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Beta Testers Needed

Hey, guys!  I need some beta testers for a tutorial project.  I'm going to be taking the Cross Stitch 101 series and re-doing it, effectively, to work as a cohesive unit.  I will also be releasing a companion book to go with it.

I'm looking for people who can review both of these elements and give me any feedback or questions they might have.  I'll also be looking through my YouTube comments to see what common questions people have.

Ideally, I'm looking for people who are relatively new to the hobby, since you won't be able to fill in any gaps I might have left anywhere.  The more questions you can ask me, the better.

I cannot afford to pay beta testers, but you will get access to all of the lessons and patterns used in this series.  If this is something you might be interested in, please sign up below (or click the IFTTT link if you're seeing this on Tumblr).


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Pattern Giveaway: September 27th - October 3rd

It's time for another pattern giveaway!  Is there a pattern you've been wanting to get, now's the time to sign up for a chance to get it for free.  There are six ways to enter.  Check them out below.

Free Cross Stitch Pattern (Sept 27-Oct 3rd)


Free Cross Stitch Pattern: Porcupuffer

Porcupuffer Cross Stitch Pattern
DMC FlossAny Fabric31 x 32 Stitches7 Colours
Get it here

Free Cross Stitch Pattern: Cheep Cheep

Cheep Cheep Cross Stitch Pattern
DMC FlossAny Fabric32 x 30 Stitches6 Colours
Get it here

Free Cross Stitch Pattern: Blurp

Blurp Cross Stitch Pattern
DMC FlossAny Fabric32 x 32 Stitches7 Colours
Get it here

Free Cross Stitch Pattern: Blargg

Blargg Cross Stitch Pattern

DMC Floss
Any Fabric
47 x 32 Stitches
7 Colours


Get it here

Perching Raven: On Amazon

The Perching Raven pattern is now on Kindle!  It's been on Amazon for a while, but now you can get it delivered directly to your tablet.  Which means if you have KindleUnlimited, you can get it for free.



Get it on Kindle

Get it in print


Orange Sunset: On Amazon

The Orange Sunset pattern is now on Kindle!  It's been on Amazon for a while, but now you can get it delivered directly to your tablet.  Which means if you have KindleUnlimited, you can get it for free.



Get it on Kindle

Get it in print


2017 Pattern Collection: On Amazon

The 2017 Pattern Collection is now on Kindle!  It's been on Amazon for a while, but now you can get it delivered directly to your tablet.  Which means if you have KindleUnlimited, you can get it for free.

Patterns included in this collection:

Perching RavenSummer SunriseNot You AgainHaunted HouseCalifornia CondorFlowery GeckoGlitterfishRainbow AuroraTrees at the BeachTropical SunsetColourful Birds (set of four)Bats at NightCoral ReefSmall Birds (set of four)Tropical Fish (set of four)Colourful Butterflies (set of four)No No No 
Get it on Kindle
Get it in print

Cross Stitch Pattern: European Robin

European Robin Pattern

Any Floss (charted for variegated)Any Fabric44 x 48 Stitches5 Colours
Get it here

Cross Stitch Pattern: Hippo Tang

Hippo Tang Pattern

Any Floss (charted for variegated)Any Fabric65 x 38 Stitches4 Colours
Get it here

Cross Stitch Pattern: Kingfisher

Kingfisher Cross Stitch Pattern

Any Floss (charted for variegated)
Any Fabric
48 x 57 Stitches
7 Colours

Get it here

Cross Stitch Pattern: Ginger Cat

Ginger Cat Pattern

Any Floss (charted for variegated)Any Fabric65 x 45 Stitches7 Colours
Get it here

Cross Stitch Pattern: Tabby Cat

Tabby Cat Pattern
Any Floss (charted for variegated)Any Fabric60 x 30 Stitches6 ColoursGet it here

Blog: Learning how to Cross Stitch

A journey in learning a new hobby in 16 images.  These are a bunch of small little projects I have from when I was learning how to do this stuff.  I didn't start with little projects though.  Not pictured are the few very large projects I tried to start on, just to see if this was something I wanted to learn how to do.  That's always the best way for me to see if something is for me.  I try it on the hardest setting possible — in this case, with a huge full-coverage piece of Loki.  Guess what: I barely got anywhere with it.  It was full of mistakes, the fabric was awful, and I didn't know that you're allowed to fix mistakes, basically.  That sounds weird, but when I placed a stitch in the wrong spot, and noticed it about a half hour later, I didn't know that you could just... stitch over the wrong one, or pretend that it wasn't even wrong.  I didn't know you could pull out stitches and do a section over.  I don't know why I thought this wasn't allo…

Flosstube #13: Got Creeped on at the Library

We went to the library to escape the heat, and instead wound up getting heavily creeped on by a creep.  Do not want.



