sewing & needlework
couch crafting :: cross stitch edition

couch crafting :: cross stitch edition

Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention. With my latest cross-stitch, I splurged on a pattern marking app (I use Markup R-XP) to track my pattern on my phone. I’ve long envied the numbers and stats tracking AJ has been able to share in the chat, and with a larger pattern with more complex distribution than I would usually work with, I decided it was time to take the plunge and source a similar app with iOS compatibility.

Friends it was a game changer.

It was not only so helpful having an easy way to track and mark my stitches, but the stats and details gamify my stitching sessions in such a way that it tickles my brain most delightfully. I even have an estimated finish date that I am determined to beat (and aim to reduce every time I sit down to stitch).

There was only one downside. I would lose my rhythm to pick up my phone and check where I was up to. I mentioned I needed to get my teenager to 3D print me a stand to tack my phone onto the top of my embroidery stand. I experimented with balancing, and with trying to stitch with one hand while holding the phone in the other. A week or so later, I was recording some footage on my phone for a reel. As I went to pack everything away, I had a brainwave.

What if, says I, the phone stand could screw onto the stand? I tested it, and it worked and absolute treat.

Pattern on the phone stand, stitching in the embroidery stand, and as a bonus, my trolley is just the right height to pop my laptop on to stream a movie as I craft. It’s a fabulous little set up, and my neck is thankful to have everything at a reasonable eye level with. There is only one minor downside.

My little stitching mate. Well, not him, specifically; I love that he’ll come perch up on the couch with me, sewing box in hand, looking at me with those big blue eyes as he asks “shall we stitch together, mum mums?” (and yes, my ten year old does indeed say ‘shall’. Loud and proud nerd house here). But not content with having stolen what was my kindle and is now apparently his kindle, he’s also decided he too needs a stitching stand like mama, and that phone stand would be the perfect tool to Macguyver into what he needs. The actual phone holder part, he wraps around his leg, and then uses the table clamp as the hoop grip. Ingenious, indeed, if only it didn’t impede on my own ability to stitch and follow my pattern at a reasonable pace.

Of course, it was well after all of this ingenuity, that I realised I could have installed the app on my iPad, and set it up on a stand on the arm of the lounge. Knowing me and my eternally impressive talent for creativity clumsiness, I feel like this option would last approximately thirty seconds before I elbowed it off the arm and smashed it on the tiled floor. The phone on a stand is clearly the better option.

And for the fellow numbers nerds, I’m at 43.8% finished, with 2835 stitches to go on my current page -page five. Pages two and three are complete, page one is at 7.3%, page four 1.5% and page 6 5.5%. The app tells me I should be finished 15th March, though I have had it as early as 9th March, so I’m aiming for the end of February to laugh in the face of the stupid app and it’s stupid timer. My stitch friends are rather thrilled I now have the means to race myself, and not them, and everyone stitched happily ever after…

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