As my camera is giving me fits. I wasn't going to blog until I had pictures because I've read over and over how people don't enjoy pictureless blogs, so if you want to stop reading now, that's ok. I understand, but let's face it, my pictures could never have been what drew you to this blog, not by any stretch of the imagination.
Now, I have a question for all you cross stitchers, and yes, it's really specifically for cross stitchers and I'm honestly interested in your answers because we cross stitchers seem to be a misunderstood lot and that really, truly bugs me. I mean I wake up in a sweat at night pondering the issue of cross stitchers being misunderstood by major chain craft stores(and please don't yell at me for that, for some people, it's their only way to purchase supplies, even in this day and age there are stitchers don't know anything beyond the cross stitch aisle at Micheals, AC Moore or JoAnns, and I'm sure there are some yarnie folk that find those same stores their only source of knitting and crochet supplies) and publishers.
So here are some questions I'd love answered either in comments or on your blog and if you post your answer on your blog please leave a link in the comments so we can all read your insights.
1)Why do you stitch?
2) On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being least important and 10 being most important what is your cross stitch passion level?
3)If you're only option for cross stitch supplies and patterns happened to be the major chain craft stores would you just walk away from the little X? Kiss it goodbye?
4)Also are you so passionate about cross stitch that if indeed your only option was the major chain craft stores, would that inspire you to create your own cross stitch pieces because you have to stitch and you've stitched your way through the whole of Dimensions catalog--because you must stitch and the thought of life without a relationship with the little X leaves you feeling empty?
5)Finally what do the cross stitch magazines on the market offer you? Do they relate to you as a cross stitcher? Do you look at them and think to yourself, who do they think buys this magazine? I guess what I'm asking, when you see the current cross stitch magazines do they make you feel like they know their readers or do you find it's more of the same? What could they do to be ambassadors for the art of cross stitch other than putting a sampler on the cover with "F-U" on it? What are we missing on a PR level that could change the opinion of cross stitch itself?
6) And finally, finally, do you do other crafts and if so what are they and why do they pull you away from cross stitch?
I've been thinking about this a lot, particularly question five. What are we missing as a group and are we missing it because we just don't care? I have to say as someone who uses the F word no less than 10 times a day, the shock value of F-U on a sampler does nothing for me but I can see where a 13 yr old girl might get a kick out of stitching that on sampler for a friend to just be uh, wild and all rebel girl you know, but in the long run, in the big picture, is stitching a raunchy sampler something that will keep a girl stitching for the rest of her life? I know that I've been stitching since I was young, very young. I became passionate about cross stitching at 13. With a brief break, well 4-6 years I'm not exactly sure, it was a period of what I now know was postpartum depression mixed with lack of sleep, I have stitched consistently since I was 13. Thirteen! And it didn't take an F bomb to keep me stitching. So are we cross stitchers just a different breed of crafter, do we take life slow and easy, does it mean we have this inner stick-to-it-tiveness that gets us through those projects that last not days, weeks, months but years?
Who are we? Tell your story, fill in the blanks, and let's hope that someone in publishing, in the craft industry, wakes up and sees us as important as knitters and scrapbookers because I have been making the rounds and let me tell you, the craft stores are not reaching out to new cross stitchers by any stretch of the imagination, even if you find JCS or CS&N in a major chain craft store, chances are you won't be able to find the supplies you need for a project out of the magazine. That's seriously messed up.
I have to say that the knitting movement has left me speechless because in all honesty I find knitting as tedious and boring and fussy as cross stitch can be at times. I want to stress AT TIMES because on a scale of 1-10 my cross stitch passion is 11. I am a very nasty person if I don't get to stitch everyday and you know how one is supposed to prioritize one's life, well cross stitch is right behind family for me and some days it's before family because I can get as equally annoyed with my cross stitch as I can my family so I swap them out quite often. I also wanted to add, that I do knit, I enjoy it, there's nothing more relaxing than a garter stitch scarf or something that is endless stockinette. I did not mean to insult any knitters reading this, I want to be a master knitter one day.
I will be honest and say that while I buy CS&N and JCS on a regular basis I no longer subscribe to them because for a time I had to wonder if they had a clue. Both magazines seem to be on track these days but I often wonder if I just got lucky with this or that issue.
OK I realize this post isn't as well thought out as I would have liked* but I'd love to read your responses, hook up with your blogs and see if we can shake up the whole needleart industry because I'm really sad at the current state of cross stitch in the mainstream craft world. Sure there's a huge group of us that know the secret world of the LNS and the ONS and how to rock our cross stitch world but what about all those people that are at the mercy of the major chain craft stores for whatever reason, think about what they are missing out on, and how can we fix that. How can we be Oprah for cross stitch? What can we do to make a difference? To spread the word? To funk up the little X?
*wanted to add that my family came in when I was mid-post, I totally lost my train of thought, so please excuse any grammatical or spelling errors I missed or if it appears that my mind wandered because, well, it did!