Revised from a comment I posted a while ago (in the last thread on the first page of comments here), prompted by tomorrow's Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell post (no, really! Cross-stitching, slash, and a man wearing a ship on his head, all coming to a Tor.com near you.). Someone asked if I'd taught myself to cross-stitch, and I said I had when I was a kid: "Pretty much your threshold for 'looks good!' is 'all stitches go in the same direction' and 'no big lumpy knots on the back,' so it's pretty simple. => There are bunches of tips for making it look _great_ to close inspection, but start with the basics and see if you like it."
Questions? Disagreements? Demand for a 201+ discussion? (I was planning to save that until my next finish, or at least until I need advice on it, honestly, but we can set up a dedicated comment thread here if you all want.)