A Stitcher’s Dictionary: Table of Contents

Each week on Little Thread Crafts I do a Term of the Week article, where I pick a common word or phrase among cross-stitchers and explain its meaning.

Below you will find an alphabetized list of every term I’ve done so far. Think of it like a cross-stitcher’s dictionary, and this is the table of contents.

Click the word to read the article. Happy Stitching!

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A Job And Stitching Dilemma

As those of you who have followed my blog for any length of time know, even before this blog was created, I had a problem with my left wrist. I have to wear a brace for it and it limits the use of my left hand.

After two years, four different braces, and five doctors, they still aren’t sure what’s causing the problem. The only suggestion I have received is one of two things: a ganglion cyst, or a tear in a ligament. Or it could be both. Or neither! All scans have been inconclusive. All I know is, it hurts. A lot.

Their solution to the problem has been cortisone steroid injections and digging around with needles to see if they can get the cyst (if there is one) or heal up any injury there may be. I had my first procedure the middle of June; it didn’t help at all. But I also worked two jobs over 60 hours a week, and I only had three days off to rest it. So I figured, I just didn’t give it enough time to heal. It’ll get better once life calms down.

Since then, I left my second job, went on vacation, and had my second procedure. All good. My wrist was sore from the needles and the steroid, but it felt better. My first job at Joann’s was kind enough not to put me on the schedule until I asked them to. I had five days of rest before I went in to work today for my first 8 hour shift in about three weeks.

I was on shift working the cutting counter for four hours. Still had four to go. And my wrist was killing me. Four hours of work reversed five days of healing. It was as if I had never gotten the injection at all. As this is how it’s been for the past few years… I believe the work I currently do (retail) aggravates whatever problem my wrist has. I need an easy job where I can take frequent breaks, as to not strain my wrist. As this is unrealistic in the working world I currently inhabit, I should turn towards working from home.

Let’s examine my skills that I could turn into a business from home and/or market to get a job where I can work from home. I can type. I can blog. (So, put together, I can write.) And I can stitch. Okay, good. Now these things do actually irritate my wrist, but if I work at my own pace and can take breaks whenever I want, it shouldn’t be that big of a problem.

Here is the issue: these things aren’t exactly the most accessible to make money through. At least on the blog front. I don’t average enough viewers to make money, as much as I love it and as much as I would like to. So let’s look at stitching. Now I’m not an artist, and I understand copyright – so designing and distributing charts is out. I don’t know how to make my own fabric or threads, so supplies are out. (Not that I can’t learn, of course, but as it stands I don’t know how so it won’t count.) I could probably make little accessories like needle minders and scissor fobs and whatnot, if I had an artistic talent, which I don’t, really, or else I’d design my own charts!

So what does that leave on the stitching front? Custom framing? I could probably learn how to do that. I could learn how to make my own fabrics and threads, possibly. Little accessories are a possibility also.

I DO know there’s such a thing as model stitching – you know, the finished pieces that are used to show what the chart will look like. Usually used to help sell the piece, as on a kit or a booklet. Someone’s gotta stitch those, right? That would be a great job! But I don’t know how to get started. I do pieces from kits, I don’t have a favorite designer… if model stitching was my job I’m sure I would stitch a LOT more and get done faster, but as it stands I’m slow and my favorite pieces are small. How does one break into the model stitching industry? Anybody have any ideas?

While I’m on the subject of asking questions, what would YOU suggest for a stitching-oriented, from-home job? I’ve also considered possibly teaching, as I know the DMC mentor program is a thing. Or maybe software development? An app/website that keeps track of your WIPs, your threads, your whatever? Something by a stitcher for fellow stitchers? I don’t know. I’ve just been feeling down because I didn’t use my left hand for five days, felt better, and immediately after going back to a job I love my wrist felt all the way back to square one.

Anyway. Let me know your thoughts! Send those ideas my way! And if you happen to be someone or know someone who can talk to me about model stitching and how to get into it, I’d love to chat!

Curse this bum wrist!

Curse this bum wrist!

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“Random Corner” is a place for all articles related to all manners of cross-stitchery and the cross-stitch community that don’t fall into the topics covered in the regular segments. There is no set schedule for Random Corner articles, they’re just random!

By the way – to keep up on Little Thread Crafts stitching news and get pictures, updates, and more that don’t appear on the blog until much later, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! I would greatly appreciate it!

