Knitting has become rather a large part of my life in the past two years. I’ve been drawn more and more to the simplicity and ease of picking up my needles and working a few rows in between other tasks throughout the day.

Needless to say, when I caught sight of this adorable Cross Stitch Kit, I couldn’t resist it! My husband and I adopted a crazy little cat last November. His name is Mac and there is almost nothing he loves more than to steal my yarn. He has even gone so far as to go digging through my project bag in search of his new favorite toy. My craft room door is kept permanently shut to keep him out of my stash!

So while Mac and I don’t quite get along as well as this girl and her cat appear to, it still seemed too applicable to turn down.

My first recommendation for starting a cross stitch project with a deadline is to schedule at least two weeks more than you think you need. Due to being on holiday for two weeks at the beginning of March and then needing to finish other projects with more imminent deadlines, I didn’t actually start this cross stitch until the first week of April. Let me tell you, that wasn’t nearly enough time! I was still scrambling to finish this project at the last minute.

If I had planned it better, I would have started it in February. Then I could have worked a few stitches here and there taking my own leisurely time. Instead I had to fight to get it completed in three weeks while switching jobs and dealing with other family and business responsibilities. So. . . Learn from my mistake! Don’t wait until the last minute to start.

I find that getting the cross stitch fabric onto a hoop and working those first half dozen stitchs is the most difficult part. Once that’s done, I have no trouble picking up the cross stitch and putting a few minutes of work into it every day or so.

Now, silhouette projects like this one are much simpler than full color. There is no worrying about color changes or faffing about with different threads hanging from your project. Just thread your needle in that solid color and go.

A technique I used to make this even easier was to “trace” out my next section with stitches and then go back and fill it in. (You can see what I mean from the pictures.) That way I didn’t need to constantly refer to the pattern. This made it significantly easier to work on the cross stitch while hanging out with friends or family.

Another mistake you may have noticed is that my finished cross stitch is not centered on the fabric. I wasn’t paying enough attention when I started my project and I accidentally had the cross stitch fabric flipped around the wrong way. I almost ran out of room to finish it! I’m not too worried about it though. I am planning to sew some cute fabric on it as a border and then I’ll probably frame it before hanging it on the wall.

Despite my mishaps with this project, I love how it looks! I think it is utterly adorable. I did have a good idea while I was stitching away. Wouldn’t it be rather fun to add a pop of color here and there: put a bow on the cat, give the yarn some colorful highlights, possibly add a couple flowers around the edges, or maybe stitch a meaningful quote into that open corner?

~Emily