Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Embroidery and Entertaining Yourself


Amazon Books

Embroidery is a great form of entertainment in itself. But while you’re enjoying those quiet moments with your needle, do you find other ways to entertain yourself? Most people probably resort to the TV, but there are other options!

When I hand embroidery, I don’t watch the television. I am an occasional movie watcher – though, when it comes to embroidery, I’m not really a “watcher,” but more of a listener. I prefer non-action, drama-type movies or mysteries, and I’m a pretty steady fan of A&E; productions and the like. Action movies are simply not embroidery material for me, personally, because I just can’t spare the eye time for action movies, which tend to depend so much on special effects rather than on quality script.

My favorite thing to do while I embroider – this is assuming the family is otherwise occupied and there’s no company – is to listen to audio books, on CD with headphones. I love Shakespeare, so the Arkangel Shakespeare series is a favorite. These are full-cast audio productions, done really well, and super enjoyable to listen to. I also “grew up” on Agatha Christie and I love her older books especially, so I listen to those now and then, too. I also like to travel and to read the works of travel journalists, so Bill Bryson on audio isn’t too bad, either (In a Sunburned Country was hilarious, and it followed right on a trip to Australia, so it struck home and was really enjoyable!) I don’t even mind re-listening to audio books, because I’m convinced you can never get everything out of a book the first time you read it.

If you figure you’ll be spending a lot of time with your needle, it’s just great to relax with a good audio book and journey off into a good story. It serves as a wonderful remedy for the hectic life, and it’s a great (and productive) escape.

You could always purchase your own audio books (I do sometimes, but I don’t like to spend the money, unless I know it is certainly something I’ll listen to again and again, like Shakespeare’s plays). When I do purchase anything, I usually go through Audio Editions, because Amazon rarely has any readily available. But an even better source is your local library, especially if you live in a larger city (rural libraries are not always well-stocked, but they can get things for you on inter-library loan). If your local public library doesn’t stock an audio book that you know is available, request it. They will usually either purchase it or track it down through another library.

Besides audio books or an occasional movie, I like to listen to good music while I embroider. And of course, you can’t overlook the entertainment that comes with conversation among friends and family, so visits are always fun, though I don’t get as much done when I’m chatting. But forget the phone – it just doesn’t work for me when I’m engrossed in needlework!

But…. spring is coming…. and none of these things work when I’d rather be outside. So sometimes when the weather is good, I take my work outside (shock, horror!), where the light is excellent and the passers-by are more entertaining. My biggest fear is birds above, but so far, so good. (I know I’m going to regret it some day!)

What do you do while you embroider?


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(3) Comments

  1. Besides listening to television and audiobooks, I listen to podcasts on my mp3 player while I’m doing embroidery. I especially like listening to some of the crafty ones, like CraftSanity or Craftypod, or even CreativeMom (I like that show, even though I’m not a mother). I used to listen to HeartsArt, which I believe was a radio show. It’s been gone for about a year and a half now, but it’s still archived online and I sometimes listen to back episodes.

  2. I love audio books on my mp3 player or listen to music or talk shows while doing handwork. I love gardening and photography so never stitch outside. Love your site!

  3. I live far away from those I love. Today I needlepointed while my daughter worked on an essay. We were connected by ‘face time.’ We didn’t have to talk so much but the background noises made me feel in touch.

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