|Not mine: Source|
Cross-stitch is a type of embroidery where one stitches X's on special cross-stitch fabric to form a picture. It's simple to do and very easy to learn. Just pick up a beginner's book, actually read through it, and you're on your way. My mom bought me this book, Teach Me to Stitch, back in elementary school. It has very clear instructions with helpful pictures and lots of cutesy little kid patterns to practice with.
Cross stitch is a fairly inexpensive hobby to pick up. The supplies list includes a pattern, fabric, hoop, floss (the technical term for embroidery thread), cross-stitch needle, masking tape, and scissors. Patterns come in books and the pattern will tell you what colors to buy and how large the finished product will be. You can even buy kits that include the pattern, fabric, and all the colors you need. I have never tried this method, so I cannot attest to its quality.
Fabric comes in many sizes and types. Here is a little article to give you an idea of cross-stitch fabric. Basically, if you are a beginner, buy Aida. It will be easiest to work with and count stitches and it will be cheaper. Though, the finished project won't look as refined as the holes are quite large. Never get linen unless it's evenweave. If your fabric does not say it's evenweave you will NOT be happy with your results as all the squares will not be the same size or they will be rectangles instead of squares. Blech.
The only expensive part of cross-stitch is when you need to frame your work (unless it's a pillow, blanket, etc.) Make sure you get it on sale at Michaels and Joann's.
Cross-stitch really requires minimum concentration. It's perfect for doing with a bunch of friends while gossiping or sitting at home and listening to music or watching TV. It's also the perfect hobby to do while wearing your frills as there is absolutely no mess. Just be careful with your scissors! I love sitting with my project, imagining I'm a princess in a castle wasting time between saving princes and fighting dragons.
Here's my latest project. I think it will be the perfect way to loli-fy my room a bit more once it's washed and framed. They were made using one stand of floss for a more water color effect.