The Struggle is Real: Cross Stitching 101

One day I delved into a rabbit hole on Etsy and came across a bunch of really cool shops that had cross stitching patterns for sale & I thought to myself, “I can totally cross stitch.” So I mentioned to Evil Husband (husband requested a moniker for my blog & was of his own volition,) my desire to learn to cross stitch & of course was met with side eye. However, once my blog idea came to  fruition and I decided my first monthly hobby would be the very catalyst for this blog. Evil Husband was even on board.

We made a trip to JoAnne Fabric,  and headed to the cross stitch aisle. I grabbed a Thomas Kinkade Disney’s Little Mermaid kit.  Evil Husband gives me a raised eyebrow. He suggests I may want to start small. (Surprisingly, he actually knows how to cross stitch, so I should probably listen to him.) He grabs a “My First Stitch” kit hanging separately from the “real” cross stitching patterns. I clearly notice the theme of theses kits, “Girls Rule” are amongst the patterns and I realize these are essentially for kids. Evil Husband might have a point, after all, it’s just a practice kit. I grabbed the most “adult” looking kit I could find.

Left: What I thought I could do. Right: What I can do.

I began my kit about a week or so ago & have been pinning up a storm on my Pinterest in preparation, so I thought i had it all figured out already. When I opened up this kit, the directions weren’t super clear. I didn’t realize until I visited this post on Storypiece that each strand were 6 pieces in one,  and I’m only supposed to use only two strands. Even Evil Husband had forgotten that the floss needs to be pulled apart. I thought I just be able to easily pull it apart in sections. Nope, it likes to knot up about half away. All said,  it took me about 20 minutes to pull apart, unknown repeatedly to separate into 3 strands. 

Evil Husband helped out with the first few stitches because I had no freaking clue where to start the first stitch. The kit wasn’t super helpful aside from showing the stitching & pattern. I also found this post from Imagine Gnats quite helpful. After the first few stitches were started, I got into the groove.

Made some progress after two nights

I spent some time about two evenings in a row and made the above progress. It probably totaled maybe 2-3 hours. The shape is starting to take form, and seems pretty easy. I started watching iZombie on Netflix while stitching, thinking I’ve got the hang of it.  Then I realized that I screwed up.

I messed up bigly somewhere.

So, I took out all the stitches on the right side. Then, I noticed I also screwed up the bottom part. I un-stitched it all and fixed it. Only to realize that I had messed up entirely in the beginning on the left part. And so about two hours ago, I gave up on My 1st Stitch.

Cross stitching isn’t hard. You just have to pay attention. My advice…don’t cross stitch and watch Netflix. My next few posts will be my attempt to fix my screw ups and hopefully start the “real” cross stitch pattern I picked up.

This is supposed to be my real attempt at cross stitching.

The bottom line is that I thought this would be easy to do.  It is, as long as you pay attention to what you are doing and don’t watch Netflix.

10 Comments on “The Struggle is Real: Cross Stitching 101

  1. Pingback: The Last Stitch…? – Recreational Hobbyist

  2. Pingback: Cross-Stitching Tutorials & Free Patterns – Recreational Hobbyist

  3. Haha I’ve done cross-stitch a few times. I always spend a little more concentration on getting the pattern started and double checking my rows at first, but after a while I get into the groove of it. I like that I can keep my hands busy and still veg out in front of the TV. Hey, if you are looking for more adult cross-stitch patterns there is Subversive Cross-Stitch…but be warned, most of their patterns are super sassy and not appropriate for kids. They have a bunch of laugh-out-loud patterns though 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m surprised and sad that the instructions were that incomplete for a kit clearly labeled for beginners; Bucilla is a craft company, too, so they should know better, but it sounds like a lot of the basics were left off.

    I did the frogs a few years ago, and they turn out really cute. They’re also a good way to introduce yourself to Dimensions kits, which can be complex; the smalls are a lot easier to tackle. They’re called that because you use different numbers of strands and some different stitches to give the finished project a lot of depth. Even their smalls are usually very nice.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten off count! Sometimes you can adjust and other times you have to start over… which is the worst! All of the patterns I have on my blog are great for beginners, free, and even simpler than your cute little owl so check them out. Can’t wait to see how your trio of frogs turns out. Cross-stitch truly is a fun hobby!

    PS. I LOVE that your husband already knows how to cross-stitch! It sounds like you already have an in-house expert, but if you ever have any questions, feel free to email me ( or message me on IG.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I love cross stitch, but I agree with you it’s easy to veer off the chart. I like to think of my mistakes as unique to the pattern. No one will ever be able to mimic my errors.

    Liked by 1 person

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