I’m a big believer in sticking with a project and seeing it through, but I, like every cross stitcher, have asked the question “should I just give up?” before. And you know what, sometimes giving up is the best thing to do. Sticking with a project you’re just not in love with can drain on you, and make you lose your inspiration for cross stitch. But when exactly is it OK to give up?
You’ve stitched it wrong
This is probably the biggest reason people want to give up a cross stitch project; however its normally unlikely to result in giving up your project. Whilst stitching something wrong can be hell, there is always something you can do about it, so you might not have to give up
You can pull it out
No one likes to frog cross stitches out, and whilst there are a few tools that make frogging easier, it can seem like it’s just not worth it, but sometimes it is. For my New Moon on Tokyo Tower cross stitch for the XStitch magazine, I stitched a massive section in the wrong color. There was no fixing it, so I had to make the choice between giving up or frogging it. In the end, I pulled out over 1200 stitches and redid them. And you know what; it made the cover of the magazine. It went from being a pain in my ass to being one of my best cross stitches ever. Just cos it seems bad now, doesn’t mean it will once you’ve restitched it.
You can’t pull it out
Let’s face it, we’ve all been in a position where we couldn’t pull out the threads, you kept on stitching without noticing it, and now more than 50% of the piece is a few stitches to the right. It happens, following patterns is a pain at the best of times. Now, if this is you, I’d suggest investing in a markup app for cross stitch but that doesn’t solve the here and now.
This isn’t a rare mistake. In fact, it’s pretty common. So common that one of the first blog posts I wrote was on how to fix common cross stitch mistakes like this, so you can fix it! You don’t need to give up.
However, if any of the other issues below are also present, I think its time you gave that pattern up.
Its just no fun
Yeh, we’ve all been here too. “The pattern looked so good online” or “I didn’t realize how much backstitch there was”. Yeh, sometimes the stitching just doesn’t go how you want to. It might be that the pattern sucks, or you might not be into it right now. And you know what; if it isn’t fun give up. This is a simple cut and dry case.
BUT! Don’t throw it. I’ve been in this situation a few times and I’ve given up, most notably on my Portal cake reveal cross stitch, which I had placed in a box for over 6 years. But I did, eventually, pick it back up, and I loved stitching it then. So don’t throw out your cross stitch; just place it in storage.
Its for someone else
I hear this a lot I’m afraid. Stitching for others can be a fantastically rewarding experience, but sometimes it doesn’t work out. Cross stitch takes time, and I often hear of people who started stitching something, then fell out with the person who would get it; do they continue? Well, I guess that is impacted by two things.
First off, is it still fun? Stitching something for someone who you no longer want to receive the gift probably means there are some negative feelings attached. Can you separate these from the actual stitching?
And secondly, do you want to keep it? If the pattern is frankly great anyway, you might want to keep it, but if it’s super personal, it isn’t something you want to continue with…
You love to start
I guess this one goes out to a few of you, who just love to start. I follow a whole raft of flosstube channels and some of them just love to start stitching. In fact, there is one who currently has over 80 starts; and only 1 finish in the year. For some people, it’s all about starting; and that’s OK! Cross stitch is there to be fun, so if you can’t be bothered to finish; don’t finish! It’s your hobby after all!
Finally, it should be noted that these are the reasons I found on an online poll for giving up. If you want to give up earlier; go ahead! I won’t tell 😀