Crazy Stitch Habits #22

CSH #22

Someone mentioned this the other day and I had to agree! Sometimes I see things and I think, “wow, that would make a great finished piece!”

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Have a crazy stitching habit of your own? Feel free to leave a comment or send me a message on Facebook and your habit may be in the next segment! :)

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Progress Report: Sweet Baby

Time for a new Progress Report! Woo!

So I started this project on one of my Five Minute Stitch videos, so you can see the initial few stitches in these videos:

The Five-Minute Stitch! EP23 —***— The Five-Minute Stitch! EP26

And I talk about why I picked this project and all that good stuff. :) But in case you don’t wanna watch: my cousin is having her sixth baby (and her second girl!) here in a couple months. I wanted to do a sampler but if I did the baby would be five years old before it was finished. I’m very slow with stitching! So I decided on one of my mini kits  instead. It’s a Janlynn kit called “Sweet Baby” – I can give exact details as needed, or you will see it in the Friday Finishes when the project is complete. :)

So this is where I finished in the two videos:

A good start!

A good start!

I did a little more going towards the bottom – I don’t like counting up from my last stitch if I can help it. Too easy to lose count! But around when I started the yellow I realized exactly HOW many fractional stitches this project has… too many, that’s how many. Sooo many fractionals!

I just started into the fractionals on this picture...

I just started into the fractionals on this picture…

Sweet Baby 3

I realize that 50% of this project is fractionals. Sigh.

And then I put the project aside for awhile, as I usually do. It’s one of those things where I think about stitching ALL the time, but I only pick up a needle every few weeks. No excuse, really. I’d make time if I desperately wanted to stitch. So anyway, it was the 4th of July and we were all hanging outside by the bonfire after dinner waiting for the sun to go down and the fireworks to start. So I decided to stitch by the fire!

The sun is just starting to go down.

The sun is just starting to go down.

And I officially run out of light and have to stop.

And I officially run out of light and have to stop.

Look how many fractionals! Look! The good news is at this point that the project is nearly finished… I’ve got a little more to go at the top of the rattle and then it’s just back-stitch left! Which means I got through the fractionals, pretty much. Now this is as far as I’ve gotten, but I’ve got ten weeks or so until the baby comes. Or, I might wait until Christmas and give it to the whole family along with some other stitched gifts. Haven’t decided! Either way I’ve got plenty of time left. Making good progress!

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Progress Report is an update on all my stitching habits, from the kits to the stitching to the finishing process and more! Right now I am featuring a Cat-Themed Rotation of three cat-themed projects, my Wolf Dream Catcher, Seashell Pillow Cases, and a few other pieces.

By the way – to keep up on Little Thread Crafts stitching news and get pictures, updates, and more that don’t appear on the blog until much later, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! I would greatly appreciate it!

Term of the Week: Even-weave

Welcome to this week’s Term of the Week, where we hop into a basic stitching term that’s good for everyone to know!

A close up view of the threads that make up evenweave fabrics (also shows warp and weft)

A close up view of the threads that make up evenweave fabrics (also shows warp and weft)

Evenweave (also even-weave or even weave) is a type of fabric where the warp (up and down) and the weft (left to right) threads of the fabric are equal distances apart, forming perfect squares. This fabric can be of many types, but for needlework, the two most common types are linen and aida. There is also a mixture of the two that is just called evenweave.

Most needlework fabrics are some type of evenweave, including the most popular Aida Cloth. All Aida is evenweave fabric, but not all evenweave fabrics are aida cloth. Some advanced stitchers prefer using plain evenweave or linen versus aida fabric.

What is the difference? Evenweave differs from aida in the count (or squares) of the fabric. Most evenweave fabrics are larger counts (28 or 32 ct. versus Aida’s 14 or 18 ct.) because the design of the fabric allows stitchers to skip a hole when doing the diagonal half stitch that forms part of the full cross-stitch. This is called stitching “over 2″.

This makes evenweave better for fractional stitches and also gives the stitcher more control over the size of the project. A 28 ct. evenweave project stitched “over 2″ will be the same size as a 14 ct. aida project stitched “over 1″. So a stitcher using evenweave can make the project larger or smaller without making any changes to the chart.

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“Term of the Week” is a weekly blog post highlighting a new word or phrase commonly used among cross-stitchers but not found in an ordinary dictionary. These posts are to help explain the words’ meanings in context and provide a resource for anyone wondering what a term like “frogging” means. Check back every Thursday!

