Lately, I was hornswoggled into a needlework project.
Hornswoggled, for those who aren’t familiar with word, means the same thing as bamboozled or hoodwinked.
Not very helpful, I know. But you just have to love that group of words: hornswoggled, bamboozled, hoodwinked! They all mean approximately the same thing: tricked or deceived into doing something – but they say it in such a fun way.
So, yes. I was hornswoggled – pretty much by myself – into a project.
This (above) is something I’ve been doing off and on for the last week or so, in any down time during the evenings. I’ve been gridding up a piece of 30 count linen, basting in horizontal and vertical lines every 20 threads.
Why? Let me tell you!
I came across a beautiful image that I thought might work well in embroidery. And then, with further searching, I discovered that the image (which I’ll share later) had already been converted into a chart for counted work – either cross stitch or tent stitch, depending on the fabric used.
And I thought to myself, “Why not?”
I haven’t done any counted work for a while (this miniature Cluny tapestry in tent stitch on silk gauze was the last one). I enjoyed having that Cluny piece set up, ready to throw a few stitches in now and then, 15 minutes here, 15 minutes there. It was fun!
Maybe, I said to myself, I should do this particular piece in tent stitch on a high count linen, just to see.
I teetered for a while on the brink of Yes-or-No, with a heavy leaning towards No, given the fact that it struck me as rather a large project that would consume much time.
But then, I disclosed my idea to two of my grown nieces, who both enthusiastically jumped on it with two feet (for a total of four feet!), declaring that they would both love to work on something like that.
Immediately, my imagination went into overdrive. I envisioned the three of us working together to create the piece. When I had time, I’d put some stitches in. When they wanted to relax a bit and do something with their hands, they could pop by my workroom and stitch a bit, drink some tea, enjoy a little chin wag with their favorite aunt – or they could take it home of a winter evening and do their bit. And we would all three create it together.
Or – I even went this far – if they wanted to do their own, we’d just buy three charts, and we’d all work on our own version. Together! Chummy and all that!
Oh, such happy scenes of Stitching Conviviality floated through my head!
And you know what happened, don’t you?
Without further ado, and without really discussing it in depth with the gals, I teetered to the side of Yes, purchased the chart, and forthwith told them we were in business.
And then I showed them the 79-page chart. The 200 symbols jumbled into 250,000 little squares, each representing a stitch.
Look at this, I shouted, jumping up and down. It’s HUGE! What a PROJECT!
And I chortled and chuckled and even laughed outright.
Aren’t we going to have FUN? I cried, rubbing my hands together in sick delight.
And you know what happened then, don’t you?
They just looked at me.
And then they looked at that Massive Stack of a Chart.
And then they looked back at me, like I might be a little mad or something.
As I sit here, contemplating a heap of over 200 skeins of floss, concocting various ways I might organize them for a project like this, I can’t help thinking that they