I try pretty hard not to turn this into a typical "mommy blog," because it's not as if I'm that great of a mom, or a "crafty blog," because I'm definitely not so crafty.
|If this makes you laugh, you know exactly|
what I'm talking about.
A little background:
When I was maybe 14, my mom - who is way crafty - taught me to do counted cross-stitch. I loved it, and I made a bunch of cross-stitched pictures, as well as needlepoint, which she also taught me to do. We spent many, many afternoons during school vacations sitting in our little den, watching soap operas and working on our respective current projects.
As life got busier and more complicated, I gradually gave up the hobby. But the memories of stitching are many, warm, and persistent.
Anyway, once my brother and sister and I got older, my mom turned to a new project: making cross-stitched Christmas stockings for each of us, and then for our spouses as we acquired them, and then for our children as we acquired them. Each generation of stockings she stitched became more intricate and time-consuming, until they were freaking works of art.
|This is one small detail of the stocking Grammy made for PDaughter.|
This is 22-count Aida cloth, and if you know anything about cross-stitch,
you're thinking "respect" right about now.
So tonight we went to our local Michael's, and I helped her select two small, simple cross-stitch projects so she could learn the art.
Total investment: About six dollars.
We sat on barstools at our kitchen island, which is about the best-lit space in our little apartment, and I showed her how to find the center of the Aida cloth; how to secure the cloth in the (supplied) hoop; how to separate the six-strand skein of thread into two three-strand pieces and then cut it to length; how to count off the number of stitches in each row, going first top-left to bottom-right, then top-right to bottom-left (thank goodness we're both lefties; this was much easier than learning from my right-handed mom); and, most importantly perhaps, how to untangle the inevitable knots that form as you patiently create rows of x's on the canvas.
She's currently working her way through the first color of a simple design of a kitten with a ball of yarn. When she's done with the crosses, I'll teach her how to back-stitch to outline details in the image.
I feel so damn proud, nostalgic, and happy right now. Passing this simple, relaxing, beautiful art onto the next generation fills me with pride and joy. And, frankly, makes me want to practice it again myself, although I'm not sure where I would find the time and energy to do so.
Crafty moms, for once I feel complete solidarity with you.
If anyone reading or sharing this has a mommy-blog/crafty-mom affiliation that might appreciate this little tale, please like and share. I'm so damn pleased with my PDaughter right now. I'd like to know how other moms have handled the passing of the cross-stitch torch. Really.
I think that 2016 has gotten off to a jolly good start, you know?