Our Cor­re­spon­dents News and views from CrossStitcher read­ers around the world

Ever won­dered what stitch­ers like us are up to in dif­fer­ent parts of the globe? We’ve asked read­ers from near and far to be­come cor­re­spon­dents for us and share with us their cross stitch news…

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Heather Gibson, Fort Wil­liam, Scot­land

The Fes­ti­val of Fire, sig­nals the her­ald of May Day in the High­lands. It’s a pa­gan fes­ti­val which es­sen­tially cel­e­brates the end of the cold win­ter to a re­turn of all things sum­mer. We cel­e­brate with bon­fires and May Queens – it’s a cel­e­bra­tion that is a feast for the eyes and food for the soul.

The High­lands are de­scribed as the Scot­land of your imag­i­na­tion, with a steady flow of vis­i­tors from across the globe, all drawn to the land of Harry Pot­ter, Bonnie Prince Charlie and Brave­heart. The longer and lighter evenings means stitch­ing can be ac­com­plished out­side while lis­ten­ing to the wildlife on the loch.

Our sea­son pick­ing up has turned to a com­pe­ti­tion sea­son and sea­son for fish­ing on the river­bank and on the pier. Spring also brings the moun­tain fes­ti­val to town, with work­shops to learn new climb­ing skills, watch pi­o­neer­ing moun­tain films, meet fa­mous climbers and view the work of lo­cal artists.

‘Hog­warts Ex­press’ – the Ja­co­bite steam train that trav­els from Fort Wil­liam to Mal­laig on the West High­land line go­ing over the fa­mous viaduct in the films Progress on my labrador project

Heather is 33 and a wa­ter­colour artist. She lives in the Scot­tish High­lands on a stalk­ing es­tate on the banks of Loch Eil. www.hgartist.com

Michelle Yeoh, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

Apa khabar (How are you) from Malaysia? Ev­ery May, we cel­e­brate Mother’s Day on the sec­ond Sun­day and Teacher’s Day on the 16th. So, it seems apt to tell you about my first cross stitch teacher – my mum! My mum is very into crafts. She started off with cross stitch, then picked up cro­chet and knit­ting. I be­lieve she even tried punch nee­dle em­broi­dery.

Way back then, the in­ter­net and e-com­merce hadn’t re­ally taken off yet so we didn’t have that many choices when it came to cross stitch charts. Ini­tially, they were mostly hard copy charts and you had to buy the fab­ric and floss sep­a­rately. Th­ese de­signs were usu­ally very large and suit­able as wall hang­ings. Hon­estly, they looked re­ally in­tim­i­dat­ing to a be­gin­ner like me! We also mostly used 9 count fab­ric and the en­tire six strands of floss.

For­tu­nately, when I was ready to try my hand at cross stitch, the choices were more var­ied. They now had smaller kits by the Thai la­bel, Pinn, which were easy to com­plete. I then stum­bled upon the Di­men­sions kits at a lo­cal needle­work shop.

Life got in the way and cross stitch took a back seat. When I re-dis­cov­ered it a cou­ple of years ago, on­line shop­ping is now the norm and I’ve learnt about so many other la­bels and de­sign­ers! When I got back into cross stitch­ing, my mum pro­fessed that she missed it and so I set her up with her own kit. She fin­ished it last year and it’s go­ing to be framed and dis­played in my kitchen. She is now work­ing on a DMC de­sign. Thank you, mum for shar­ing your love for crafts with me! Happy

Mother’s Day – I love you! First cross stitch done for my mum Mum’s mas­ter­piece for my kitchen

Michelle runs her cross-stitch busi­nesses, Lit­tle Pink Fac­tory and MiRuMakes, via Face­book and In­sta­gram. The for­mer pro­duces cus­tom stitched pieces whilst the lat­ter is fo­cused on Malaysian-themed de­signs.

Alesya Tyshke­vich, Moscow, Rus­sia

This week has been a dif­fi­cult one for me, as my flat was flooded by a neigh­bours! Stitch­ing is my hobby and, of course, I try to spend ev­ery free minute with the can­vas and threads, but this week I have not been able to en­joy my hobby so much. When I can, I stitch along with watch­ing TV – my daugh­ter doesn’t ac­cept this way of us spend­ing our free time. If she’s watch­ing her favourite car­toon, I need to be nearby pay­ing at­ten­tion to what is hap­pen­ing on the screen. This means – no stitch­ing. So, I have only about two hours a day.

