Tuesday, 3 August 2010

These are my girls

It all started back in September in 2009.

An old work colleague knew that I liked my cross stitch and told me that someone she knew was setting up a Stitch & Bitch group. We would get together on a Thursday evening and do our little projects and generally make merry.

I hesitated. I’m not always very good with new people. I do one of two things:

1. Retreat into my shell and not utter a word all night
2. Overcompensate for my shyness by being very loud and irritating

I’m yet to find a happy medium.

But, figuring I had nothing else to lose I made my way there. Everyone else seemed to know each other and I felt more than a little on the outside and most definitely intimidated, I wasn’t really sure if it was for me. “Well I don’t have to go every week” I told myself “let’s just see how it goes, you don’t even know if you’ll like them all that much.”

If you’d told me that 9 months later I would still be going, I might have sort of believed you but been a little dubious.

If you’d told me that 9 months later I would be putting pieces in an exhibition that would be featured on a website (please note these weren’t mine but someone else’s in the group) a podcast be in The Guardian’s Guide, and have my photo in the local paper, I’d have made you a cup of tea and got you to sit down and have a little rest.

If you’d told me that 9 months later I would have sold some of the pieces in the exhibition I would have started to back away nervously.

If you’d told me that 9 months later I would be living with one of those ladies, I would be arranging to visit you in the sanitarium.

And yet all the above is true.

I couldn’t imagine my life without them. I can’t imagine not going every Thursday to meet them and talking to them most days in between.

They have been my saviours.

(Too dramatic?)

Ok. Well it feels as if they have. I was getting to the point where I didn’t know if I could be bothered to make any new friends but here is this whole new group. They were responsible for introducing me to the delights of wandering down Princes Ave and Newland Ave and visiting every charity shop. They have made me think about some of the things I say. They have made me assess and re-assess my actions in certain situations.

They were there for me when I was thinking about ending my relationship and offered me just the right amount of support – no unwanted and unsolicited advice came from them, I knew they were there to listen if I wanted to talk (even if we are terrible for all talking over one another and tend to take half an hour to tell a 5 minute story because of the interruptions).

And then one of them really did become my saviour, providing me with somewhere to live if I did end things with the boyfriend. If it wasn’t for her I honestly do not know where I would be right now. I wasn’t financially able to live on my own so I would either have been living with my mother (the thought of which still makes my head hurt) or I would have still been unhappily in my relationship, too scared to make the move to walk away.

I have grown in confidence a million-fold since that day in September. I have gone from being totally reliant on someone else’s cross stitch patterns to being able to design my own kind of thing, all by myself (commissions are welcome!). When I was struggling with getting to grips with crocheting, one of the Stitchettes brought in her own crochet blanket she was working on to show me what I could make if I just stuck at it. And these ladies are also going to help me try and conquer the last frontier of fear – dresses (they really do strike fear into my very soul).

They are. In short. Amazing. And this post only goes a little way towards saying thank you to them.

And even though I haven’t sold all of my pieces and I will find myself sat at home, surrounded by them, wondering what in god’s name I’m supposed to do with them all, I won’t be disappointed because I have gained so much more than I ever thought possible.

Thank you ladies.


  1. You should put the unsold ones up on Etsy!

  2. I love cross stitch too and sometimes make my own designs. I'd like to join a group, for the company, but as I work shifts I'd only be able to go once every 3 weeks and then I'd feel like I was missing out. I like your sheep. x

  3. What a lovely post to say thank you to all your helpful ladies at the Stitch'N'Bitch Club.

    I can't get over the fact that someone actually said "Can you get male & female sheep, or are they all the same?". A true classic. Has that one been sold, or are you keeping that little gem for yourself???

  4. What a lovely story! Your group sounds amazing. I've just started to cross stitch myself as I've been getting pain in my hands and arms from too much knitting. Your cross stitching has inspired me!

  5. Well Ms Girl, you are truly lucky. What a gift! And you're multi-talented to boot!! I like your style, Girl!

  6. That is wonderful!! You're so lucky to have found people like that you get on with so well - I find that at our age it can be quite difficult making new friends - don't you have photos of the cross stitches that you made then? would love to see some!

  7. An enormous cheer for your whole post - yay!!!!

    Fame and fortune beckon - get yourself an Etsy store for sure. And you can sell patterns not just finished objects. And you'll be rich and have all the gold you can eat!

  8. Darling Girl, that last blanket would be a great one to do. It's one of those straight across types that looks so wonderous because of those happy colors. Thanks for the visit!

  9. I love this post! This is the best post :) Excellent.

    By the way, FABULOUS sheep! :-D :-D


    p.s Baaaaaaa!


  11. even 'HE WANTS A MORTGAGE!' honestly gossepimples lover, goosepimples!


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