Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tutorial: Cross Stitch Vintage Tennis Racket

Here's a fun vintage re-do!  We've been updating our house and put together a small exercise room; never mind that it consist of just a treadmill and pair of three pound weights...we're trying!  I wanted to add some fitness flair to the room and happened on this vintage wooden tennis racket while thrifting.  I was almost certain I remembered seeing on Pinterest a few pins of embroidered rackets...tho when I went searching again, none quite suited the look I was trying to achieve.  So here's what I came up with and how I did it:
First things first - you'll need a racket obviously; I found mine in a dusty warehouse type thrift store for $2 - Etsy has many between $10 and $50.  I used a leftover ball of worsted weight yarn, embroidery scissors and a long tapestry needle.
Cut long 4 foot lengths of yarn and then weave both ends into your tapestry needle, like shown above. 
With your design in mind and spaced out (I chose a heart and eyeballed it - but use graph paper to sketch out whatever design your like best), pick your starting stitch and run the needle through the loop you've made on the back side of the racket.  This is known as the loop method in regular cross stitch giving you a knot-less start (you can also start each additional piece of yarn you use in this manner.)
The funny thing about this cross stitch project is grasping that you are stitching on the outside of the squares to form your crosses, rather than in the box of Aida cloth.  It's a bit of a mind bender but you will get it!
When you begin an adjacent row, come up again on the outside of the square you want to cross and then run it under the stitch of the previous row.  This starts to give your stitches a nice even look.
Ta-da, weave any loose ends into your back rows of stitches and now you are ready to display your very own cross stitch vintage tennis racket!

--Lisa LeBlanc

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