Why not stitch my daugh­ter’s favourite char­ac­ters? If we fall into the world of Anna and Elsa from Frozen – it’s not a prob­lem for me, be­cause I know that Ve­vaco re­leased a va­ri­ety of kits with th­ese Dis­ney char­ac­ters. When we are in a mood for ‘Masha and The Bear’, I take one of the four RIOLIS de­signs and start a new one. I could never imag­ine my­self stitch­ing car­toon char­ac­ters but I have a plan for the whole 2018 con­nected only with them. Nowa­days it re­ally makes me happy! Masha and The Bear Olaf from Frozen!

Alesya is 29 years old and mar­ried, with a daugh­ter. She works in a school and has been stitch­ing for four years. Find her YouTube chan­nel at www.youtube.com/ri­ca­ma­trice.

Char­lotte McFall, Sh­effield, South York­shire, UK

Hello again ev­ery­one, I hope you have all had a great start to 2018. As nor­mal mine was a lit­tle hec­tic as I have had my boys 24 and 21st birth­days at the be­gin­ning of Fe­bru­ary and a flurry of doc­tors ap­point­ments. I haven’t stitched as much on Au­rora Cabin, one of the rea­sons is that al­though I had a piece of fab­ric for it, I didn’t mea­sure it! So once I’d or­dered some that was the cor­rect size I had to wait for it to come be­fore I could start. Which it did fi­nally in the last week. I’ve taken a few photos of my start and will up­date you fairly reg­u­larly with the odd pic­ture or two.

One of the sym­bols calls for six strands, (three strands off two shades). It took me ages to try and thread the nee­dle which is why it is still threaded and stuck into the fab­ric!

A friend told me a tip for us­ing six strands of the same colour, which was use three strands and dou­ble it up. Al­though I have done a tree which isn’t much, I de­cided this time to get the sky done first. I also copied the sym­bols chart onto a sheet of A4 which saves me un­fold­ing the chart and re­fold­ing each time I want to check a sym­bol. You do get lots of strands of some of the colours, th­ese I have placed in

ev­ery­day freezer zi­plock bags. That way I can keep them sep­a­rate and just use the colours as and when.

My hus­band has al­ready cho­sen a place in the liv­ing room where it will hang and if I fin­ish this one be­fore my birthday in June, I will get my other much-wanted kit of Di­men­sions Euro­pean Bistro. So I have a great in­cen­tive to get this fin­ished by then. Hope­fully in the next week or so I can have a full page fin­ish and then move on to the wa­ter or cabin. A lot of the sky is half cross stitch, I think thread­ing the nee­dle will take longer than the sky!

I’ve or­dered a project bag from Etsy. I thought it was so cute all those uni­corns and would be big enough for all the thread, my Q snap and nee­dles. My Uni­corn Project Bag from www.etsy.com/uk/shop/LousCrossStitch Au­rora Cabin at the start My freezer bags of thread

Char­lotte writes un­der the name of Misty Shaw, and pens ro­mance for My Weekly Pocket Nov­els and Mills and Boon. She was the win­ner of the Ca­rina Mills and Boon Christ­mas in July Com­pe­ti­tion.

Vikki Climp­son, Hast­ings, UK

I was made re­dun­dant last year, and took the op­por­tu­nity to re­train. I have just started out as a free­lance proof­reader. Most of my ‘work’ so far has in­volved set­ting up my home of­fice. I think it de­serves to have a touch of gor­geous­ness! I am cur­rently stitch­ing a cush­ion for the sofa in my of­fice; it is from CrossStitcher March 2013, and is a pic­ture of a retro red tele­phone. I was plan­ning on find­ing a gen­tle flo­ral pat­tern, but this one jumped out at me!

The pic­ture that I stitched of ‘If Life Throws You Lemons, Make Lemon­ade’ de­picts my motto for life. I adopted this motto about 17 years ago, not long af­ter I was di­ag­nosed with MS. It has mainly been my legs and mo­bil­ity that have been af­fected by the MS. There are perks, though – with my dis­abil­ity Blue Badge, I can park in su­per-sized park­ing bays or on dou­ble yel­low lines. If you have seen my at­tempts at par­al­lel park­ing you would agree that it is very sen­si­ble to give me the ex­tra space, away from other cars!

I have just fin­ished stitch­ing for my cousin’s new baby, El­iz­a­beth-Rose. I wasn’t sure whether her ini­tial was just E, or should be ER, so I stitched E and a rose­bud. I hope she likes it!

I feel like my life is branch­ing out all over the place at the mo­ment, but I am man­ag­ing to fit in a lot more cross stitch than I used to!

Gifts for my cousin’s new baby girl My CrossStitcher cush­ion de­sign for my of­fice If life throws you lemons…

Vikki Climp­son lives in East Sus­sex, is 46 years old, mar­ried to Mick, and has two chil­dren, who are both at univer­sity.

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