Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Stitcher's Five: Starting to Stitch

1. When did you first start stitching?
I used to do crewel (I mistyped it as cruel!) kits when I was small—maybe seven? But I didn’t start cross-stitching and doing other counted needlework until after college.
2. How long have you been stitching? Depending on the sort, between 15 and 30 years. I didn't do much stitching between the bargello incident of 1978 and college when I switched to counted thread.
3. Did someone teach you or did you teach yourself?
My mom taught me to do crewel and bargello. When I took up cross-stitch, though, she had never done it and I taught myself. More complicated things like hardanger and other cutwork and pulled work, I learned at SOXS.
4. Describe your first project (if you can remember!).
Well, for the crewel it was a piece that said “My Room” and was stitched in rainbow-colors of wool, it was recently unearthed. For the cross-stitch, it was my friend’s wedding sampler—it was from a Better Homes and Garden’s book called America’s Best Cross-stitch. It was stitched one-over-one on 22 count fabric. It’s not half bad even though it’s no longer displayed (that would be because of the divorce).
5. When did you first realize that stitching was for you?
I think when I was buying the materials for my first project. There was so much cool stuff. And that was at Ben Franklin--when I went to my first dedicated cross-stitch store I was weak at the knees! And when I went to the Spirit of Cross-stitch Festival I nearly fainted. This is kind of a good story that MB and I were reminiscing about in Tulsa. We went to SOXS in Valley Forge and she had a class when the stitching mall opened, but I was free. I was just supposed to take a peek and meet her back at the hotel to go over together. When I got off the bus I was beaming! I kept telling her how awesome it was, but she didn't really believe me. She agreed though when she saw it. It was amazing. I don't think any shopping experience has been that good--none of the other xs shows that I've been to have quite managed to have that many stores. (Then again, when I think of how many stores have gone out of business in L.A. in the past 10 years, I can see why.)