted all of that time for NOTHING!  I’m still so frustrated.

I’m so frustrated that I put the whole project away and I quit for now.  I’ll eventually go back to it, but I’m still a little mad.  I know, I’m not really acting like an adult…but I am human and I do pout occasionally.  This, for me, was pout worthy.

So…In my frustration, I decided to just pull something else.  Something completely different and NOT a sampler.

I ended up pulling this…

It’s Brenda Gervais of With my Needle and Thread, Seasons of the Heart.

I started the Christmas one some time ago.  I looked. It was the end of April when I started it.  I was this far along.

I wish I was stitching the Fall one but this one is started so I’m going to stick with it.

Now I’m here…

I’m pleased with this.  It’s funny because this piece got put in time out some time ago because I had a counting error on it.  Now I’m back and have forgiven it…and myself and am stitching again…so there is hope for my Come to the Garden piece.

I had a busy week with family here and have a busy weekend with family too.  So I don’t expect much stitching time.  I need to look and organize stuff as the cross stitch retreat is on Thursday of this upcoming week.  I have no idea what I’m taking.  I don’t know how much to take….Ah…Are there any cross-stitchers out there who go on retreats and read the blog?  Please let me know in the comment section what you recommend taking.  I need help. I’m a retreat newbie!!

Anyone waiting for your Redbird Sampler Stitch Along goodies to come.  I talked with Liz from the Stitchery Nook.  There was a snafu in getting one of the elements to complete the kits.  The item is finally on the way and kits will be shipping on Tuesday/Wednesday of next week.

If you haven’t caved in and ordered yet, there is still time!!  Put your order in soon and Liz and the crew will ship your order out when the other ones go out.  I can’t wait to stitch this all with you.  You can find order info HERE.

28 thoughts on “Cross Stitch Update”

  1. Is it possible that the middle of the three stitches you circled is supposed to be stitched down one row? It seems that the pattern would continue then. But with only a small amount of the pattern to look at I may be mistake. As always, enjoying your life through your blog.

  2. Nothing like a little frustration to ruin your cross stitch time. I have also put patterns and projects on timeout because of miscounting stitches.
    I have only been on retreats for one day. Because I like to chat with so many people, not a lot of stitching ever got done. However on some of the weekend retreats that I’ve read, stitchers take multiple projects with them so if they get tired of do they take another.
    Have fun on your retreat. Love and prayers.

  3. I understand your frustration with the counting error, Jo. We all do! This chart in in my “to-do” basket and I am going to write a note to add to it so I can be extra cautious when stitching the border. Your error may have saved other stitchers countless hours ( but I may still make an error!). Enjoy the retreat. You deserve it! I’ve never been on one, so can’t advise. I live through the floss tubers.

  4. Ahhh, time outs…. such useful tools for letting one simmer down. I love the border on that little winter piece. It’s precious. I’ve never been on a retreat for xstitch, but I also suggest multiple pieces. Maybe easy, medium, and a challenge?

  5. How frustrating. I would have reacted the same way. I don’t cross stitch and haven’t been to any retreat for anything so I can’t give you any advice from experience, but from what I have read on other blogs, I would take whatever you can stitch without having to pay attention because there will be lots of talking. I would say it reminds me of an adult version of a slumber party. Makes me want to go just for the shenanigans and learning experiences lol. Have fun and enjoy!

  6. Its sad you had to do all that ripping out but it has encouraged me in realizing I’m not the only one. I just started Huckleberry Farm, have the tricky uneven border outline about half done and saw that I started it too far in on one side. I might have enough room but then do I want to put a lot more work into it If I don’t? So I am going rip it out and start over. Not happy but if others can do it, I will too. Thank you Jo.

  7. Oh my, understand your frustration. You do so much better than I would have. I may have put it in “time out” forever! I really hate removing stitches, although I do it once in awhile. I have never been on a retreat, either quilting or cross stitching, but no help there. I would imagine one would take multiple projects, if they have them. Also, I’m sure one can always find some place to get one if needed. Have a great time stitching and meeting others!

  8. Cynthia from Nebraska

    Ugh. I don’t cross-stitch anymore but that’s the worst. Agree that the designer could have done a bit better!

  9. I’m grateful in all my years of Cross-stitch that I’ve never done the frame first. I’m a middle up/out and the middle/ down/out stitcher. I’ve made plenty of small errors but I’m with you. If I had to do that much unsewing I too would throw it in timeout!

    Happy Friday Jo :-)

  10. Since i am not a cross stitcher like you and so many others, I keep wondering -HOW do you rip out those tiny stitches without causing some damage to the linen??? Maybe this is a question you can answer some time in the blog when you try to cover many questions!!! Sorry–so curious. And have to admit-I had to sort of laugh–over the “pout & time out”!! But I guess I did that recently too–when a simple sewing thing didn’t make a bit of sense to my muddled old brain–I got out of the sewing room and didn’t touch the machine for probably 6 weeks!!! I guess I didn’t have it in a “pout” category–I was just MAD at myself!!

