Thursday, August 7, 2014

Behind the String: Bert and Ernie

I finished my final masters class yesterday before student teaching (!) and I decided that this blog needs a new segment.  Last year, I guest blogged several times over at Stitching The Night Away, but once the masters degree started in full swing, I just did not have the time to do any more.

One of my favorite pieces that I did while guest blogging was "How to Create a UFO in 13 Easy Steps".  It told the tale of how "Do Not Meddle" went from being an awesome piece to becoming a UFO at the bottom of my stash box.  I realized that a lot of the pieces I have done, both knitted and cross stitched, have their own "story" behind them.  So, I give you, for your consideration, "Behind the String."

Behind the String: Bert and Ernie (or how I discovered that fractional stitches don't work well on Aida)

My childhood took place during the late 80s and early 90s, so, of course, I watched Sesame Street every day along with Mr. Rogers.  In the days before Disney Junior and Nick Jr., PBS was the only television station with children's educational programming on it, so there really wasn't much choice.

With those fond childhood memories in mind, fast forward a couple of years later.  When I first started stitching, I exclusively stitched kits.  In fact, I'm pretty sure that I didn't realize that cross stitch was available without a kit.  Anyway, my mom's next door neighbor was Catholic and in charge of the rummage sale at her Catholic church.  When I started cross stitching, she would bring home cross stitch kits that had been donated to the rummage (generally when they didn't sell at the end of the rummage).  One of the first ones that I was ever given was a Jan Lynn kit of Bert and Ernie.  I know it was a bit childish considering I was 18 or so at the time but I liked Bert and Ernie so I set to work on stitching the kit.

Now, most stitchers will agree that kits do not always contain the highest quality materials and this kit was no exception.  The Aida, especially is generally stiff and harder to work with than the stuff you buy separately.  I think this may have been the first time that I had ever dealt with fractional stitches and it was not a pleasant experience.  The Aida was so unyielding to having a needle poked through its center that I had to take one of my sewing pins and poke it through the center just to get a hole started.  That's the only time I've ever had to do that.  Besides that, the piece turned out fine.

That would be the end of the story, except, now it needed a frame.  The kit included one of those really cheap plastic frames (emphasis on cheap) but it was so cheap that I couldn't use it to frame the piece anyway.  Fortunately, an alternate frame presented myself.  My college boyfriend had decided to dump me over the phone while I was working in Colorado so I took his picture out of them frame that it was in and put Bert and Ernie in its place.

I think it turned out rather smashing.

And that's the story behind the string.


  1. I love the new segment!! I love hearing the stories behind certain pieces. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Brilliant story! Sounds like the frame was 'vacated' at just the right time :) I look forward to hearing the story about some of your other projects. xx


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