stitch what you love

pattern is linked at the bottom of the post
My Sweetie Pie ABCs by Alicia Paulson
Kind and True by Pineberry Lane, from the Quaint Country Ladies Stitching Club
Joyful World, free patterns by Snowflower Diaries
White Christmas by Not Forgotten Farm

One of my greatest comforts of this past year has been cross stitching. It came as a surprise to me; I’d written the craft off as boring and tedious, and was even beginning to grow jaded about my beloved knitting and crochet, as the world of expensive, elite craft materials seemed less and less attainable, and more and more unnecessary to me at this phase of life.

Years ago I’d purchased two cross stitch kits from the delightful Alicia Paulson. I’d started one right around when my daughter was born, and then both sat in a closet. Last year when we all were sent home, and thought it would only last a few days or a couple weeks, I picked up one of those kits and started stitching on it again to busy my hands and calm my mind. Threading a needle, the gentle flow of each stitch, and following a pattern was bliss.

And, of course, when crafting, one gets excited and starts googling other patterns and projects. Or is that just me? And I stumbled across a thing called “flosstube.” Flosstube is a term for an unofficial network of YouTubers who talk about all things stitching – cross stitch, embroidery, quilting, design, and so on. It’s a community where fellow stitching addicts can see what other folks are stitching, check out new patterns, take part in stitch-alongs, and, for me, a place to find a warm, comfortable virtual place where one can rest when the world seems too much to bear.

I’ve learned a lot from flosstube. How to stitch in-hand from Crosshatch Quilts (absolutely liberating!). How stitching in-hand feels prayerful (meditative, mindful), as Celeste Creates describes it so perfectly. And that life is short and everyone should stitch what they love, as the adorable duo of Brenda and the Serial Starter remind us in each of their delightful videos. I’ll link a bunch more of my favorites at the bottom of this post.

So as a thank you to craft of stitching, to all the designers and stitchers, and very much to all the folks taking their time to offer community through the world wide web, I’ve made a little pattern to share. I wanted a stitchy reminder to spend the little time we have here in this realm giving our attention, time, and love to the people and activities that bring us life and joy. It’s also a prayer to anyone out there needing healing and love, especially Brenda, whose videos with Laura have just been such a comfort and happy spot for me this past year.

If you do decide to stitch it, please let me know! I’ll be using the hashtag that’s already started, #stitchwhatyoulove, and #fortheloveofbrendasal.

Also, thank you to my coworker, who just happens to have a mother who is a famous cross stitch designer(!). When I told this coworker that in another life I’d love to be a cross stitch designer, she said, why not be one in this life?

It’s my first time trying this out and I don’t know what I’m doing, in true DIY fashion. I think I’m going to stitch it on 32 count Belfast linen from Hobby Lobby in natural, with Weeks Dye Works thread in Terra Cotta – all stuff I have already. And it may turn out to be about 5×5.5″, but who knows! I highly recommend using what you’ve got lying around, or go to your local stitching shop.

Keep stitching, knitting, crochetting, reading, biking, baking, hiking, meditating, sleeping, painting happy little trees or whatever it may be that gives you peace and makes you happy; whatever is your version of STITCH WHAT YOU LOVE. Take care, friends!

Some of my favorite stitching places

Flosstubers:

Cross Stitch Designers:

sticks and string

Round and round the needles, making woolens for the growing little one. Here are a few soft wee things that have come in the last few months. Patience is easy when my hands are busy, and nothing is more satisfying than a miniature sweater and imagining the one who will wear it. blanket IMG_1602 little blue wasabi1 :: Super Easy Baby Blanket by the Purl Bee, in some type of yarn from New Zealand sheep. My favorite because it was knit with my favorite person, who recently has become quite the knitter.
2 :: Fancy Tiger’s Army of Caterpillars by Miranda Harp, Blue Sky Alpacas Bulky yarn, which has been in my yarn box for about a decade. There could not be just one, all lonely. Plus, there are a few babies coming who will squeeze these guys.
3 :: Garter Yoke Cardi by Jennifer Hoel, Madelinetosh Pashmina yarn, so so so incredibly soft and wonderful. I love everything garter stitch; it reminds me of Ms. Zimmermann.
4 :: Garter Stitch Baby Kimono by JOJI, Shibui Knits Sock yarn. The color is called wasabi!

eating :: my brother in law’s pancakes with maple syrup, finding out the cat likes them too
reading :: more Mavis Gallant
watching :: Cape Fear, both of them, and a blog that makes me cackle every time
feeling :: the air get colder, the bed get more enticing
listening :: Sharon Van Etten, for the autumn, Lou Reed, may he be looking down from a star, and Neil Young, always