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Rock Paper Scissors modern blackwork cross stitch pattern, "Conflict Resolution 101", Instant PDF Download

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Sometimes, the simplest solution to an intractable argument is to appeal to the ultimate arbiter of truth, justice, and beauty: Rock Paper Scissors.

According to the Ming Dynasty Chinese author Xie Zhaozhi, the method for decision-making back to third century China.

Unlike other methods for making decisions, such as throwing dice or tossing a coin, Shoushiling (as it was originally called) actually can be played with a bit of skill, by predicting the non-random behavior of one's opponent. Perhaps this skill factor is part of why it's seen as more of a "fair" way to make decisions, and why decisions made this way are generally regarded as unimpeachable. I know someone who resolved a territory dispute between two groups of campers at a festival by proposing Nude Rochambeau as the means of settling it, and both sides agreed to abide by the outcome, and nominated a champion.

The pattern is styled after an antique doily, to give it the gravitas of tradition and age. The assisi-style blackwork elements are a modern touch, giving the whole piece a delicious mix of old-fashioned and cutting edge modern, which is pretty much my aesthetic in a nutshell.

The pattern is designed to fit in a 7" embroidery hoop on 14 ct aida.

Any midtone color should work for the colors as charted, or of course the sky is the limit on blackwork as long as you make sure everything contrasts. Huge thank-you to Heather and Amanda for the lovely model stitches of this pattern!


Formats: ZIP file containing 2 PDFs:

  • 1pg color+symbols for digital devices
  • 2pg color+symbols for printing

Size: 94x94 stitches (see images for sizing on different fabric counts)
Stitches used:  full X, backstitch, French Knots
Colors: 3 colors, including one Light effects
Difficulty: ⚫⚫⚫⚪⚪ Moderate+

If you need help handling any of the stitches used in this pattern, check out my youtube tutorials.


See graphic for finish sizing at different aida counts

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