Sunday, December 5, 2010

Projects Lost in Time

With cross-stitch I have been immensely efficient. I have only once started a new project while the previous one remains unfinished and typically finish my projects in one to two days. I just sit there listening to my books on tape, doggedly stitching until a) it's finished or b) I can't move my hands (at which point I take a break for an hour or two and then take it back up). I am not so disciplined with knitting, I'm afraid.

However, there is a cross-stitch project which I started, designed an annoyingly wide and complex border for, and then proceeded to screw it all up. The text is fine and used a a font I designed myself, but it was a long quote, longer than I've done before and thus requiring a larger border. The quote, by the way, is from the TV show Better Off Ted, which is the funniest thing any network has come out with in one, maybe two, decades. Sadly it only lasted two seasons but both are available on Netflix instant viewing, and I highly recommend it.
Most of the border is a geometric pattern done in two fairly close shades of green. On the horizontal parts I added some animals that related to the quote in order to break up the monotony of the main border (and to make sure I had enough green for the rest). I also added some smaller blackwork letters in the lower border that include the last line of the quote (which isn't completely necessary but helps if you're unfamiliar with the quote).

Because of these additions I needed to stitch the bottom two lines of the border and the top two and then fill things in. On the bottom I did the bottom three lines without thinking and had to ripe them out. Then I noticed a problem in one of the corner bits, which was glaring to me though my mom couldn't really tell even when I'd pointed it out.

I am a perfectionist. I love symmetry, I love perfect spacing. Stuff like this makes me see red - not so much the finding of problems but having to rip out my stitches and do it all again. With the lower border I couldn't even reuse the thread, it was entangled with the other green color so I had to take it out with a seam-ripper (and my seam-ripper is crappy). Since then I have been loathe to pick up the project again. There's really not much left to do but it's like the whole thing has become a bit of bad luck. I've completed two projects since setting the cursed one down and started a new one to boot.

Here it is so far. I am going to try to start it again, though first I need to make sure I have the text completely worked out so I don't end up completely off-center and needing to do THAT again too. Sigh. It's my first real problem project (though I think the Roman mosaic will end up with a lot of frogging and re-stitching) and oh how I hate it, but I might hate it sitting there unfinished and looking at me even more.


  1. I know just how you feel. I have only been stitching for about a year so I am still getting the feel for more complicated borders that even if no one else can see the flaws in *I* can and it bugs me.

    I also ended up scraping an ambitious project I had started like 6 moths ago (a cross stitched periodic table) but after getting about 75% of the outline of the table done I realized I messed up the spacing of the columns and rows and by then it was too far gone to pull all the stitches out. I got a new big peace of adia to try again and I keep telling my self I will try again after the holidays if I can work up the nerve :)

    ps. found your blog via the flickr comment you left for me incase you were wondering who this random person commenting was :)

  2. I hope you do try again! A cross-stitched periodic table would be awesome.

    There is nothing more annoying than spacing issues. Especially the times where I can't seem to find the actual mistake.

  3. I definitely will take it up again sometime soon. The science geek in me would love to see it hanging on my wall, I just have to make it sort of an on-going project so I don't get too overwhelmed too quickly.

  4. I hear you. I'm trying to take my big Roman piece slowly for that reason and trying to keep a second easier and smaller project on hand. Have to avoid making my hobby ever seem like work!