In Which I Sort of Attempt to Cross Stitch

I like podcasts. I usually listen to them while I work on plushies, or when I’m driving. During a not so recent episode of JJGO, Jesse said something that really stuck with me. It was the sort of thing that should be embroidered, framed, and stuck on a wall.
Here’s what he said:

“Legs of two, good for you. Legs of eight, deserves to die.”

Perhaps I should back up and tell you that this is his campaign slogan for The War On Spiders. (Which was the title of one podcast, mentioned briefly in the next, and then never again. Such is pods.)
But I couldn’t let it go. This simple two sentence glob sums up everything I feel about spiders. And humans. We suffer a surfeit of black widows, wolf spiders, daddy long legs, and eleventy billion other types in our home. I hate them all. Once they figure out how team up with the dust bunnies, the spider army will come after us for sure.
Clearly, there was only one answer. I had to design and make a cross stitch pattern with this slogan.
Legs of two design
Designing it was easy. Wham, bam, photoshop. Getting it to translate into a pattern was much, much harder. I tried many online services, to no avail. I suspect that this may have had something to do with the flowery font I chose. Either that, or the fact that I know nothing about cross stitch.
Legs of Two pattern
Eventually, I decided to trace the pattern onto the fabric. This worked fine, but I suspect it was at this point that I drifted away from true cross stitch. Oh well. On with the stitching!
Cross stitch in progress
I learned some things right off the bat. One, that cheap off-brand embroidery floss is horrid. It’ll sliver and unravel and just generally be a pain to work with. Don’t bother. Two, this sort of detail work will give me crazy rib pain. And three, I kind of hate cross stitch. If that is indeed what I was doing.
For some reason, I had the hardest time getting started, despite all the online tutorials in the world. I blame pregnancy brain. (What is this blog going to be like when I can’t blame hormones for everything?) Once I finally did, pulling the (cheap, off brand) embroidery floss through was a nightmare. Things did not flow smoothly.
However, I was determined to persevere. I had to show those spiders who’s boss! (Me.) It took HOURS. And then more hours. The piece I was working on was about 6″ x 8″.
Things really started to fall apart when it was time to stitch those letters. The font that I had chosen did NOT translate well to the simple pixelated look I was going for. (You could point out how obvious this was from the get go. At which point I would point out to you BABY BRAIN. And then I would win.) I had to abandon the tiny x’s entirely, and just fudge my way along.
Cross stitch in progress
You know how the back of embroidery is supposed to look as pretty as the front? I don’t know if cross stitchers play by the same rule, but if they do, I most certainly failed:
Back view of the cross stitch
Oh well. Who’s going to see it? (Besides the whole internet, now.)
Eventually, I was done. DONE! There’s nothing like the satisfaction of forcing your will on an unsuspecting, unwilling piece of cloth.
Finished cross stitch
And here it is, framed and hung high enough on the wall so the mistakes aren’t quite so evident:
Bringing the war on spiders home!

Should you decide “Hey, this is just the sort of thing I would like to embroider/cross stitch! I could make that awesome!”, here’s a .pdf of the image I used.
Legs of 2 Download
Download it, fix it, use it, make it awesome. And if you do, let me know! I’d love to see what you come up with.

About Claire

Absolutely Small is textile artist Claire Chambers. Claire Chambers is a crazy-pants artist/crafter who spends most of her time indoors, very near to Portland, Oregon. She likes making people laugh, chickens and pugs, and writing about herself in the third person. She is utterly obsessed with making things out of fabric.

Comments

  1. How funny and disturbing at the same time. I like spiders at a distance and know that if we didn’t have them, we would probably all die but I don’t want to see them :)

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