After closing my doors to crocheting amigurumi animals because I was so sick of making them for other people and getting stressed about it all the time the inevitable happened.
I became absolutely bored out of my mind.
There are a billion things I could do. I could get on with my totally abandoned Tetris blanket (yeah, remember that guy?!), I could crochet some animals just for me, I could crochet some random flowers, or start to crochet stuff to build up a supply for *whispers* the C-word.
And then I remembered my cross stitch. I haven't done any cross stitch for a very long time. In fact, when saving the below photos on to my laptop I realised that I only cross stitched one thing in the whole of 2013, a Valentine's Day card for The Person. A whole year without cross stitching? How did that happen?!
I knew immediately the project I wanted to undertake.
When we were at Monument Valley in March (note to self: you've been back for three months and still haven't finished blogging about America. Get on with it.) I hit up the gift shop like it's never been hit before. I am a sucker for tat. I love it I love it I love it and that place had it coming out of the wazoo. There were magnets, there were random rocks, there were tshirts, there were posters, there were dreamcatchers, there were keyrings. You name it, they had it and I revelled in it all.
Off in a little corner on the wall they had a selection of cross stitch kits by NP Designs called Rugs of the Southwest. I pondered for a while because it was almost too touristy even for me but eventually I succumbed and made my selection, choosing the Wide Ruins design.
I was mesmerised by the pattern. As someone who prizes neatness and order above all else, the symmetry of all the designs were right up my street. I knew that the symmetry would mean that it would be a relatively "easy" piece to stitch up. No pesky half stitches and no colour changes every four minutes, just nice and simple stitch after stitch after stitch.
I started it on June 22 and immediately got swept away. Up and down I stitched, methodically working my way through. The pace took some getting used to, after a year of crocheting amigurumi I have got used to quick results. Crochet happens pretty quickly, whether you're making an elephant or a granny square and cross stitch is very much the opposite. You can stitch and stitch for hours and it still won't really look like you've done anything or made any progress.
But looking on that uniformity. Oh my word it's brilliant.
It wasn't long before I was stitching in the morning before I went to work and coming home at lunchtime to stitch a few more sneaky rows.
This weekend I have binged on cross-stitching and put in some serious hours, meaning that I now officially one quarter of the way through. This made me feel happy and simultaneously made me draw in a huge intake of breath, because man cross stitch really is about the slow build...
But it feels nice to be doing something for me and nice to be back at the first creative, crafty thing I turned my hand to.
I'm sorry it's been so long cross stitch.