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Planning Retirement Online

Cross stitch

Cross-stitch is another craft in which you can use your imagination – or you can follow ready-designed patterns. Your cross-stitch designs can then be framed and kept for posterity as evidence of your craft! Why not link it to some genealogy? You can do a sampler to commemorate the birth of a grandchild, say, and then link it to your family history so the sampler, or samplers, record that history. You can do wedding anniversary keepsakes, baby keepsakes and designs to help you mark any occasion. Your samplers will make lovely presents for family and friends.

The Cross Stitcher's Bible
Cross-stitch is easy to take up: you don’t need expensive kit and there is a wealth of information to help you get started.

There is a Cross Stitch Guild that will help you with the basics and that organises all sorts of weekends away at hotels and barns (yes, barns!). They run one-day classes for all levels of skill and organise shows and fairs. It’s a very active guild and one that will help you enjoy your cross stitch all the more if you’re the sort of person who likes to get involved with groups.

Craft topics and links

There are also lots of cross-stitch magazines that provide articles, designs and all sorts of advice and help. When you buy a kit, from a magazine or anywhere else, most of them indicate what skill level you require in order to complete them and you can even buy software programmes that will enable you to create your own designs.

Cross-stitch is fun, easy to start, has lots of potential to develop skills and the finished articles will provide a permanent record of events or display beautiful pictures and designs. They make perfect presents and you can even cross-stitch your Christmas cards!


Before we finish cross-stitch, just a quick mention of tapestry. Tapestry is very similar to cross-stitch but rather than using embroidery thread, you use wool. Also, the stitches are generally different in that you don’t cross them. If you would prefer to do tapestry you can buy everything you need at any craft shop and, indeed, cross-stitch and tapestry designs can be inter-changeable. So why not try both?

This Guide to Arts and Crafts is written by Retirement Specialist Dave Sinclair supported by members of the LaterLife team. As well as writing on retirement matters Dave is Training Director at LaterLife and responsible for the content and continuous improvement of LaterLife's Retirement Courses.
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