Thursday, May 31, 2007

Twisted Thread - America

Twisted Thread - America
Originally uploaded by solslett.

See - my "crafting time" is not completely absorbed by knitting.

I have been stitching longer than I have been knitting, and it has been a prolific passion. I have finished hundreds of stitching projects, as noted in the 4 project completion binders I have. These volumes go back to the '70's with project details, picture and pattern whenever possible. Yes, I have included non-stitching projects, such as crochet and knitting, but they constitute maybe 10% of the top loading pages in these 3", 3-ring binders. Separated by year, it is a wonderful history of my progress as a fiber artist.

Due to some persistent problems with my right hand, I haven't done much stitching this year. Numbness in two fingers, and general pain, kept me from doing fine needlework, which is I enjoy most. I really think the time spent knitting has helped me overcome these issues. I have not suffered any numbness for an extended period of time, and thought it was time to try my hand at stitching again. Of course, I had to do something challenging.

This project is by Twisted Thread, a favorite of mine. I bought this little kit when we were in Las Vegas last year. There is a wonderful store by the name of Stitcher's Paradise that I visit every time we are in town. I like pieces with houses in them (it has nothing to do with the fact I'm in Real Estate), and I like alphabet samplers. I have a lot of patterns "waiting in the wings" that bear out that fact. But this was one of the smallest pieces I have done on linen with these two themes.

This is an "over-one" project, meaning, it is stitched with one strand of floss over one linen thread of cloth. The finished size is 1 3/8" x 3 1/4". As I get older, this is a much more challenging type of stitching to do since, to be honest, my eyes aren't what they used to be. Just a few years ago, I could see just fine with only the aid of my contact lenses. I found about 3 years ago, that wearing my glasses instead was more conducive to fine needlework. 2 years ago, I got a pair of reading glasses. For this one, I spent two nights "listening" to the TV, and stitched with no visual aids. For the first time since I was 12, I stitched with naked eyes. I've got to say, I did a damn fine job.

This is the first piece of needlework that I have worked on since January. The one thing that surprised me is that I am more apt to put down my knitting and go do something else. When I am stitching, it's like I'm in a race to get it done. It is isn't so much "one more row", it's "finish this section" or " finish this color". The other thing that surprised me is that stitching isn't as relaxing to me as knitting.

I'm not being boastful when I say I am very accomplished at needlework. 30 years of consistent effort and critical review should have some positive impact. I am not close to that level of confidence with my knitting, and maybe that's why I have thrown myself into it. I can see by the fit and overall construction of the socks that I have been knitting, that I have improved tremendously over two year. Whoopee!! However, I still have a long way to go.

When I want to feel superior, I will stitch. When I want to feel humble, I will knit. I guess I've been wanting to feel humble a lot lately!

No comments: