I think I have this "stitching on an airplane" thing down. First I use a 6 inch by 6 inch Q-Snap frame. This means that I have to pick a rather small pattern. When I was shuffling through my patterns last night, I rejected a number of topiary patterns that I really want to stitch, but were not appropriate. One pattern was too big. One pattern had too many specialty stitches. One pattern had too many colors, especially single stitches right in the middle of a field of stitches. One pattern was stitched on very dark cloth.
Let's face it. You are going to be stitching on a laptop tray. You just can't thread a dozen needles and have them waiting around for their turn in the pattern. You are going to be stitching in a low light level. No lighted magnifying glass here. You want a fairly low count fabric with plenty of contrast between the thread and the cloth. And it would be best if you could stitch a goodly number of stitches with the same thread before having to switch over to another thread. I carry one needle (with some backups), a needle threader, and a cat's claw scissors. When the scissors only have a cutting surface of less than a centimeter, TSA is not going to care.
So after evaluating a number of patterns, I went back to Bent Creek. This pattern has 25 count linen stitched over two with three strands of floss and lots of clearly defined areas to stitch. I found it fun to work on. I just have to remember to leave some for the return five hour flight back to the mainland next Wednesday. I also brought the Pineapple Fish needlepoint and the Winter cross stitch. The Winter pattern is actually rather small, so I can use the same set of q-snaps for this project. I was not going to attempt stitching silk thread on dark navy fabric on a poorly lit plane.
This cross stitch dedicated to the Buzz Out Loud crew from CNET. Veronica, Molly, and Tom; your podcasts are great! I could not have done this without listening to you.