By the way – to keep up on Little Thread Crafts stitching news and get pictures, updates, and more that don’t appear on the blog until much later, follow me onFacebook, Twitter, and Instagram! I would greatly appreciate it!

Gateway Craft

Someone aptly told me when I started this blog nearly a year and a half ago that cross-stitch was a “gateway craft”. And boy were they right!

I’ve been stitching since I was eight years old… which is about twelve years ago now. I’ve known since then that I love needle and thread – it’s art in a way I can do, create a masterpiece that can last for generations in a skill thousands of years old. People have sewed since (if not before) they picked up paint and made cave art. And I was always lousy with a pencil or a brush. I’m the type who always perfectly visualizes how a project should be, but don’t have the skills to execute. I’m waiting for the day when you can 3D print things with your mind! That’ll be great!

But in saying that, cross stitch is just one type of needlework. Historians believe it to be one of the oldest, but there are at least a dozen other forms one can take independent of all the others. Embroidery has so many different stitches and so many different techniques, and then there’s knitting, crochet, sewing in general… I know a lot about cross stitch and very little about everything else.

But I want to learn! I enjoy everything about the art of needlework, and when I hit a wall with one project it would be great to say “I guess I’ll go knit this instead!” It’d be fun to be a Jack of all (needlework) Trades. A “Stitching Guru”, so to speak.

The one thing holding me back? Time and space. Time is an obvious one, we never have enough time, but it’s also easy to fix – you make time when you need it. Note to self: if you don’t check Facebook every five minutes you’ll free a lot of time in your day. Space is my only major concern. Why? Well, stash of course! I know from my cross-stitch experience that if I get into a new craft, I’ll want all the goodies. The fabric, the kits, the yarn, the extra bits and bobs, all the pretty things… I’ve already got four boxes worth of kits and two boxes worth of charts and magazines for cross-stitch, and I’m struggling with space as it is! Imagine if I added all the supplies for knitting and crochet and sewing onto that?

Maybe it should be more motivation to stitch and clear up more room in my stash.

Or maybe I should just get a bigger house. ;)

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Little Thread Crafts News Round-Up

Because, you know, it’s been a long time.

I have basically not had a summer, and just had bad luck after bad luck. My promising new job turned out to be awful, we lost the apartment we were looking at, I had a procedure done on my wrist that prevented me from stitching, which couldn’t heal because of the job… it really has been a mess. :( And I neglected the blog as a result. The good news is that August is around the corner and everything should improve dramatically. I have to finish out July, is all.

The Update Video

So first on the news agenda is the update video I put out at the beginning of July to explain where I ended up. This is a companion video and a continuation to the article I wrote about my absence, which you can read here:

I Want To Stitch :(

In essence, the job got worse from the point I described in the video. The factory account where I work is still in shambles, and corporate is only now starting to repair some of the damage. My manager starts today. TODAY. And the old boss quit a month ago. Yeah. I’ve broken down in tears several times over this job, and so have the people I work with. I finally put my foot down and said enough was enough. I know I don’t handle stress well, and the job was so stressful I was reaching my breaking point.

When I went to put in my two weeks, guess what? They wouldn’t accept it! Instead I got a big speech about how if I only stuck with it, it would get better, and can’t I stay until I was originally supposed to leave at the end of August? Um, no! Okay, well, can’t I give them more than two weeks that way they can replace me? Are you seriously so strapped for people it takes you more than a month to hire a new manager and suddenly it’s my problem that you won’t be able to find someone to replace me with an ample two week notice?

Long story short, my last day is July 25th, and I couldn’t be more happy to be done with it. It had the promise to be a fantastic job with good pay and full benefits, but it was bad timing all around. If they had gone in and fixed the account and everything was ready to go, that would have been wonderful. Instead it was a “tossed to the wolves, survival of the fittest” style of business and the company is about to have a mass exodus on their hands if they don’t shape up. I’m the third person to leave and I know the remaining four will follow if things don’t improve.

So anyway. Done ranting. Between working non-stop for over 60 hours a week and the fact that the job was so stressful, I didn’t have time to stitch or write. Which really sucked because both are my stress relievers. :(

Wrist Diagnosis, Procedure, and the Worst Case Scenario

So, if you have watched my Five-Minute Stitch videos you may have seen the lovely braces I used to wear from time to time. (Actually by the time of my last doctor’s appointment it was all the time.) I also wrote about it in my Stitching With Care: Pain Management Tips for Stitchers with Health Issues article.

