As both an aspiring artist and (still aspiring) crafter, I suppose an interest in embroidery was inevitable. After all, it’s little more than drawing with thread. It’s also cheap, portable and surprisingly satisfying, not to mention OMG ALL THE SHINY COLORS. So yes, I like it. I like it lots.
There’s something about the simplicity and freedom of the craft that’s quite soothing. Each stitch is straightforward, quantifiable progress towards a concrete (and hopefully beautiful) goal- a kind of inevitable progression I don’t often run into in the rest of my life. I make a stitch, and I’m that one stitch closer to my goal. It’s really quite the nice mental break from what’s largely been consuming my mind lately, my research, which has been doing anything but progressing in a straightforward and inevitable way. Murphy’s law for the lab: all that can go wrong will, and if said going wrong is impossible, it’ll just do it faster. No wonder I’m loving embroidery- the way I’m doing it, I don’t even have to think about drawing the original design. Sometimes it’s lovely just to follow along, and know you’ll get where you’re going some day.
Right now I’m working on a shirt using Sublime Stitching patterns.
In addition to this, I decided to give cross-stitch a try. If the careful stitching of embroidery puts me into a Zen kind of state, then cross-stitch is the ultimate craft or slowing down my oft-chaotic mind and finding some kind of still focus. You know exactly where each and every stitch goes, exactly how you’ve gotten where you are and where to go next, and with each stitch your work grows. It’s like prayer beads –meditation by repetition- only you get something nifty when you’re done. Zen progression with bonus shiny.
Not that my subject matter is all that Zen-ish.
Inevitably, the next step will be designing my own patterns. So it goes. So I go. One stitch at a time.