The thing about cross-stitch as a form of embroidery is that it is very simple to do, ignoring, if you will for the moment, all the counting involved. Not only is it uncomplicated, but it is generally done on fabrics with holes already clearly marked.
So simple, in fact, that even a child can do it. Provided, of course, that they have the attention span for it.
But complications caused by cross-stitch arise when it comes to the reverse of a design. It is the back of a piece which, allegedly, shows the talent of the stitcher. According to some, the back should look very very similar to the front.
Now, obviously, when you first start cross-stitching, the back’s the last thing you’re going to be worried about:
Admittedly, this penguin isn’t the worst, but I’d rather not reveal the depths of my terrible stitching.
On the other hand, fortunately, the more you stitch, it becomes easier to keep it tidy:
There’s still some way to go before the reverse of my stitching matches the front, but it is much easier to identify what it is from the back.
These two were stitched the better part of a year apart and, as you can see, the stitching’s much tidier, although I’m not sure that I’ve really changed my stitching all that much. I aim to stitch as efficiently as possible. I stitch the bottom stitches of a colour /// before going back over \\\. I suppose the biggest difference is that I’ve started consciously being neater with the thread-tails. But otherwise, I’m a Life’s Too Short kind of a person, so I don’t tend to pay too much attention to the back.
What about you? How neat is your stitching? Or are you like me, and only worry about the front?