When bad chart instructions happen

Just about every cross stitch pattern I’ve used has been good: accurate diagrams, easy to follow and complete instructions, good sample images, etc. But, every now and then you find a kit/pattern booklet that is either lacking something or has a few bad diagrams. It just so happens that I have just dealt with two bad ones in a row.

The first was Squirrel’s Night Out. The chart itself was fine, but the assembly instructions were a bit lacking. The kit is supposed to be used to make a pendant.

Instructions for "lacing" would have been nice :/

As a relatively new cross stitcher who’s never done a kit like this, this means nothing to me. I tried looking on their site in hopes of a tutorial but found nothing. I then tried an internet search, but couldn’t find what I needed (“lacing” means so many things, even if you specify a particular craft). This is a case where being part of a stitching group would be good, but I shouldn’t have to put so much effort into figuring out how to make this: I bought a kit and it should have complete instructions.

In the end, I just winged it and cheated with a bit of glue.

Squirrel's Night Out pendant

The second pattern I had issues with was the alphabet sampler I’ve been working on, 26 Stitches. I had absolutely no problems, until I hit “S”, “T” and “N”.

Arg! This is the third set of bad stitch instructions. The top is using the proper instructions and the bottom is using the instructions that came with this chart. #crossstitch #norwichstitch #annoyed

The problem with “N” was that the diagram for the Nordic stitch was incorrect. They use numbers to show you what order you should be doing the stitches in, and I followed them carefully to ensure that I had the proper weaved look … only, they were out of order, so the weave isn’t quite right. In the above image, the bottom orange square in the block is the bad one. I was a bit suspicious about it as I was doing it, but it wasn’t until I saw the final product that I was sure the instructions had been wrong. Fortunately, it was easy to find some better instructions, which is what I used for the top square. I may have to redo that bottom one because I think it might drive me nuts.

S is for sucky instructions (but, I found out how to do it on my own)

The issue with “S” was simply that the diagram was only half there. I did have a bit of trouble finding instructions for this stitch because there seem to be a number of different variations. I picked that one I liked best. But, I can’t help wondering how the heck this was overlooked. It seems like a pretty obvious thing that should have been caught when the pattern was reviewed before publication.

The instructions are different from the picture of the finished piece! (but, I figured out how to do it properly))

With “T”, I would never have noticed the issue if I hadn’t just been looking at the patterns sample picture and remembered that the stitch next to “T” was different from what the diagram suggested. It’s just reversed (looks like a tulip instead of a cattle head, which is what it’s supposed to be). This is why it pays to study the sample picture.

I know mistakes happen and I understand that cross stitch chart design probably isn’t a bit money making industry, but I don’t think that it’s too much to ask to have well edited patterns and instructions. So, it’s really frustrating when I find these problems.

Nonetheless, I still buy charts, because, as mentioned in the beginning, most of the time the patterns and instructions are just fine.

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