Sunday, 28 August 2016

Random thoughts on reconnecting with once-loved crafts

From mr x stitch

The thing about crafts is that one tends to lead to another. Knitting was the first crafty thing I can remember being taught to do as a child and having the materials to continue with. Crochet followed. Since then I've tried my hand at needlepoint, quilling, cross-stitch, rugging (is that a word?), embroidery, machine sewing, hand sewing, English Paper Piecing, beading and jewellery making.

Some of these hobbies were short-lived as I tried them on for size and realised that while they were enjoyable in the moment I would not have the interest in investing in them long-term.

From Etsy

I spent a couple of years on cross-stitch and when I gave it up in my mid 20s I never thought I would return to it. Over ten years later, I happened to catch sight on Pinterest of a sassy unicorn pattern that I thought would make a great gift for my sister. As I didn't know if I would continue with cross-stitch, I put out some feelers and asked people if they had old supplies they wanted to get rid of. I thought it would be like a return of good karma, as I had moved on all my supplies years ago to people who were interested in taking it up just as I was moving on to other things. A couple of friends gave me some supplies they were not going to use, plenty to make my gift for my sister.

Made for my sister from a pattern available here

I made the gift, I posted a pic on Facebook . . . and suddenly other people wanted one. I duly produced to order, and because I was enjoying cross-stitching so much I indulged in the temptation that is searching Pinterest and created my own board for the cross-stitch patterns I liked the most.

From Daily Cross Stitch

What I found was that cross-stitch had got a lot more playful and geeky than I remembered it being. When I've been in charity shops recently I've found myself noting just how many cross-stitch books there are on the shelves, many of which I had longed to own in my twenties but not had the money to buy. I could now get them if I wanted to as they go for £1-£3. I didn't want them anymore it has given me hope that all the sewing books I want now will be in a charity shop near me in the next decade. Thanks to the advent of sites like Pinterest and Etsy there's so much more access to funny cross stitch than there was years ago.

From Pinterest

I'm finding more patterns, creating more, and I think this particular craft has come back to stay a while which is a very pleasant surprise as I thought I had done with it. That's the lovely thing about this kind of hobby. I think it comes under the 'like riding a bike' umbrella. Once you know how to create something in a certain way it stays with you, skills lingering in the memory, just waiting for when they might be needed again.

Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy cross stitch!

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