Wednesday WIP: Up and Away Cross-Stitch

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

We have a rule in our house: if we go away for a weekend, I need to take a project with me. There's nothing I find more fulfilling and relaxing than blocking out thoughts of the week, work and worries with a cup of tea and a bit of creative stitching. I've taken knitting camping, I took English paper piecing hexagons to Silverstone, and I regularly take a bit of cross-stitch to Faringdon.

Cross stitch is wonderfully portable.

This weekend past we went to a Big Family Event in Toddington. There was roast chicken and assorted buffet foods, there were children playing mini-Olympics, and there was the ever-important Big Family News (we learnt, this weekend, that we will soon be welcoming a new mini Cousin to the family!). There was champagne and wine, designated drivers, and hours of sunshine. And there was cross stitch.

This is the project I've started working on. It's an Emily Peacock design from the Cross Stitcher magazine, issue 254, July 2012.

I gathered my threads before setting off for the weekend so I didn't have to lug around a bag full of extra embroidery floss! I've swapped the red in the pattern for a dark pink, and I'm still undecided about the green. I'm either going to use the dark green on the right, or the mint green on the left. The pattern calls for the dark green - I'm just being difficult.

This is the Aida I chose - 14 Count Rustic Aida. It's not quite cream in colour, more like a flecked oatmeal. I like the way the pastel colours show up on this. We had to stop off at my Local Yarn Shop on the way to the Family Event to pick this up because I didn't have a piece of Aida big enough. It turns out, neither did they. I had to settle on a piece that is 15cm short, all round. It's okay. It looks like the balloon will just fit.

Did I mention that this is, according to Cross Stitcher, a 75-hour project? Good golly.

After a good few hours of stitching, this is how far I am -

The sizing issue is starting to make me feel nervous. I might stitch the outline going up so that I know whether or not it will fit in before embarking on detailed balloon patterns, guy ropes and baskets. It's very difficult to resist the urge to stitch in straight left-to-right lines when you're working in counted grids like this!

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