I learned how to do a new thing! As you can probably guess from the blog title, that thing is cross-stitch!
I really needed a hobby this summer that was not associated with writing. I was halfway through crocheting a blanket when the heat waves hit, so that was promptly abandoned. I’d love to practice drawing, but typing for hours per day have turned my hands into useless claws, so that is off the board.
Thus, cross-stitch! It’s pretty, it’s precise, but it follows a grid, so my claw-hands just have to stab at the right corner and the needle will sort the rest out.
I debated jumping in with something elaborate and complex, but my internet friends suggested maybe not going off the deep end. ALL RIGHT, FRIENDS, FINE. But I am a supremely impatient person, so I couldn’t just doodle a stick figure either.
The middle ground: I decided to practice by making a piece for my 4yo son. I asked what he wanted: a dinosaur! Okay. I tracked down a simple two-color pattern for a T-Rex skeleton. I asked what color he wanted: rainbow!!!! Er, okay! I just switched colors when the time seemed right.
And Rainbow Rex was born!
I learned lessons! Like not letting the back get too messy, and leaving more room to frame, and perhaps most important of all: yes, you really do need to get the magic washable fabric pen, because the pencil lines will definitely not come out.
Heady with somewhat-success, I decided to creep a little farther onto that springboard over the deep end. Instead of picking one animal, this time I bought two patterns and mashed them together to make a hybrid bird-lizard, and instead of two thread colors I jumped to fifteen. What could go wrong?
NOTHING. HE’S BEAUTIFUL.
He now has a lovely home with a friend of mine. The stitches are small enough that she probably won’t be able to tell which ones accidentally went in backwards when I was trying to stitch with toddlers on my lap.
I learned more lessons! Like: try to keep the toddlers out of your lap, and it sure would look nice to fill the whole hoop so I’d better start making them smaller, and also: I bet I could start making my own patterns.
That’s right, friends. I’M GOING OFF THE DEEP END. Next time I should have some creative, uh… creations to show off.
P.S. I ought to mention, for other people who enjoy the deliciously satisfying sensation of crossing items off a list:
One of my favorite parts of the process is marking the squares I’ve completed on the pattern with a highlighter. Section by section, row by row, it’s an endless and rapidly completed To Do, visibly done!
Mmm, that is some good sense of accomplishment.