I used my snowflakes that we talked about last week as a carrot over the weekend.
I often do this with stitching. When I have more onerous tasks that must be done, I turn my embroidery into a carrot. I make myself stay on task for a certain amount of time, and then I take a short stitching (or other kind) of break, where I can do something completely different to take my mind of the more demanding job.
This weekend (and for the last couple weekends), I’ve been working on the e-book for Festive Fall, which I hope to have available for you on Wednesday. (Keep your fingers crossed for me.)
This type of work requires hours upon hours in front of the computer, editing photos, writing, and so forth. I have to make myself shift every hour, and usually, I take the break time to do other small tasks, like changing the wash, doing dishes, cleaning the bathroom, that kind of thing.
To keep myself a little more motivated this weekend, I added 15 minutes of stitching time into the line-up, and made that my carrot. It worked well! Between my 15 minutes here and there and some longer bouts in the evenings, I managed to get a good bit of embroidery done.
I was experimenting this weekend.
I’ve always been a fan of that kind of “Nordic” look to winter decor – the folkish snowflakes and trees and deer and other motifs that you often find in knitting, cross stitch, and the like.
To me, it has a cozy, classic appeal. It can be dressed up and elegant, or dressed down and casual. It works in practically any kind of contrast combination – red on white, white on red, black on white, white on black, blue, natural, and so forth.
So, with visions of gridded snowflakes in mind, I thought I’d play with the notion of “uncounted” cross stitch. Similar to stamped cross stitch, my idea was to transfer the cross stitch design onto a plain-weave towel and see how it stitched up.
What I loved about the experience was that repetitive, relaxing rhythm of stitching, with the sound of the thread passing through fabric mixing itself very pleasantly with the book I was completely engrossed in.
The design worked up quickly, so progress was satisfying.
I didn’t have to think one iota about the stitching, and yet, I was still doing something with my hands.
In fact, if I had had a really good BBC drama to watch while I was working on it, it would have been the ideal combination.
Since there’s no counting involved, and since I didn’t have to think about what stitch to use next, what color to choose for this bit or that bit, it really is a most laid back, comfortable, relaxing approach to stitching up some holiday cheer.
Overall, I enjoyed the experience, and I think the experiment was worth trying! In fact, several years back, I designed a whole slew of snowflakes and similar winter designs, and I’m thinking I might convert more of them to this type of pattern. The fun thing is, the transfer can be off-set. It doesn’t have to follow the “square” of the fabric. I’m thinking about a few more freely-placed designs…
I can see this type of stitching being especially useful for folks who are transitioning between counted work (on a defined grid) and free-style surface embroidery, but who haven’t quite gotten comfortable with the lack of the defined grid.
I can also see it being thoroughly enjoyable for folks who want to be doing something with their hands, in situations where they don’t want to tote a lot of stuff about, where distractions are prevalent (like commuting, road trips, travel, waiting rooms, ball games, TV watching, and the like), or in situations where they just want to relax with some simple handwork.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, though. What do you think? Is this something you would enjoy stitching, too? Is it something you’d want to add to your holiday line-up of embroidery projects? Should I fix up a collection? Feel free to weigh in in the comments below!
And on that note, I’m back to my e-book work. Hopefully, I’ll emerge triumphant from my screen before bedtime tonight. Wish me luck!
Hope your first week of October (crazy, huh?) is off to a great start!