Cross stitching


I threaded my needle with the colorful string, then I pushed it through the mesh-like aida cloth, hole after hole, eventually forming even stitches neither too tight nor too loose: the perfect gauge. 

Learning to cross-stitch was hard—as it is with any new hobby. Much of my time was spent untangling the string or looking for the needle I kept losing. Gradually, I fell in love with the craft. The feeling of pushing the needle and watching stitches forming in all sorts of different colors, shapes, and patterns excited me. While it did not initially look like anything coherent, over time I started to see the bigger picture. I had started the cross stitch pattern out of boredom after I was given a cross stitching set from my family member, but as time went on it became something very precious to me and something I cannot imagine life without. Stitch by stitch, I gradually fell in love with the craft. 

When I first started, I hadn’t learned proper stitch techniques for cross stitching and I ended up unable to recognize my mistakes. This led to a wide variety of mistakes which bothered me greatly upon realizing it didn’t look like proper stitches. I constantly felt the urge to go back and fix everything I messed up. I wanted a perfect project, but instead I learned that it is often near impossible due to the sheer amount of stitches in the project. Everytime I fixed what I saw, I would find two new mistakes.

I realized that if I did, I would never be able to finish because I would be spending a few more months on the same project trying to fix both invisible and visible errors. Instead I was more active in identifying where I would usually make mistakes and decided to learn new techniques that would make my cross-stitching better and over time, cross stitching became easier for me.

 All I really could do was, to learn from my mistakes and attempt to fix them so I wouldn’t make the same mistakes in the future. 

When stitches are removed it leaves a mark on the aida cloth and does not look the same. I realized that just like everything else in my life, once I made a mistake there is always a small reminder it’s still there. Nothing can change the fact that a mistake was made, however it is always possible to try to fix it by creating new stitches over the worn aida cloth and making sure that the same mistake is not made again. 

I learned to apply this to real life: whenever I make a mistake, I try my best to fix it and then learn from it. I used to spend a lot of time obsessing over the smallest details that didn’t end up being the way I wanted it to be and over time, I saw that it wouldn’t always be the way I thought it should be and again, I would eventually have to accept it for what it was. I realized that making mistakes in both cross stitching and life is inevitable but what I chose to do with the mistakes is far more important.

Now that I am ready to embark on a new chapter in life and head off to college I will hold onto all I’ve learned from this hobby to guide me. Cross-stitching has taught me a multitude of lessons, but the most important one I learned is that nothing is ever free of perceived flaws, yet it is our mistakes that are our greatest teachers, and that the process often can be far more rewarding than the finished product.