I think we all have some skeletons in our craft cupboards. I certainly have a tendency to pick projects that are… how shall we say … perhaps a little bit overambitious. I start enthusiastically, thinking “of course I can do that, no problem”. And then gradually, over time, I grind to a halt. Here’s a picture of my biggest (and most expensive) project that is more or less permanently hibernating in my sewing box.
It is my first cross stitch project, a kit that I bought in the haberdashery at the Liberty department store. I’m not normally a huge fan of cross stitch kits, but this one was truly beautiful. It is a pattern based on a sampler stitched by a 13-year-old girl around 1790. The colours, being vegetable dyed in the original, are just lovely: lots of moss greens, straw yellows, different shades of brown. It is full of flowers, animals, birds and people. Being such a big project – approx 80 cm wide – I knew it would be a “bit” ambitious, but it was so beautiful I just had to have it.
When I first started it, I almost panicked when I realised what I had let myself in for. In the fabric there are no markings so you follow the chart and count your stitches. Each stitch is just two by two threads, and initially I thought my eyesight isn’t even good enough to see at that scale. I could only do it in bright daylight.
But gradually my eyes got used to it and I was making some progress. Nevertheless, I was estimating that if I keep at my current rate, it would take me 8 years to finish… But the results were so encouraging, very very beautiful so I thought it would be worth it in the end, I kept telling myself.
That was about 4 years ago. And then, I got ill with M.E. and just lost the stamina and the ability to concentrate enough for any length of time. Since then there has been no progress at all. Every now and then I take it out and see if I can do it again and every time it just takes too much energy and focus.
As over the last year I have improved a little bit, I am now thinking of trying it again and see what happens. Fingers crossed this time I can prove that I didn’t waste all that money on the kit…
Have you got any skeletons in your craft cupboard? If so, please leave me a comment and tell me the story, I’d love to know I am not the only over-ambitious and over-enthusiastic crafter out there…