Thursday, June 25, 2020

Pandemic project

Since March I’ve been craving something to do with my hands, like embroidery or cross-stitch, even though I don’t really know how to do either of these things. I vaguely remember doing something with stitching in home ec class in ninth grade, but mostly when it comes to sewing, I remember my grandma and her Singer, and the many colors of thread she had in the fold-down drawer, like a rainbow, and the button drawer that was full to its brim with buttons.

This craving has led to many nights of perusing embroidery websites online, like The French Needle, which has the most extravagant kits, some of which are very pricy, so I just put things in my shopping cart and then left it there, until a week later those items were sold out and I would start again.

A few weeks ago I decided to look for less expensive sources for kits, and after going to several including Etsy, I had collected some tools and two things to start working on, as well as a really lovely envelope style case to keep the work in while I do it. 

I haven’t started yet, but I have derived an unusual amount of pleasure and calm from just looking at the kit and its colored threads. I’ll do the actual stitching soon enough, but during this time of staying at home, wearing masks, and fielding anxiety about a multitude of things happening in our country and our world, I’m finding that perusing and pondering and enjoying the simple things make everything a bit better.

This is the back of the case. It makes me happy just to look at it, inch by inch, as it reveals its story. 

And the other side, which makes me equally happy. My first project will be the nerve cell that I got from a neuroscience PhD student on Etsy who makes these kits to calm her own neurons. The second project will be Anne of Green Gables and the wonderful quote:

“Why must people kneel down to pray? If I really wanted to pray I’ll tell you what I'd do. I'd go out into a great big field all alone or in the deep, deep woods and I'd look up into the sky—up—up—up—into that lovely blue sky that looks as if there was no end to its blueness. And then I'd just feel a prayer.” 

Meanwhile, looking at the threads, the pink thimble and tiny purple scissors, the patterns and needles, makes me feel calm and excited. Something to look forward to, something to work on a little at a time until I finish it. 

A friend said this sudden penchant for embroidery could represent my subconscious wanting to stitch the world back together. She could be right. 


Grey Horse Matters said...

I’ve done tons of knitting,crocheting, needlepoint,sewing and embroidery and making stained glass pictures over the years. I’m sure you will be a pro in no time and be stitching the world back together in no time. Have fun.

billie said...

Oh gosh, I wish we lived on the same lane because I would love to have a knitting circle with you! Of course right now we’d have to have it through the fence with masks on and distance, but still... I do not know how to knit or any of that wonderful art and it’s on my list (how many years have I said this now??) to knit myself a beautiful jewel-colored poncho. A long one. One day!

Grey Horse Matters said...

I've actually made some ponchos and afghans and crocheting them is much easier. Go for the crochet and save the knitting for sweaters and scarves! I think you can take lessons online if you're really interested. My mom taught me to knit and crochet. My grandmother was an expert crocheter and made beautiful lace doilies and tablecloths etc. she really was a true artist at it. Me...not so much.

billie said...

Oh, good advice - what a wonderful gift that your mom taught you and her mom taught her! I love that.