Stitching, and Stitching, and Stitching

In my early 30s, when I took up knitting, I would get so inspired about projects and techniques that I could barely think about anything else. I would get so intense, so obsessed, that I would really only want to knit or do things associated with knitting. Spinning, dyeing yarn, dyeing fiber, learning new techniques, all of it was just this wealth of creativity and mind expansion that was completely engaging to me. And I’d try big things, too big for my skill set, and sometimes I’d pull them off and sometimes I wouldn’t but all along the way I was learning and engaged with my creative mind set.

And then, after a number of years, I didn’t feel that way anymore. Sometimes I’d be inspired about projects, but it was rare that I could gather that extreme inspiration, nor could I actually do or follow the types of things I had followed during those initial creative learning years. I got so frustrated, and then decided that perhaps the early 30s is a time of extreme creativity and I resigned myself to not being able to capture that anymore.

On an absolute whim, after saying for years that I would not do so, I took up counted cross stitch. It was around christmas time 2022. I could feel the obsession coming on, and I resolved to do two things. One, somewhat let it flow over me and see what it would turn into, and two, take care not to go completely over the top on the purchasing front, knowing that going overboard in the early stages often lends itself to a number of misguided purchases.

I started the temperature tree. Then, I resolved to finish 1 project, which I did. Then I started another project (let me show you it.)

And that was going well and I was still pretty obsessed and wanting to stitch most of the time, but I was also curious about some things. Like, how to stitch on linen and evenweave. And also, there were these pretty stitch along patterns on blogs. And there was my friend Kathy kind of whispering in my ear about a pattern designer that she’d been watching. And then there was more research and all of a sudden I was planning something big. The kind of big that I would plan in the early days of my knitting. The kind of big that is TOO BIG for someone of my skill set. And yet, here we are.

I got it in my head to do the Fox and Rabbit mystery stitch along sampler. And not only to do that, but to do it on linen even though I’ve never stitched anything on linen ever. So I marched myself down to my local stitching shop, and asked for some 32 count linen, large enough for a massive year long sampler.

But was I going to do this in one color like the pattern indicated? No, no I was not, not only was I going to stitch this year long project, I was going to color it in as I went along.

And that’s how this weekend found me camped out in my craft room and dining room, one place marking up and coloring patterns and the other place teaching myself to stitch on linen. And at the end of the weekend, I had a fairly decent start.

It is, to me, absolutely gorgeous. It’s also utterly engaging. I can’t put it down, I can’t stop, I don’t want to eat, I don’t want to be on my phone, I just want to stitch even though the going is extremely slow. I have not felt this way in more than 10 years. This feeling is dangerous and perfect and I am absolutely thrilled about recapturing that feeling after being certain I wouldn’t really feel it again.

I have come to the conclusion this probably isn’t going to be a passing phase, rather I’ll immersed in this one for a good long while. The bonus here is that this is a mystery stitch along which means that once I get “caught up” I’ll have no choice but to put it down until the next clue comes out each month. There’s a limit to the depths of the obsession.

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