The story: I’ve had a mysterious pain in my left wrist since March of 2012. Yeah, that long. Four different doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with it over the course of two years. It was reaching the point of debilitating, like I couldn’t use my left hand or even my left arm at times at all. I’m right-handed but you realize how much you use your left hand when you can’t actually use your left hand.

I went to a wrist specialist about a month ago and he was able to tell me what was wrong. I was diagnosed with a ganglion cyst in my wrist that causes pain and inflammation. It was smaller than 5 millimeters in size (or so the doctor said) because the MRI didn’t pick it up. This is a chronic condition – there is always a chance it will come back if you get rid of it – but it is treatable. He gave me a steroid injection of Cortisone and took a needle and tried to poke holes in the cyst in an attempt to collapse it. And they gave me a new brace!

IMG_0203

New brace!

However, I don’t know how much the procedure helped… I only had three days to rest it before I had to go back to work. And since I work non-stop it didn’t really have a chance to rest. It seemed to help at first, but now… if the cyst collapsed, I’m fairly sure it refilled and came back. :( Although that’s a good thing! It means their diagnosis was correct and they can proceed with treatment.

The good news is, the doctor wants to do one more procedure when I go in for my next appointment, and since I won’t be working as much, it should be easier to rest. And if it works, great! The bad news is, if it doesn’t help, the only other option is surgery to remove the cyst. Which has a six week recovery time. Which is not good. Because I won’t be able to type or stitch or do anything with my left hand like… at all. So I really want to avoid that if at all possible!

Round-Up

So that’s what I’ve been up to. Barely any stitching and a lot of politics and drama. And health issues. I have 18 drafts in my posts that I need to work on. So I promise when life settles down I’ll be back in full! I have so many things I wanna stitch and so much I wanna do with the blog! I only need a few spare minutes to relax and fix things personally.

Again, if you want to keep up on stitching related things, I’ve been posting things regularly to Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. So if you have any of those things and want to stay in touch, follow me there!

Little Thread Crafts on Facebook

Little Thread Crafts on Twitter

Little Thread Crafts on Instagram

I will see you guys in August! Happy Stitching!

Progress Report: God Sent Special Things – Part 3

Read the Previous Articles Here:

Progress Report: God Sent Special Things, Part One

Progress Report: God Sent Special Things, Part Two

THIS is an example of why I Don’t Like Large Projects!

So this is where I left off on my “God Sent Special Things” cross-stitch piece that was a part of my failed Cat Rotation:

How the kittens look now.

Where I left off!

Well, some time ago I worked on the piece some more – and apparently forgot to write a Progress Report on it – and got more done on the kitten on the left!

The kitten finally has both ears.

The kitten finally has both ears.

And back to my original point: this piece is an example on why I don’t like large projects all that much, and much prefer to stitch things that are small and quick to do. This piece is small; it’s only a 5 x 7, and I’ve done bigger ones before. But I sat down one night and managed around thirty or forty more stitches on the piece. This is as far as I got:

I didn't actually count but I'm guessing that's around 50 stitches.

I didn’t actually count but I’m guessing that’s around 30-40 stitches.

I’m a pretty slow stitcher, so that took me about an hour or so of work. And look how much I got done. The rim of the basket they’re sitting in, and part of the handle. That’s it! Forty stitches and around an hour and the piece only moved an inch forward. If I had done the same amount of stitches on one of my mini kits I’d be anywhere from a quarter to half finished with the piece!

That’s wayyyyy too slow for me! Especially right now when I’ve got precious little time to stitch. After I realized how much time had passed I got frustrated and broke out one of my mini kits. At least I know I could get a lot more done in a solid hour! Even with a piece as small as a 5 x 7, I need to wait until I’ve got more time and just steadily work away at it until it’s done.

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Progress Report is an update on all my stitching habits, from the kits to the stitching to the finishing process and more! Right now I am featuring a Cat-Themed Rotation of three cat-themed projects, my Wolf Dream Catcher, Seashell Pillow Cases, and a few other pieces.

By the way – to keep up on Little Thread Crafts stitching news and get pictures, updates, and more that don’t appear on the blog until much later, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! I would greatly appreciate it!