Monday, February 12, 2018

A Pirate's History

It seems that all my blabbing about Stitching Pirates on my floss tube has had some wonderful people trying to join recently!  Naturally they want to have that free pattern and needleminder, but I am also hopeful that they want to be part of THE CROSS STITCHING JUGGERNAUT!

We have contests, exchanges, tutorials and so on, and it really is quite wonderful.  The Stitching Pirates were my first experience meeting other stitchers (aside from the two women who introduced me to stitching) world wide and I will always be a Pirate!  I'm sure the older stitchers remember when cross stitching, or needlework in general, was a solitary pursuit and sharing the excitement of this beautiful hobby was usually met with glazed eyes and sometimes hurtful comments.

My girl Krystal (aka Spitfirefae) is trying to make a How To Join video that I can put in my floss tube showing everyone the process of how to join.  When we created the Facebook Group Page, it was merely a way to give our members a quick way to stay informed of what was happening, not to create another cross stitch group for the lovely stitcher to collect.


The Stitching Pirates is a cross stitch group on the artists website known as Deviantart (from here on out known as dA).  The website was created so that artists had a community to share and learn.  That was 14 years ago and has since grown into a massive collective of every kind of art imaginable.

The name itself "deviant" does NOT mean (in this case) nasty, distasteful porn.  It is the true meaning of deviate, turn out of the DIFFERENT.  During my 13 years as a member, there have been times when the conversation of WHAT IS ART? has come up and heated debate has ensued.  Going to this website can be challenging as there seems to be more "questionable art" submitted than the more standard art.  Type in the word "curling" in the search box and you will get 50% of the results being beautiful, naked women posing "artistically".  Why this would be the case for curling I have no idea, but that is how it is.  There have been times over the years that dA members have come across persons who did not understand what dA is and the wonderful people who take care of our website are quick to delete accounts that fall in to the "other" category of being fraudulent or spammers.

One such time was when a young man came across the website and immediately began submitting pictures of his junk and started noting people with links to his profile page.  This was pre-Tinder and definitely NOT art.  He was looking for the hook up not realizing that his account would be deleted and cleansed by the fire of the administration. 

Other times, like with all websites hoping to do good things, we get hit by spammers or other undesirables who are there to steal art. 

Because there are millions of people who are members, it isn't difficult to steer clear of the more risque artistic endeavors. Pockets and niches are to be found where a person can be and enjoy a smaller, sub-section of this website with other like minded individuals.  

I have traveled the world through beautiful photography and met some of my closest friends there.  Hobbyists and Craftsmen post there.  Painters, knitters, jewelry makers, wood workers; all are to be found in this amazing place.  

I'm sharing this information with you because it seems that the name itself was a deterrent for some who really want to be a Stitching Pirate.  Even that name suggests woeful deeds....what do pirates do but loot and steal?  Thankfully, our Stitching Pirates do not loot and steal; we inform, teach, learn from others and uphold a pretty strict regiment of crediting the original artist, share links of where to get patterns, and even watch for those who would steal.  Copyright infringement hurts everyone.

An excellent example is with our Hannah-Alexander.  Someone took her art without permission and created cross stitch patterns and sold them on Etsy.  When Ashley Mae asked permission to do the same, Hannah was reluctant and with excellent reason.  Now, the only person with permission to do picture to pattern is Ashley Mae.  She is legally with permission to do so.  Ashley Mae also has a contract with the Mucha Foundation for Mucha's 1896 Seasons Series and yet, there IS someone out there who has been converting Mucha's art to pattern and selling them.  That person has been found and the foundation has been notified.  That is how the Stitching Pirates roll.  

Now we stitchers have groups on Facebook, we have floss tube and our needlework community has exploded so much so that places like dA could be considered a mute point.  Yet, we endeavor to persevere! (A little phrase from the Outlaw Josie Wales) dA is still valid and thriving, and the Stitching Pirates sail onward!

If you had any qualms about joining dA and becoming a Stitching Pirate, I hope I have quashed those hesitating thoughts and concerns.  We ARE and always will BE regardless of social media groups. 

Pirate Penguinicon by TheUncle2k

Until next time.....KEEP ON STITCHIN'!


  1. I have to say that dA was the first and only cross stitch community I have been seriously involved in - people never understood my desire to "waste time" putting little X's onto fabric and buying all that thread and stuff. Being a "pirate" in the stitching sense has been good - and as Carla said - we don't like infringement - copyrights should be the way for the creators who do so professionally to make the money they need to live so they can make more of it - "sharing" means they might not get the sales they need to stay independent.

    For me personally the group and the people I met there have helped me grow as a stitcher and designer - I don't think I'd be doing the things I do with out the group.

  2. I was wondering were you were getting and how talking about people showing off their junk would get us any new members, but you came around really beautifully to showcasing our awesome group of pirates <3 I don't use dA as much as I want so, but it's what brought me here into that wonderful world of online stitchers and I wouldn't want to have missed that for the world.

    1. Right?? dA gave me so much and as a result I have YOU, mein freund, for life!

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