I’ll be honest – my inspiration for blog posts is rock bottom right now so I’m stripping it back to basics; writing about something I’m enjoying in the present moment.
I went on a trip to hobbycraft at the beginning of this year to pick up supplies for my t-shirt blanket and whilst I was there I saw a cute baby elephant cross stitch kit… which promptly sat untouched for a couple of months.
But when lockdown hit and I wanted to force myself to find ways to spend time offline and off-screen, I started doing this cross stitch. A few sessions in I realised I missed the bit where it said to split the threads from six strands into two and had to fill in the rest with whatever I could find (which turned out to be purple) but the process got me hooked.
I wasn’t ready to jump straight in to designing my own patterns so I bought this ‘Positive Pants’ kit on Etsy – it was a bit more expensive, but the quality of the kit was much higher, it came with a hoop and a beautiful pattern on durable card (which I’m definitely keeping) and I enjoyed it even more than the first one. Potentially because I got the thing with separating the strands right this time but we’ll gloss over that bit.
Next step: design my own pattern. I bought some aida cloth and embroidery thread on Amazon, I used the needles I got from the two kits I’d done and I designed a pattern on Stitch Fiddle (which felt a lot like designing a logo on MarioKart DS when I was a kid) and then I was off – I assigned the colour codes from my threads to the colours on my pattern and started! I’m now maybe a couple of days away from finishing and I’m even more obsessed.
The creation process has made me feel creative in a whole new way – normally the way I express my creativity has been through words or digital media but this physical craft that I’m holding in my hands makes me feel so proud.
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I've picked up a couple of hobbies in quarantine – I bought a cross stitch kit from Hobbycraft before lockdown, then I bought one on Etsy then I bought a bunch of embroidery thread to start making my own designs. I started knitting because I had a set of needles and wool and my mum had told me about these ear savers for medical staff/people wearing masks all the time to attach the masks like a headband so I've been making one of those a day. I've not felt this creative in a very long time and I can't wait to continue crafting and see where it takes me (and all the colours are really satisfying!)
I’m making an ‘In the Garden’ sign for my dad for father’s day – he’s notoriously hard to get presents for but I’m not the kind to just sit back and get him another Costa voucher, I will forever strive to find the ‘wow I didn’t even know I wanted that!’ present for him. He’s never going to be blown away by any present I give him because that’s just not who he is as a person but I think he’ll really appreciate this one. Even if he doesn’t, I’ve had a whale of a time making it.
Now I’m trying to space out my cross stitching with other projects – I started knitting again in lockdown and I want to try making something new with that, but whilst I’m enjoying knitting it’s just not fired me up creatively in the same way cross stitch has. As I’m writing this I can see my nearly-finished design sitting just next to this and it’s taking all my will not to sack off my whole to do list today and just work on it because I love it so much.
It’s so therapeutic, sometimes I just put YouTube videos on in the background and it’s something to do with my hands and the final product is so rewarding.
If you’re interested in seeing my finished piece, keep an eye on my Instagram stories for progress pics and I’m sure I’ll post a grid picture when I’m done (my dad’s 72 and not the internet type, he won’t see it! Unless he’s made a sneaky instagram behind my back!).
Thank you for reading – I hope you and your loved ones are happy, healthy and staying safe!