Cross Stitch Helper is a computer program that can make cross stitching easier. It consists of two components: Pattern Producer and Stitch Sidekick. Pattern Producer is used to create patterns. It allows utilization of the common half and back stitches. Stitch Sidekick is used while a pattern is being stitched. It displays a pattern on the screen, and with mouse clicks or spacebar presses, stitches in the pattern can be marked as complete. One of its strongest features is its ability to keep track of which stitches are finished and which stitches are incomplete. Using it can help in preventing stitches from being forgotten, repeated, or placed in the wrong location.
People like to cross stitch for many different reasons. After the author lost virtually all of his short-term memory in 2005, he had to adjust to living without it. His hobbies changed, and one that he enjoys is cross stitching. When he first started stitching, he would print a pattern from a website or he would buy a cross stitching kit. However, doing that did not cooperate with him because he would have to frequently do the following:
- Repeatedly decipher what the different stitch symbols meant on the pattern (circles, squares, triangles, diamonds, etc).
- After making a stitch, determine the pattern location of the stitch he had made only seconds earlier so he could determine which stitch to create next.
- Put down the fabric, floss, and needle to pick up a pen to mark stitches as complete on the pattern printout so that he wouldn’t accidentally repeat the stitches.
The author created Cross Stitch Helper to help him overcome these obstacles and to allow him to truly enjoy his new hobby. Even though he can’t recall what day it is five minutes after looking at the calendar, and even though he can’t remember what clothes he’s wearing right now, and even though he has forgotten what foods he’s eaten today, he’s found a way to enjoy a fun hobby.
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