Counted Cross Stitch for Christmas

Although humid August thunderstorms are still the predominant weather here in Chicago, I can feel that fall is coming lately. The sun suddenly seems to set an hour earlier, and the air is starting to take on a crisper feeling. The increasing length of my morning commute tells me school is definitely back in session.

With fall comes the distinct inclination to buckle down and start crafting. I suspect it’s an instinct I inherited from my mother, who every winter would set up permanent residence in the armchair closest to our lone reading lamp, needlework in hand. As soon as the weather started to turn cold, that chair became her domain, and none of us dared to disturb the skeins of embroidery floss neatly laid out across the ottoman. Her box packed full of little cardboard spools became a fixture on the end table, and her half-worked canvas lie draped across the arm or cushion, its needles waiting like a booby trap for anyone who presumed to sit in my mother’s chair.

Though my mother is talented in both freehand embroidery and needlepoint, her specialty is counted cross stitch and her enduring fascination is Christmas. Every holiday season, her needlework appears on stuffed ornaments among the branches of the Christmas tree, on throw pillows tucked into the recesses of every couch, and on our childhood stockings hanging from the mantle. Christmas is the perfect holiday to cross-stitch for. The long, cold nights leading up the Christmas Eve leave endless hours to cuddle up and stitch by the fire (or radiator if your living room isn’t quite that picturesque). The homey, handcrafted charm of cross-stitch never seems amiss around Christmas, and the decidedly decorative nature of the craft lends itself well to the impractical amount of ornaments, wall hangings, and festive pillows that seem to abound come December.

It comes as no surprise then that our weekly collection page, which focuses on Christmas favorites this week, includes several holiday counted cross-stitch kits and books.  These kits make Christmas needlework fun and easy! For those stitchers who enjoy detailed scenes, the Gold Collection Christmas Village Ornaments provide instructions for six different winter scenes. These charming hometown scenes are almost too pretty to hang on the tree. Display them in a more prominent area where guests can admire their intricate detail!

The wonderful thing about cross-stitching ornaments is that you can quickly finish several projects before Christmas. Try the whimsical Ho Ho Ho Ornament for a fun Christmas tree or mantle decoration. If angels are your preferred Christmas motif, you’re sure to enjoy the Hope and Peace angel ornaments from Janlynn. As shown in the photos, these angels look precious hanging from an evergreen garland over your fireplace.

For crafters who are itching to go beyond ornaments, we have Christmas Traditions in Plastic Canvas. This book includes forty-four needlework projects designed just for the holidays! With these patterns on hand, you’ll keep busy all year stitching for Christmas!

Do you tend to cross-stitch more for the holidays? What are your favorite projects to make?

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