As you may know, I write the X-Rated column for Crafty Magazine. I thought I’d share old columns with you so you can enjoy my literary shenanigans. Or learn a bit about how not to write – I’ll let you be the judge! 🙂
My name’s Mr X and I’m a manbroiderer.
Yes, that’s right. I’m a man, and I enjoy using a needle and thread to make excellent pieces of art.
I know what you’re thinking – “isn’t embroidery what my Granny does?” Maybe it is, it would certainly explain why your Granny’s so cool. But there are many men out there that enjoy needlecraft, and I would encourage you all to have a go at it.
My chosen weapon is cross stitch, the simplest of all forms of embroidery. I describe cross stitch as a gateway craft; you start with it but move onto harder crafts in the end. There are many different types of embroidery out there, with Japanese embroidery being recognised as one of the most disciplined versions of the form (not for the faint-hearted!) but for me there’s plenty of enjoyment to be found within the simple forward and back slash stitches of cross stitch.
Cross Stitch is a pixellated art form with images being broken down into squares, and this naturally leads to designs based around old video games and graphics. There’s a great web site called Sprite Stitch (www.spritestitch.com) which features all manner of video game inspired crafts – if you want to stitch your favourite Street Fighter hero, you’ll find it on there.
It goes a little something like this; the fabric (commonly known as aida) comes with holes for you to aim at in a nice even pattern, so you can’t go far wrong. Generally speaking there’s an element of counting involved, but that’s about as hard as it gets. You follow a pattern, filling the fabric with tiny Xs, and before you know it you’ve got a nifty piece of handmade stitchery to give to a loved one.
And that’s one of the key reasons that I love embroidery – you can make things for people. I’m preaching to the converted because if you’re reading this column a) congrats on buying a terrific magazine and b) you already recognise the value in the handmade. But there’s no denying that there’s nothing quite like the pleasure of giving someone a gift that you’ve made yourself.
If you’ve not considered cross stitch as something to try, then I’m here to help you think differently. Go and visit my website and you’ll see all manner of amazing stitched art. Then go and get yourself a kit and have a go. I promise you, you’ll enjoy it and you’ll end up with something wonderful.
All of a sudden, the idea of being a manbroiderer doesn’t seem so daft now, does it?