Flosstube #12: Battling Wasps at the Japanese Garden

I went to the Japanese Garden to read your comments.  And got attacked by wasps!



Flosstube #11: Camera Died

My camera would die right in the middle of filming.



Cross Stitch 101: Parking Method

Parking is one of those things that's hard to search for, because it's not exactly an intuitive name, and even knowing that it exists as a technique isn't exactly genetic knowledge.  But if you want to do some gnarly big Heaven and Earth piece, or something that's pure confetti, parking is a good way to make sure you don't wind up with a bunch of tangles and knots on the back.


So, what is parking, anyway?  In short, the name refers to the thread you're using being placed on the fabric for later use.  It's been parked there temporarily, like you park your car at work.

This is a difficult one to explain in text, so I'll be brief and let the video below explain it for me.  There are a few different ways to go about parking your thread, but this version is my favourite.  I work one 10x10 block at a time, starting in the upper left corner.  On my chart, I highlight every instance of that colour in that 10x10 block, and stitch them.  Then, I look at the next…

Cross Stitch 101: Hand-Dyeing Aida

Dyeing your own fabric is fun and easy.  It's also cheaper, and lets you get exactly what you want.

Mostly I marble dye my fabric.  Marble dyeing is probably the easiest way of doing it, because mistakes are hidden much better than if you're trying to get even colour or a specific design.  It's also easy.  You only need a few things:
WaterDye (I use Rit)Salt Rubber bands or white cotton yarn  (do not use acrylic or yarn with dyes.  Animal fibres should be avoided regardless of whether or not they've been dyed)A heat source and appropriate containerMy heat source is a microwave and a variety of bowls.  You can also use a stove and a pot.  The stove can be faster and can support much more fabric, but it's also messier.  Another tool I use is a giant turkey roaster.  It's the slowest method, but can handle a huge amount of fabric.

First, prepare your fabric.  If your fabric is starched, this can actually increase the amount of marbling that appears, because the c…

Flosstube #10: Getting this Ball Rolling

Remember when I said I was going to do these videos regularly?  Ha! What happened to that?



Cross Stitch 101: Framing in a Hoop

There are a lot of ways to frame embroidery, and doing it in a hoop is one of the easiest methods.  There are also a lot of ways to frame something in a hoop.  This is the way I do it.

Sometimes I'll use some fancy scrapbook paper to cover up the back, but honestly?  I forget.  A lot.  Also, it's a bit of a faff because the hoops are never perfectly round, and cutting out the paper means it only fits properly if it's sitting in one very particular way.  Also, 99% of the people who see the finished piece will never see the back, because it will probably be up on a wall somewhere.

I don't use any kind of glue or adhesives, because they're a little too permanent for me.  Things get broken, or maybe you'd rather use a different size hoop and don't realise it until you're done.  Also, me being me, I would probably get the glue all over the place and ruin everything.

So here's what I do use:

Medium-sized upholstery needlePearl Cotton, or some throw-away …

California Condor Speed Paint

A California Condor.  I took this photo at the Oregon Zoo, and because of the weather, it was almost impossible to get a good detail shot.  But this shot was still my favourite.  There wasn't enough detail to do a full-size piece, but it works quite nicely as a little postage stamp.



Cross Stitch 101: Adding New Floss to PCStitch

Adding new floss to PCStitch can be a must.  It doesn't have all of DMC's colours, which is kind of depressing sometimes, and if you use floss you bought off Etsy or from a small or local manufacturer, it may not have them at all.

But you can add your own floss pretty easily.  The process is mostly the same in 10 and 11, with the main difference is that 11 has some more options when it comes to picking the colour values. 



Flosstube #9: Embroidery Tool Box

This has changed a little bit in recent months, so I might re-do this video.  But here's a little peek of everything I keep handy.  Not the floss and fabric, but basically everything else.



Mjolnir (Thor's Hammer) Speed Paint

Kind of went on a little bit of a Marvel kick there for a while.  So here's Mjolnir!



Rocket and Groot Speed Paint

A sassy raccoon and a sentient tree!  It's Rocket and Groot



Beta Ray Bill Speed Paint

My favourite weird, obscure comic character ever.  Just lookit that face.



Trees at the Beach Speed Paint

I took a lot of pictures of the scenery a few years ago as we took a long trip down the Oregon coast. There probably wasn't even a beach on the other side, to be honest.  Maybe some rocks or a bog or something.  Though I think it's mostly Washington that has coastal bogs.  I'm not sure.



Rainbow Aurora Speed Paint

Another little postage stamp with glitter floss.  I really want to do another one of these soon.



Flosstube #8: Fixed the Website

Spent a day fiddling with the old website.  That one was more robust, but frankly I like this one better when it comes down to it.

Video

Flosstube #7: WIP Tour

I have so many freaking WIPs.  It's awful.  Someone please stop me.

