Started waaaaaay back in 2007, fondly nicknamed The Space Project (TSP), `cosmicbound
(previously j4m3sb0nd) was nice enough to let me use his image Resonant
for my cross stitching needs. There's an updated description for #stitchingpirates's new Pirate Pride contest below the original description! fav.me/d6qxeol
One of the few images I've actually put a signature on. I know as a stitcher I always should, but it seems only the most important ones actually get it. Ashley Mae, 2009, in pink sits in the corner. That particular shade of pink is actually used in the planet, so it doesn't raise the color count.
The scanned image is slightly skewed, not just because of scanning but because the cloth isn't yet properly ironed and stretched. You'll also notice my long-past mistake of measuring an inch for each side and leaving two inches on one side...
It works out in the end, thankfully, and I'll be adding an extra layer of cloth so it can be framed easier.Color Total:
11 x 16 inches (poster sized!)Time:
14 Count white Aida
Going to be featured in *Peter-The-Knotter
's book!... peter-the-knotter.deviantart.c…
---- Updated Contest Description
Started this project as a gift for my boyfriend at the time, who is thankfully still my friend today. I know, the original description didn't even mention it! But it's true, I started it for him since he is an amazing artist, both traditional and digital, and I wanted to impress him in return with my own craft. We only dated about six months back in 2007, but since the project was already underway I didn't just toss it to the side (as any good stitcher knows, even if it gathers dust eventually it will be finished!). I hardly worked on it at all during the school year - most work was done over the winter and summer breaks. So while it was stitched technically over two years it was in practice only a month or three. As this was a "relationship piece", there are a lot of emotions tied into the fabric. I know that sounds cheesy as anything - but it's true. When I look at the top fourth of this piece I can remember all the joy and infatuation I was feeling. The middle is a lot of sadness, anger, and eventual coming to grips. The bottom fourth is "I really need to finish this" and seas upon seas of black thread for endless hours, reflecting impatience, boredom, and then finally relief as the last squares were put in.
Since we were long broken up (was it even dating at that age?) I didn't send it to him or anything of that sort, I just quietly posted it here and had a miniature celebration with my family over the completion. Since then I have tried to promote it around the internet, used it in college presentations, and was even offered for it to appear in a book. It's one of the very largest pieces I have ever stitched to date, and while I am still incredibly proud of it, honestly I can tell you I'm a much better seamstress today. Technically I can see all the mistakes I made throughout it, but everyone who sees this piece in my home (as it is now framed) is impressed by it and often doesn't realize it's stitching until its pointed out to them. It feels really great to continue being complimented on it. Technical errors of the day included doing my pattern in blocks, you can see my start-and-stop lines throughout the sea of black. Towards the bottom these start/stop lines aren't nearly as visible. The back of this piece, while I never took a photo of it, is a spaghetti mess of knots, layers of color, and rifled with unfamiliar fuzz. The framing lady said to me, "They say you can tell how skilled a stitcher is by how neat the back is!" and, upon turning it around, blushed, "I'm sure it's just an old wives' tale."
The pattern itself was made in the same way I make patterns as contest prizes today. I fed the image through my program (with permission from the artist) and played around with the symbols until I could read it. The materials I used were gathered from various sources. Since I started this project in 2007, back when I was just a sophomore in high school, I had very little idea of what I was doing. Indeed, I had a very limited idea as to what color coding thread even meant. Strange, I know, but it made more sense to me then to refer to colors I was buying as "the darker shade of red" or "this blue is pretty" than by any specific code. My mother had given me patterns she purchased online, the "Dark Fae" series that has sat in my To-Do List on my journals since 2006, and all the correct thread colors to go with them. I took a LOT of colors from the Dark Fae series for this and probably didn't return all the colors to the box. I also grabbed colors from the thread boxes my Aunt Gina had given me for a birthday (I forget which one), full of lots of shades I needed for this piece. Last, of course, I went and purchased the proper thread color codes that I needed for the missing areas. As with my recent lattice piece fav.me/d6nlowy
I ran out of thread several times during the process of stitching the black seas around the planets. I ran out of black thread skeins two or three times (eight meters of thread per skein, and you split it into three parts). I also had an issue with the darkest shade of navy blue (939, I think...) running out at the worst moments and had to dig into my Dark Fae thread stash for more. It's regular cotton thread -- nothing fancy like satin, metallic, or other goodies. I wish I had started this project later for the reason that I have glow in the dark thread today.... what an amazing addition that would have been!
It's stitched on 14 Count White Aida because I was entirely unaware of what fabric count entailed. What I did know is that 14 Count was what most of my pieces were done with in the past and it was easy to get at the 'local' craft store. It's also white because, well, the black Aida at the store didn't come on big enough fabric. Then I made the extremely rookie mistake of measuring for an extra inch on each side... and starting two inches in.
That's where that extremely warped edge comes in on the lower right. I was too far into the top section to stop when I realized my mistake, and could only continue to the end of the fabric hoping I was tight enough. I was a mere five
squares away from the fraying edge and in some places only four. The framing lady was not happy with me in the least for this mistake, but as you can see from the inset photo above she did a PERFECT job all the same! My original solution to my measuring mistake was going to be to add extra fabric, but my framing friend insisted it was better to do it without additions.
It's a labor of love, I poured everything I had into it when I worked on it.