A crafty thing! (A very simple crafty thing intended for children, but let me have this ok?) Bearddamnheroes has been pushing me to get a hobby that doesn't revolve around consumption of media, so I decided to follow in the footsteps of other GTers and take up cross stitching. I like it! But now I need advice.

Given the wild success of my first project (recommended for ages 8+), I scaled up. I... might have been a bit ambitious.

Whatever. I'm psyched.

I do have questions for the more experienced cross stitchers out there. How concerned should I be about keeping the back neat? I wonder about if I should be following a particular order in doing the stitches, or if I can jump around aimlessly and have weird threads trailing around on the back. As in, if I finish one leaf, is it appropriate to just jump over to the second leaf without securing my thread and starting fresh in the new area? It makes sense to me but I'm realizing it leaves the back looking quite messy.

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I'm also wondering about when I should be crossing my stitches. If there's a single row, sure, you do all the half stitches and then go back and do the diagonals. What about multiple rows - do you cross the stitches on one row before proceeding to the next? And what about if you have a block? If I finish the stitches on one row and then have to go directly up... I'm left needing to come out of the same hole I've just come through. (Am I making sense? Pictures would probably help...)

I've watched some youtube videos (some helpful, some not), but I've mostly just developed my own strategies for dealing with these situations. All of them involve not caring about what the back looks like. Let me know if you have helpful tips you'd like to share!