Cross-stitch is not for the weak

While I was in Chicago recently for a few work conferences that were back to back, conversations with girlfriends and boyfriends often turned to DIY and the crafting movement. All the cool kids are doing it, it seems. Now I’m no stranger to the DIY/crafting world as I’ve been dabbling on and off for a few years, including but not limited to the following:

But the one that seems to be all the rage in my circles is cross-stitch. I can name half a dozen people off the top of my head who currently count this as their number one crafting past-time. Their constant yammering about their projects, and since it seems you really don’t need to know how to do much other then thread a needle and sew, appealed to me. I like the idea that it is essentially paint by numbers, but with thread. (I will also admit TheHusband has asked me to put the knitting needles down as my hats keep getting more and more interesting. The latest one ended up shaped like a used condom.)

Since having an instant support group for any kind of activity appealed to me, I took myself off to Hobby Lobby tonight after work to get supplies. Since I was not fond of getting a pattern that was “of the lord” or of a fruit basket, I bought a bag of 150 colors of floss, rolled up tube of cross-stich fabric, a hoop, needles, and other accouterments as seen in the picture above. I figured I come home, have dinner, find a pattern, and go. And if I hated it, I would pawn the lot off to Kristin.

No. Not that simple.

The cross-stitch world is complicated. The surge for wanting things handmade has increased the amount of information on the topic, which makes sense since there are thousands nay millions of pages on just about any topic in the universe, according ye olde googles. But I’m a librarian! I should be able to find stuff easily. No, not quite true either. Bad taxonomy and tag stuffing also thwarted my plans. After an hour of looking for patterns, for an easy one I could do in a few hours, turned out to be horribly wrong. I had thought of coughing up a few bucks to Subversive Cross Stitch, whom I long amired, only to find as I was going through their patterns, nothing appealed.

Kristin suggested creating my own pattern, using something like MyPhotoStitch to generate the colors and patterns for me. But the problem is that I wanted to do something BIG AND FLASHY vroom vroom, when I still need training wheels. So instead of creating something that requires 44 different flavors of floss, I need something that has say, eight. Tomorrow when I’m not feeling so emotionally drained, I’ll probably create a TARDIS or something Doctor Who related.

And hopefully this time, nothing will come out shaped like a used condom.


1. The proof that I broke even on my investment with Excessively Diverting proved to me that I could make and sell something of my own creation, which is a huge confidence boost. Now only if could apply that to other things in my life.

To: Make: Knitting – iTardis, an iPod cozy (v1.0)

iPod, iTardis, iPhone
iPod, iTardis, iPhone

Roughly about 18 months ago, Lindsay sent me a link to an Etsy page of a seller showcasing their knitted Tardis iPod/iPhone cozy. Lindsay, in her infinite cuteness, said, ” Make me this!”

The design and concept of the Etsy version was pretty poor: The person essentially knitted (with acrylic yarn no less) a tube, unseamed, and then cross-stitched Xs in for the white/shadow on the doors. I was more appalled that the seller wanted $20 for the thing, even though essentially it was wrist cuff, just slightly longer. I knew I could do a lot better version that would also be much cheaper.

When Lindsay came to visit a few weeks later, I had constructed the pattern (more or less) and all we just needed to get needles and yarn. I also guessed, based upon my knitting speed, it shouldn\’t take more than a few hours to turn out. Since Lindsay was going to be in town for a few days, I figured we could leisurely get this going and have it done at a later time.

Little did I know that it would be fits/starts spanning 18 fucking months, not a few hours as intended. The design, implementation,needles, yarn weight and colors: Everything was frogged and ignored by me for months only to beredone and then frogged again!

With all that being said, here is the iTardis (FINALLY), HUGE thanks to Krazy Kate, this really only took me a few hours from start to finish as I had predicted all those months ago. Krazy Kate showed me the path of how to streamline and design the cozy, and yet there are improvements to the design and construction to already be made and thus, this is a prototype. Lindsay was so excited about this being finished before she left today, that she left with the prototype on her iPod. This version fits my iPhone (seen above) better than the classic iPod above (it’s slightly longer).

If someone can give me measurements to their iPad, I would adore that as I want to knit up a prototype for it.

Whomever helps me out with the iPad version, will get the prototype for free when I’m done (shipping will also be on me).

Leave contact information via comments or the usual locations.

Pattern for all versions, with tweaks, coming soon-ish. Image above, however, will take you to the Flickr set showing the entire thing in-progress.