9000+ stitches

My mother used to do some embroidery. Not a lot of it necessarily ended up on our walls (though I wonder how much of what was on our walls was cross stitch or embroidery of some kind, and I just never noticed). I remember a “Home Sweet Home” cross stitch hanging by our main entry way and, my favourite, hanging in the kitchen beside the bathroom door, a scene from Nobody’s Boy, of Vitalis and Remi walking down the road with the two dogs and the monkey. (This one is the only one they hung up in the new house; it’s in the sun room now.) It was this cross stich that made me want to try my hand at it.

In elementary school, I made a bunny. It was a kit for kids and didn’t even require separating the strands of embroidery thread, if I remember correctly. I tied knots to start and probably had a matted mess at the back of my canvas.

Last fall, I went to Michaels and took a look at cross stitching kits. I was looking at the big ones, thinking about something to put on my wall, something extravagant that my kids will admire in 15 (or 20, 25, whatever) years. They’re expensive! I almost left, discouraged, unable to justify the money spent on something I might not enjoy, especially on a student budget.

And then I found their clearance bin. Instead of a $50 large canvas, I found an $10.00 5×7. This one:

Isn’t she pretty?

Anyway, it was a good thing I didn’t spend much money on it, because it ended up gathering dust for six months or so. I finally pulled it out about two, maybe three months ago. For the first while, it was a mess and the more colours I used, the more tangled my threads got and more difficult to manage.

And then I went home and got help from my mom. (Has anyone else noticed a recurring theme in these posts?) She gave me a colour palet for organizing my threads and a proper embroidery hoop. I can’t say I’ve actually made leaps and bounds of progress since then, but it’s far less frustrating. And it’s become something relaxing in it’s repetitiveness. I work on it at M’s house while he and his roommates are watching hockey or soccer or doing various engineering-like assignments.

Some pictures of my progress will follow. Eventually.

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