Resolutions don’t need to start on January 1st , and it’s never too late to set yourself a goal! If you want to freshen up your cross-stitch experience, why not have an aim in mind for 2024. This might be a particular project you want to complete, a skill you want to acquire, or another cross stitch related goal to achieve before the next New Year. Have a look at our six best ideas to make 2024 a great year for crafting.
A Year of Stitches
Do you feel like you’re still at the novice stage with your cross stitch? Once you know the basics, it’s easy to stagnate and not challenge yourself to learn something new if you’re able to satisfactorily complete easy patterns. This year, why not challenge yourself with trying out new stitches each month? Learning new stitches will enhance your ability in cross stitch and enable you to attempt more complicated patterns, or to draught your own. There are plenty of online lists of different stitches, videos on YouTube and TikTok, and you can borrow stitch pattern books from your local library. Make it your mission to learn a new stitch each month and incorporate it into your latest make!
Sometimes known as a wheel of the year, an embroidery journal is a great choice for a ‘little and often’ project that will keep you stitching all year long. There’s lots of different designs for an embroidery journal, but the most popular seems to be a pie chart aesthetic, with a circle divided into 12 segments, one for each month.
In that segment you can stitch anything to remind you what you got up to that you want to remember – perhaps stitch a steaming cup of coffee to remind you about meeting up for hot drinks with friends, stitch some interlocked rings to make you think of a wedding you attended, or stitch some cute animals to remember a family trip to the zoo?Embroidery journals can feature one little motif for each day of the month, or you could just choose the most important events.
Some people choose to incorporate words into their wheels as well. If you have taken up a new exercise hobby this January, how about the word ‘Yoga’ or ‘Tennis’ featuring on your wheel? Or maybe an important word could be a holiday destination that you don’t want to forget? Cross Stitch Temperature Charts are also a great way to commit the year to memory.
Reading Diary Bookmark
Do you love reading? A great way to combine your love of literature with your love of stitching is to make a commemorative bookmark. First, estimate roughly how many books you read in a year, or perhaps how many you’d like to read in 2024. On a strip of aida, mark out a bookcase shape with individual rectangles marked on each shelf for the books. They don’t have to be uniform in size and shape, and it can look quite nice if some books are stacked horizontally as well as vertically. Look up cross stitch reading goal tracker for some ideas.
Each time you finish reading a book, fill in one of the book rectangles with a colour that represents its genre – make a chart that makes sense to you, such as pink for romance, blue for adventure, yellow for sci-fi, red for horror, etc. Or if the genre idea doesn’t appeal, give the book a 5-star rating by assigning colours to numbers 1-5, just make sure to make a note about what your colour system is! By the end of the year, hopefully your shelf will be full of books that you rate as 4 or 5!
Tackle Your Pattern Stash
Are you the kind of person who buys endless cross stitch kits or stitching pattern books? For a 2024 project, how about a pattern destashing? Check your hoard of patterns to find a big project you’ve been putting off for years, and while you’re at it, perhaps pass on anything that you can finally admit you’re not going to get around to. You might find some gems as you dig through all the patterns you’ve collected over the years and could make a plan about which projects you’re going to aim to complete in 2024.
Find a Group
Cross-stitch is often a solitary hobby that we indulge in while watching TV or having a quiet moment with a cup of coffee… but it doesn’t have to be. Finding a crafting group to spend time with can turn your stitching into a social occasion, whether in person or through an online SAL (stitch-a-long). Getting together with other cross- stitchers enables you to make like-minded friends, find people who can help you troubleshoot any crafting issues, and friends who you can share patterns and ideas with.
Visit Your Local Library
Pattern books can be expensive if you like to have a lot of new projects on the go, so to save money, check out cross stitch pattern books from your local library. Most decent-sized libraries will have a crafting section with pattern books on a variety of topics, or they might be able to offer an inter-library loan service to borrow books from other branches. Many libraries also host Sit & Knit and other crafting events where you could make new cross stitch friends while discovering great patterns.