Cross-stitching is generally considered to be for those at least of retirement age, but despite its "granny" status, I know quite a few young friends who also enjoy stitching away. The manufacturing companies are now also offering modern and colourful designs, so the choices are ample.

After having originally learned how to do it in my teens (some very rudimentary and small examples will be added shortly :-)) I (re-)discovered it in 1999 after seeing an ad from DMC in a magazine. It pictured the "Sunflower Pots" kit which I just loved the colours of, and I promptly went out to buy it (instant gratification!).

Cross-stitching is very easy to do, but it requires concentration as you need to count each stitch and any mistakes need to be cut out and redone :-(. However, given that your mind needs to stay focused, it is also very relaxing! I generally do it in front of the TV at night, or when visiting my grandparents at the seaside, or whilst enjoying some sunny time outside in the garden. On larger pieces I usually work several months to even a few years as I donít do them full time but they regularly end up in a cupboard for weeks/months on end. The smaller pieces (also see those used in "cards") are fairly quick to do and are finished in a few hours.

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