Once upon a time, many years ago, my aunt tried to teach me to cross-stitch. Under her tutelage, I successfully stitched several flowers and leaves and part of a word on the pattern she'd provided me with...and then our vacation was over, I returned to my daily life, and the pattern and the cross-stitching was all forgotten. I never got rid of that pattern and those childish stitches, though. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I always intended to pick it up again and embroider my way to a lovely, and finished, sampler.
Well, recently, I decided that now was the time. I've always wished I knew how to knit, or crochet, or embroider...but my mother had been the sort who rejected that kind of craft as old-fashioned and so never learned and couldn't teach me, and I just have never been able to find the time/money to take classes. But embroidery, now...that seemed like something I could learn myself a bit more easily. Having seen people mention the book Embroidered Effects by Jenny Hart recently, I investigated the author and ended up purchasing her Stitch-It Kit. And boy, am I glad I did! The instructions for basic stitches were easy to understand, even for a complete amateur like myself, and the patterns are fun and cute! After successfully completing a tea towel with embroidery of a tea pot and tea cup, I turned my eyes back towards that long-neglected cross-stitch pattern my aunt picked out for me so many years ago.
After picking out all the stitches I'd completed as a child (due to the fact that I don't have floss in those exact colors anymore!) I began anew. I WILL finish that darned thing! And it's very pleasant, really, to have something productive to do with my hands while I sit on the couch in the evening watching NCIS with my husband. This could be a hobby that lasts me, I think! It's no wonder women have done this for so many years, in so many cultures. It is soothing, simple, but creative and productive as well.
Oh, and, I also checked out Embroidered Effects from the library...I think I might have to purchase it, too! Very informative and engagingly written.