Letting go

Sometimes even long-held plans into which you’ve sunk a lot of effort need to be let go.

unfinished cat cross-stitch

Once upon a time I acquired a pattern or kit for a cat-themed cross-stitch pillow. Since it had four cats and we had four cats, and there was a certain basic correspondence between the looks of these four, I decided to make it over in our cats’ images.

And I put a lot of work into it – twenty years ago or more.

unfinished cat cross-stitch

As much work as I put into it, there is a lot left. I never did figure out good colors for Tabitha (the unfinished grey and tan cat) – she wasn’t as high contrast as that stitching. And at this point the discoloration of the fabric and white thread may be permanent.

I used the pattern for O.D., the calico, in another setting already, and I’ll save what I have for the other three as well. The stitching itself, however – it’s time to let it go.

Koala vault

I’ve been designing my own cross-stitch patterns almost as long as I’ve been cross-stitching. The oldest one that still exists is of a koala on a tree.

koala pattern koala legend

I stitched it up again this week, though I made a counting mistake (per usual) and used three strands for everything including backstitch, which was also a mistake.

koala almost done koala done

What a difference a face makes! I wasn’t sure whether the eyes and nose were to be outlined in tan or black, nor whether the box around the pattern was backstitched or not, since it was not explicitly addressed in the backstitch color instructions and I didn’t see a clear inference to be made. The non-mouth facial features were probably intended to be outlined in tan, upon reflection, although that would make the mouth stand out a lot. As it is, though, he kind of looks like he’s wearing thick-rimmed glasses with an attached nose and mustache.

Why I thought a koala should be tan, however, is one question that cannot be answered.

Comic gifts

Late last fall I got the idea to stitch up some of my husband’s drawings and make him a zippered pencil/hook case for Christmas. Well, here we are now and the stitching is done but not the case.

oh you banner Oh You stitching

contemplation contemplation stitching

Oh You! A Periodical is the hubby’s zine, and the first picture is the banner for the accompanying blog. The other is from an individual blog entry. Click the pictures to go to the blog and the entry, respectively.

He made both originals on the computer, the unicorn with a program that allowed pixel-by-pixel control (so the pattern is a literal representation, though I made a minor error in the stitching), and the man by drawing with the trackpad on his laptop (!!!). I printed a large version of the man and went over it with graph paper to turn it into a cross-stitch pattern.

The stitching is all half stitches on 28-count evenweave with two strands of floss. Full cross stitches were too difficult at that scale.

His birthday was yesterday and I gave him the finished embroideries with a request that he tell me whether he would actually like them made into a pencil case, or into something else. He chose the pencil case, and we’ll be designing it to suit his use. I’ll show you when it’s done!