Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Ignore, unless you cross stitch.

Ever since posting about cross stitching the bug has set in. I pulled out my Orange Tree pattern and swooned once again. I looked at all 19 pages of the pattern. I silently appreciated how there were 6 pages of thread information. Three pages with codes and stitch information and a separate three pages listing off numbers that I would need. Yes, these are 8.5 x 11 inch pages. Full pages.

Then just by coincidence when we cleaned the garage this past weekend (yes, you read right, we CLEANED the garage this weekend!), I ran across a big Rubbermaid tub that said “Cross Stitch” on it. AB hurried it upstairs and put it up high in the walk in closet in the guest room on the top shelf.

Then on Sunday I hurried upstairs while AB was at a birthday party with Skadi and pulled it down off that high shelf and lugged the thing downstairs again.

When I opened it I fell even deeper head over heels.

This particular box is box two of two. I had one box originally, but then AB’s grandmother did something fantastic about seven years ago. She packed up every little bit of her cross stitching stuff and shipped it to me.

Getting that box was like Christmas all over! She had boxes of threads, cute little scissors, many different sizes of needles and pages upon pages of patterns.

She was an avid cross stitcher. The main difference between she and I is that she worked on 22 and 24 count fabric mostly, while I tended towards the standard 14. What this means in lay terms is how many stitches are in an inch. I do the big old squares where I get 14 stitches in a linear inch, or 196 stitches in a square inch. Donna stepped it up a notch and walloped me with between 484 and 576 stitches in a square inch.

She did beautiful work with incredibly fine detail. I remember standing in her house outside Wasilla, Alaska astounded with the detail of her stitching. Someday I told myself.

While Leif played Wii the other day, and AB and Skadi were at a birthday party I went through her bin and pulled out cloth. I was looking for black for my Orange Tree pattern and found a perfectly square, taped off piece of black 22 count. It would be perfect. Almost like she had cut it and taped it specifically with my pattern in mind.

I sat there and contemplated the concept. Could I make those itty bitty, tiny little stitches?

Then well… I chickened out.

I decided to take my first step towards it by buying 18 count fabric instead of 14 this Saturday at Michaels.

Then I realized if I was going to Michaels to buy fabric, I should also have some idea which thread I am going to need. So last night I sat down with the three clear plastic thread holders and started pulling skeins out that correspond to the numbers on the list. I became a little concerned when I started noticing that some of the skeins had way old price tags on them. Fifteen cents a skein? Not to mention “price tags”… who uses those anymore!

Then it dawned on me that it has been seven years since she sent the bin and probably years before that since she has cross stitched. And concern filled my head. What if the colors have changed? What if number 319 is no longer Very Dark Pistachio Green (and for the record *I* have never seen pistachios that dark)?

I have done my best to push concern out of my head and to think about the positive side of not having to buy all new skeins, and doing a somewhat tribute to AB’s grandmother by using her materials for my next pattern.

Oh and yeah, this was the March goal, wasn’t it? And it is only February. Correct-a-mundo. It’s that bug thing. Bug has dug.

Not to mention that I do have the foreknowledge that it may take me a full month to prepare to start on the Orange Tree given the three pages of DMC numbers that need to be obtained, sorted and unrolled and rerolled onto bobbins. I have a need to approach my cross stitching in a very methodical manner. Everything must be just right so that when I sit down and start, I am ready to go.

Also, for the record? The pillowcase dress has not fallen off my radar either… I am looking for the perfect pillow case!

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