The Sad Case of a Crafty Dr. Frankenstein

As things outside of my house  inche me closer and closer to resume my old agoraphobic habits, the closer I push myself into stitching and other crafts. Unfortunately, these hobbies only reinforce my hermit tendencies and can actually cause me more stress. I keep piling more and more on my proverbial needle arts plate. Perfect example: my over-ambitious (and publicly blogged about) plans of xstitching Christmas presents for EVERYONE. My heart was in the right place, but now I’ve had to cut down to doing only two projects for presents. Even now I am stressed out about about completing (and don’t even talk to me about framing) on time.

Another recent example: prayer shawls. I was OBSESSED and pushed my afghan onto the back burner. Full disclosure: I haven’t even cast-on for the afghan! Me and my heart-in-the-right-place mouth have already promised four prayer shawls to two of the people receiving them. Oh and by the way, I’ve frogged and had to start ALL THE WAY over on my first shawl. Stress: People need these shawls.

When I told my lovely grandma about my crafting issues, she said in her Grand Duchess Saint Grandma Patricia way, “Well, I think you are trying to do too much at one time. -pause- How’s your afghan coming?” Oh, my beautiful, sagacious grandmother! That’s it. I need to calm down in my crafting life because I have WAY TOO MUCH b.s. going on in “real life.”

Stitching is supposed to be a relaxing haven. Something to look forward to and something fun to obsess over. But for me it has become a check off in a to-do list. This isn’t a post about me taking or needing a stitching break; I can’t do that personally at this time in my life. I NEED my stitching as an outlet. This is a post wondering where do you draw the line, and I have no clue.

It seems that we crafters are usually focusing on doing projects for others. Or we have tons of projects going on because we want to (rightly) make things for ourselves too. On top of that, there’s the extremely correct adage, cross stitchers are alway looking for more patterns to do/add to their library. Note: You should see my Wish List, updated almost daily.

I need to make new crafting habits so that stitching can turn back into what I loved. Without expectations. Without stress. With manageable deadlines (ha!).

So thank you for sitting through this odd post. I will be posting some WIP pics next post hopefully. And as a reward for reading, here’s a picture of Belle because no one can feel stressed after looking at dog pictures 😉

Let’s all relax and happy stitching!

Crafting a Neurosis

Hello stitchers!

I hope everyone’s week is going great and has had some time to relax and craft!
Last week, I celebrated my and my BF’s five year anniversary. I made and framed this tatted heart as his present:

It is an “intermediate” pattern, so of course I played that up! 🙂 So– years from now our grandchildren will look at it hanging above our kitchen table or bed and say, “Isnt it romantic that grandma made this for grandpa when they were a-courting?”

ANYWAY I’ve been prepping to begin my afghan. By that I mean rereading the pattern over and over and waiting for my new needles to arrive in the mail. Also I’ve been looking at knitting online and found ANOTHER project to add to my list:

Prayer Shawls! What a beautiful concept. You literally pray over each stitch for a certain someone and give it to them. I’m still a very beginner knitter–only knit, purl, yarn over, and k2tog, please– so it has been fun trying to find patterns to match those skills. I already have someone in mind as the recipient. Most patterns only call for two skeins, so it should be a fast knit, right?

I already added two prayer shawl patterns in my crafting journal to try:

So much stitching and knitting and tatting to do! So happy stitching!

Messing Up, Or Fifty Shades of White

Hello Stitchers!

My niece’s pattern is turning out to be quite the headache! There are many shades of white, and I have had to cut out and start over because of so many mistakes. My mantra for this project: my niece NEEDS this cross stitch. I’m even jazzing the pattern up with some glitter thread and Mill Hill beads. I am determined to make this a keepsake for her that she will love. 

While pursuing my locally owned craft store for the aforementioned beads, I became overwhelmed and got the glorious idea to try a bigger knitting project. My grandma gave me this afghan pattern a few years ago along with her latest (unfinished) afghan so that I could try my hand at more interesting patterns:
It is a two-colored pattern with just purls and knit stitches and some k2tog thrown in. I chickened out big time and just bound off what she gave me. It is a lovely lap blanket/shawl-thingy. So then and there at the craft store, I dialed my grandma asking how many skeins I would need to make the full sized afghan from her favorite pattern.

I was so determined that I even decided that I would make the afghan with three stripes instead of two. Because I like to make things more complicated for myself apparently. So I chose three colors that aren’t too girly to appease the male members of the house (I was totally going for mustard yellow, red, and some Fall beige). It took me FOREVER to decide on these colors. I was even describing the colors over the phone to my ever patient grand-duchess, saint grandmother Patricia.

This yarn is from the Ole Faithful brand of Red Heart Super Saver in Grey Heather, Lavender, and Windsor Blue. 

I can’t wait to begin, but I’m nervous. I’ve never knitted anything this size before. And as I’ve said, I’ve always chickened out on this pattern.

Funny how I was upset last post about having to cancel some projects because I got too stressed! I guess you can’t stop inspiration or the need for creative outlets.

Happy stitching and enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Sometimes the Best Laid Plans…Oh, Forget It

I created my stitching schedule with the best of intentions.  Ashamed to say that I have had to cut my plans very short. I will probably only end up doing three patterns. I didn’t NOT stay on schedule on purpose; stuff happens and I’m trying very hard to not beat myself up about it. I can reframe this into having more time to cross stitch for me. And that is OK- …not selfish??? Anyway, I figured that I have way too much anxiety and depression in my life that I do not need them to seep their grubby fingers into my crafting life.

So I’ve been coping with more cross stitching, a little knitting, and shuttle tatting. Looking at everyone’s posts have been so inspirational in pushing me to keep stitching. There have been days when I really just didn’t want to pick anything up.   I’m finally on the quilt flag of “Knee High”. Unfortunately, I have lost a color- the dark green of the corn stalks. 😦 Must reorder soon.
On a way more positive note, I did begin to kit up my niece’s pattern. I seriously cannot focus on “Knee High” by itself. Guess I’m just not a one pattern girl! I cannot wait to get started- it’s a cute bunny that’s cross stitching with sparkles and beads. It’s perfect for her to get inspired to keep trying cross stitching! AND I love the stitching tin- mom got it for me at a Goodwill a long time ago.

My library haul included all things fun and scary. Not too scary though because I will still freak out. So happy to get into the Halloween and Fall spirit!

 Last Saturday (the first weekend I’d had off in one month, thank you), we had to take Baby Belle to the emergency vet at 10 pm. She is OK- I’m way too embarrassed to tell you what was wrong (and super gross)- nothing a few doses of medicine can’t treat…but Bilbo has to be treated, too.

After all of that, I’m ready to curl up with some tea and relax. AND stitch.

Happy stitching!