Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Shopping Small

 I took up counted cross-stitch – again – last year.  It was part of my endeavor to finish what I start (Finishing the Unfinished), and in the process I found I really enjoy cross-stitching.  It gives me something to do with my hands while I’m watching television or listening to the radio.  And it gives me something to show for my time.

The unfinished cross-stitch was the sampler in the lead photo.  I started it in 1990.  How do I know?  I had stitched the year into the sampler well before I put it away, not to look at it again until 2014.  After I finished it I gave it to my dear friend Monika, who laughed with me at the start date.  After all, we were far too young to have known each other for that long!

Since then I have started – and finished – several other cross-stitch projects.  So I was delighted when Monika introduced me to Craftcenter of Fine Stitchery, a cross-stitch shop on the east side of Salt Lake City.  This specialty store carries patterns, threads, fabrics, and other supplies, and has stitched examples of many of the patterns they carry on display. 

I was enchanted.  The ladies in the shop (I suspect at least one was an owner) were very knowledgeable about all things cross-stitch and were delighted to answer my many questions.  They reminded me how to use a frame I’d bought some thirty years ago, and taught me how to make a French knot.  Really taught me – she handed me the needle, thread and fabric and coached me as I made two or three.

Their patterns were about the same price as those I found in the big box craft store, but they had a far more extensive selection.  Pattern prices were also comparable to those I’d found online, but in the shop I could actually look at the pattern and the supply list, rather than merely select from the multitudes of cover pictures.  Their threads and fabrics are a bit more expensive than those of the big box craft store, but again, they have a far greater selection of both. 
I am now their customer for life.  I want this shop to stay in business.  I want them to be there for me when I have questions.  That’s one of the wonderful things about small business – any small business.  And that’s why, from now on, when I’m stitching small I intend to shop small.

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