  11. Been there, done that – time-outs are helpful. Don’t ask how long a time-out might last! :)
    I’ve never gone on a quilting or cross-stitching retreat, just day-long sewing sessions or either kind. I will say that I take multiple projects when we go on long trips – sometimes one just gets tired of working on one and needs to switch! Have a GREAT time – we’ll all be waiting to hear how it went and your impressions!

  12. Margaret Miller

    One of the reasons I love your blog is that you are so real. Thank you for admitting you pout when when you cross stitch for hours and then have to rip it out. I have the same design all kitted and waiting in the wings. Maybe will wait and start it when you do again. I’m sure you’ve moved on by now.

  13. Borders, ugh!! They are what make a sampler but can be a bear to stitch!! You did the right thing by putting it away for a bit. Coming back in a few days w/fresh eyes always helps. As a veteran of many x-stitch retreats, I always make sure I have my tools first & foremost–a couple pair of scissors, lots of needles, small notebook & pencil/pen for taking notes, & a good light & magnifier/readers. Chargeable lights are the best–they’re small & compact but put out loads of light & don’t have to use a cord, except when charging in your room. Bring 2 or 3 small projects to work on, especially if the project for the retreat is something that requires more focus. Hope you have a great time meeting up w/old friends & getting acquainted w/new friends. For me, that’s the best part of a retreat!!

  14. When I am working on linen, I first baste a grid with sewing thread. I see on the pattern that there is a 10×10 grid, so I might do 10×10 basting, or I might do 20×20 basting. I hate ripping more than anything, so the grid ensures me that ripping will be minimal. Yes, it is an extra step and takes a bit of time, but for me it is much preferred to ripping!!!

  15. That’s why I quit doing borders until I was finished the central portion – I was always out on my count. I do my cross-stitch like Kayla, starting in the centre and working out. Your pieces have inspired me to bring my cross-stitch back out – you do such lovely work!

  16. It would have been so easy for the designer to add a little note to the instructions, warning you that there was an anomaly in that corner. And also saying that she wanted to keep the design like the original, with its inconsistencies. I haven’t done cross stitch for years, but you and Judy L are tempting me! I downsized drastically before a cros-country move a couple of years ago. I kept my Danish Flower Thread pattern books, and a few UFOs, but not my floss.

  17. Marlene Reimer

    Thanks for the heads up regarding the chart. I have that one on order and will make a note. Thanks also for inspiring me to give linen and cross stitch a try. I’m really enjoying it and look forward to your updates. I’m currently working on Heaven and Nature after following your progress on it as well. Thanks Jo.

  18. How frustrating! I can’t seem to start any other way, but in the middle. The border is usually last for me. I am going to skip the next cross stitch sew along. Hope you keep doing them and maybe I will join the next one. I have a project I want to make sure I get done by mid December, so I need to keep working on that and I just your winter project. The snowman is so cute. After a little time out, you will do just fine!

  19. Ana Marie Sweet

    I was in a Jeannette Douglas class once and she explained she did compensating stitches in some rows on band samplers. Guess what? I forgot. Then in the same class, I stitched a whole beach house in the wrong place. I am leaving it.

  20. Dear Jo, I feel your pain. My first thought was why didn’t you just throw it away and start over? then I realized you would have just redone the mistake. How can I correct the pattern so the ends do match up on the border? I also stitch a grid on my aida cloth before I begin the project if it is large (23,000 stitches on the last one.) I haven’t decided if I want to stitch the grid on linen as the threads are not even. I started the Blessed piece and there are so many errors, but I kept thinking, this is a practice piece. The second is much better.

  21. How frustrating! And I totally would have made the same “mistake” BUT this time I feel it is a mistake on the designer’s side. They should put a note in the pattern on those type of changes in the flow.

    I will also be at the retreat and also a newbie to retreats for cross stitching. I’ll probably bring way too much as I do for quilting retreats. I plan on bringing several projects. Otherwise I’ll get tired on stitching all day on the same one. I’ve left fill ins on a couple of projects just to do at the retreat so I won’t have to count so much.

    I hope you bring your All Creatures Great and Small to show us. I’m doing it currently and would like to see yours in person. There are a couple places on the pattern that look weird to me so would love to see it done.

    See you soon!

    1. Hi Janet…Thursday isn’t too far away. I’m so excited. I do plan to bring All Creatures. Thankfully dragging along cross stitch is much easier than dragging along quilting!! HA!

  22. Definitely a pout worthy experience! I had that with a tiger kit once and I chucked it in the bin back then I was so upset. Now I wish I’d kept it and just put it in a time out, I really liked the picture.

  23. Pingback: Cross Stitch Update | Jo's Country Junction

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