Sunday, 22 June 2014

Man at Work

I HATE having my photograph taken, but my partner took this without me realising and insists I post it. While I'm not always inclined to do what I'm told, on this occasion, I'm going to be brave.

It's called 'Man at Work' (I wanted to name it "IT Sews!!", but hey, can't win 'em all!)

As you can see I'm hard at work trying to complete page 6 of the Siberian Gold tiger picture. I've just reached Day 39:

With the dreaded confetti stitches finally abating I can see the end of page 6 in sight. I really do find (and recommend) doing large designs like this page by page. I find it to be the most effective way of handling them. It's less daunting and I find I'm less apt to get de-motivated.

This design is spread of 8 sides of a folded chart. Hence 8 pages. But, as I get a page completed I really do feel that sense of satisfaction from a completed project.

HOT TIP: Don't be tempted to stray into the next page. This just confuses the matter and means you take longer getting that 'finished' feeling for each page.


  1. It looks like cross-stitch mission control!

  2. Love how the tigers are looking, I'm just finishing page 8 of 18 and I'm like you and don't wander onto the next page but I do park my threads now. I also mark off a copy of my chart, I like seeing the white bits get smaller and smaller :-)

  3. Hi Jo

    Out of curiosity...doesn't parking mean you waste a lot of thread? I've never used that method as that's what I've always thought.

    Like you, I also use a working copy and I LOVE seeing the white disappear! :-)

  4. Hello Neil again,

    Pleasee delete my first comment with questions as I already have all the answers. Lol

    I sometimes park if there's a lot of color changing and going by color creates too many holes (filling up holes at the end of a page is very much not fun and very time consuming). Never really liked it as I used to get my threads tangled and needles all over the place.

    I now park without needles and use multiple strategically placed needleminders to wind my parked thread around (I use as many as 8 needle minders - I've got the cutest ones from Cassie's Needleminders, if you're interested let me know and I'll give you her info -- no gain on my end, just very happy with her products & outstanding service).

    I was definitely on my way parking wise, but was able to 'perfect' it (if such a thing exists) by reading the parking tutorial on a website called ( - again, no affiliation - and I LOVE the way she leaves the parked stitch by completing half the stitch first. I am now a big parking advocate on pieces where I believe it works better than my cross country ways of the past 20 years.

    However, I don't park to the extent she parks. Personally I prefer to mix cross country and parking and feel it makes for an amazing cross stitching time.

    Started a pattern from Golden Kite with a total of 189 colors called Dutch Street, small version, which is 450 x 350 I think, the 'normal' version is like double that - I am Dutch and live in California. There's simply no way to tackle that and come out alive without doing some parking.

    However, I am very particular with my stitching and am careful what 'countryside' I pass when parking.

    First of all I will not park further away than into the next 10 by 10 block (to the right or below - I start my pieces at the left top), nor do I park darker thread across spaces that will be filled up with much lighter stitches.

    In fact, I 'strategize' the order of what I stitch by bearing in mind the 'countryside' (this is my own term, I hope it makes sense), which isn't as OCD as it sounds, I don't spend much time on it, but I do mark the 'order' of stitching with erasable highlighters, which I will erase as I go along and replace with a different color to indicate completion. I also mark parked thread locations in a specific color.

    Also, I do NOT work in 10 by 10 blocks, I continue a color continuously until it ends and then park it if it picks up again within the next 10 stitches (to the right & below -- basically within a quarter circle).

    This for two reasons, working in 10 by 10 squares may cause artificial borders and also because I don't want to park obsessively. I cannot park a thread solely because I come to place X (unless it's the end of a page - lesson learned from a massive project that's in an extended UFO status because I completed line by line, 36 inches of stitches on 25 count fabric). If the color continues so will I.

    As to your question, I don't use more thread this way. I would think that people who park multiple blocks away likely will, but I could easily write pages on why jumping more than 10 stitches away is a good idea anyway.
    I still find it tough to jump more than 2 stitches and I likely don't park as extensively compared to most.
    As a side note, I always have heaps of thread left over from kits (which I keep and use up in band samplers). I prefer to buy patterns and use my own thread. I am a huge DMC fan, it's cheap and good and some kits include off-brand thread which can at times be really bad (my current WIP is a Disney Dreams kit and it's taking me 2+ years because of a lack of time and the absolutely awful thread)

    Sorry for this huge response.....I hope it was somewhat useful & not a complete waste of time. ;)
    Happy Stitching!

    1. Hi Bianca
      Wow! I certainly couldn't have done a better job of being a positive advocate for parking - which is why I've published your entire comment in its entirety. While you haven't converted me - I still think parking uses too much thread - I think you descriptions may prove very useful to others wanting to give it a try! Well done!