Does 10,000 hours make a cross stitch master?

Everyone has heard the old adage of 10,000 hours of practice making you a master, however how true is this?

Thanks to the sheer size of cross stitch its no wonder that 10,000 hours are a possibility, however I doubt that a large proportion of people ever stitch that much. As a result, the remainder that do could be classed as masters, but whats my hour count?
Time to do the math.

Year 1-3:
20 (4 hour every weekday) + 16 hours (weekend) = 36 hours
x 50 (average weeks a year negating holidays) = 1800
x 3 (years = 5400
Year 4-6:
5 (1 hour every weekday) + 16 hours (weekend) = 21 hours
x 50 (average weeks a year negating holidays) = 1050
x 3 (years = 3150

Total: 8550

So I’m not a master. Well, it shouldn’t shock you to see that this isn’t the first time I’ve done that calculation. However within a year I will be, and so this begs the question; will I be a master soon?
The basics were covered off easily, within the first few weeks, maybe 50 hours. So for the remaining 8500 hours I’ve been doing nothing but practice. There are no badges like Pokemon to check your master status, and so we have to look at other identifiers.

pokemon master badges
Ash Ketchum still hasn’t won the Pokemon League, even with 58 badges…

I’ve been lucky enough to have been in 5 shows, work on a book, work on another book, be part of 5 publications and have another book deal. But none of these actually prove I’m any good at what I do, just that I can promote myself well. And so what other identifiers can you look at?

Well, for starters I still haven’t learnt how to do a french knot. I only really started ending my threads correctly a year ago. But I make all my own patterns, and pick colors by eye.

However in my mind, those 10,000 hours need to be used correctly. It’s not about the practice, its pushing the boundaries. I’ve played with transforming cross stitch, made stereoscopic cross stitch, made tattoos, blueprints and made perspective altering pieces; and I think its these I wear as badges of honor. My way to being a master.

That said; I still won’t class myself as a master. I think that’s the thing. To be a master you need to never stop trying to improve. I learnt that from Jiro.

Leave a Comment