Do you remember your first stitches? I remember my grandmother and great-grandmother teaching me to do embroidery somewhere around the age of 10-12. Back then you could by iron on patterns and I remember a denim shirt I stitched all over. I have a set of pillowcases I did for my grandparents around here somewhere - I think I have showed pictures of them before. (I had them on display in our last house but haven't put them out here - yet, I will eventually) I did quite a few pieces of stamped cross stitch and gave them as gifts. Then, sometime around 1980-81 I saw my first piece of counted cross stitch and fell in love with it! I bought a kit, it was a small Christmas piece. I just followed the directions - to me it didn't seem hard, it was similar enough to stamped cross stitch. Even with stamped cross stitch you have to follow a pattern for color placement. I was hooked from that first stitch. Anyway - then I found out you could buy patterns and fabric without having to buy a kit and this was the first book I bought.
I found it yesterday when going through some patterns. I don't know how many of those jar toppers I stitched. I'm pretty sure everyone I know got a mason jar with cross stitch on top for Christmas that year. I used that book so much it is falling apart but every time I purge, I always keep this book. There were other books with jar toppers, Christmas ornaments, fingertip towels, baby bibs and bookmarks (all stitched on aida) before I moved up to things large enough to actually frame. I have a few pieces and my mother still has some of my early pieces before I started stitching on linen. I remember my first piece I stitched on linen too. I had been stitching samples for a magazine (I stitched them and returned them to be finished and photographed - lots of fun) and they asked me if I had ever stitched on linen. I hadn't so she showed me a couple of stitches and sent me on my way. That piece went on a photo album. Remember those fabric covered photo albums that were so popular in the 80s and early 90s? I don't have the stitched piece but I have the magazine it was published in. I would show you a picture of that but it would mean digging deeper in the closet than I want to go right now. Someday.
That is how I got started and I still love it as much today as I did when I stitched that first little kit. Do you remember your first counted cross stitch project?