Video

Cross Stitch 101: Using Stretcher Bars

Stretcher bars are a weird concept for some people.  You have to use tacks and put big, ugly holes in your fabric, and you can't really adjust the fabric once it's on there.  But I freaking love these things.  I use these the vast majority of the time, over any other method of holding my fabric while I'm stitching.

Stretcher bars are exactly what they sound like: bars you use to stretch your fabric.  Most are modular, and some will even come in enormous sets with a wide variety of sizes.  This is the set that I like best.  I have about six of these sets.  I've marked all of them with their size, and thrown them into a bin so I always have the size I need when I need it, no matter how shamefully big my WIP pile is.  Some are so old, I've taken wood fill to them to fill in the stupid amount of holes I've punched into them.

Using them is pretty easy.  The listing linked above should also recommend some tacks.  If it doesn't, these are the ones I use.  I buy …

Coral Grouper Speed Paint

Another fish I made with some thread I also made.



Volt Goat (Don't Starve) Speed Paint

I love Don't Starve.  I also love goats.  The Volt Goats from Don't Starve are the best.



Variegated Sparrow Speed Paint

So, once upon a time, I had a little floss company, where I made and sold all sorts of hand-dyed flosses.  I used some of that floss to make a little sparrow.



Flosstube #6: Back on Track

Trying to get back on track after doing a whole lot of nothing.  The problem is I like doing a whole lot of nothing.



Glitterfish Speed Paint

The infamous Glitterfish.  What is the Glitterfish?  A stupid experiment I screwed up right off the bat, and had to live with for the next ten hours.



Cross Stitch 101: Creating a Pattern from a Photograph

Have you ever wanted to stitch an image?  Maybe something from a TV show you like, or a portrait of a pet or a family member?  It's not as tricky as it might seem to convert that image into a stitchable pattern.  You just need a few tools, all of which can be got for free.

First, you need an image editor.  A lot of expensive stitch software can do this step to a degree, but processing your image before it goes into your stitch software/converter is the best way to make sure you get the results you want.  I like Paint.NET.  This isn't a website.  The website is actually here: https://www.getpaint.net/

This only works on PC.  If you're on Mac, Pinta is your tool.  https://pinta-project.com/pintaproject/pinta/

Both of these tools will let you crop, adjust, and fiddle with your image to get the framing and light right.  Some images will be harder to process than others.  This step has taken me anywhere from five minutes to days of trial and error to get it right.  If you nee…

Flosstube #5: Blind Stitch Challenge

Mary came over, and we did a blind stitch challenge.  I wasn't allowed to see the pattern, she wasn't allowed to see what I was doing.  I got hit in the face.



Flosstube #4: Reading Your Comments

I took some time to read through some of the comments you guys have left.  You guys are funny!



Flosstube #3: So Much Yarn

I got of got a little carried away there, and went and bought a whole bunch of yarn from Goodwill.  Why?  I still haven't really used any of it.  Why do I do this?



Cross Stitch Pattern: Bluebird

Bluebird Pattern
Any Floss (charted for variegated)Any Fabric41 x 65 Stitches6 ColoursGet it here

Cross Stitch Pattern: Bengal Cat

Bengal Cat Pattern
Any Floss (charted for varigated)Any Fabric60 x 39 Stitches9 ColoursGet it here

Free Cross Stitch Pattern: Mantine

Mantine Pattern
DMC FlossAny Fabric76 x 65 Stitches14 ColoursGet it here

Free Cross Stitch Pattern: Lanturn

Lanturn Pattern
DMC FlossAny Fabric61 x 47 Stitches14 ColoursGet it here

Free Cross Stitch Pattern: Mjolnir

Mjolnir Pattern
DMC FlossAny Fabric112 x 168 Stitches81 ColoursGet it here

Flowery Gecko Speed Paint

This is something I drew a long time ago for a totally unrelated project.  I got bored and decided to stitch it.


Flosstube #2: New Setup

I got myself a new recording setup.  Let's see how long it will last.


Cross Stitch 101: Using Variegated Floss

Using variegated floss is a weird beginner problem for some people.  I get asked a lot how it works and how to use it.  The simple answer is however you want.

That's not a very helpful answer though.

The way that you stitch will determine how your variegated floss works.  Learning how to use variegated floss with one strand is easiest.  But you can use more to change the way it looks.  Using one strand, not folded over, stitch one full X at a time.  This will make both parts of the stitch the same colour, or very similar colours.  Stitching a full X at a time is the English method.  English is the most common method for using variegated floss.

Going along your row with half stitches, and then coming back to finish them is the Danish method.  This will make the row change as it goes along.  On the side where you started, the stitches will have different colours on the top and bottom of the stitch.  On the side where you start to double back, you'll have a few stitches of the s…