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» Tuesday, April 27, 2004Stitching in Time
Man, I've been sleepy today. Did go to bed rather late last night (just before one) so we could stay up and see "Headlines" on Tonight, the one truly funny feature we enjoy, and were up at 7:30 to send James off to work. I ate breakfast and puttered around a bit, then at 9:30 snuggled up on the sofa and after about an hour of trying to fall asleep, did indeed fall well and truly to sleep until one. I've been up since then, but am still sleepy. Perhaps I'm still sleepy from not being able to sleep well over the weekend because of the heat.
Anyway, I spent the afternoon doing something I truly have not done for years: cross-stitching. I used to go at it billy-ho for a long time, then had a period where I started a lot of projects but never finished them. I've tried to start up again, but today was the first time I actually finished a small project, a little apple cross-stitch that is to go on one of the cupboards in the kitchen. I started another while I was going good, a thank-you gift for a friend.
One of the reasons I wasn't stitching was my glasses; I have new ones now--but I still have to look under them to actually stitch. I have progressive bifocals, with the bottom fit out to be able to read, but it's still not as close as I need to stitch. I tried buying one of those magnifying lenses you hang from your neck to stitch with, but it was awkward.
Another problem I dismissed today rather dismayed me. Several years ago, when the CATS show (a stitchery show) came to Atlanta, I was delighted to find a new type of cross-stitch needle--it had two blunt-tipped ends with a long eye in the middle. Instead of having to sew up and around as you do when you darn, you just pulled the needle up and down, rather like a sewing machine. I thought the technique delightful and bought all four sizes of needles.
I discovered in taking up the apple pattern again that one of the things holding me back from cross-stitching were these needles, however. I've always been a maverick when I cross-stitched anyway: in the craft you are supposed to use a short, blunt-tipped rather wide-eyed needle called a tapestry needle, and I've always hated the darn things. To me the blunt tip did not go through the hole in the Aida cloth you use for cross-stitching easily (especially since my favorite count Aida cloth is 18--eighteen squares to the inch--which is small, and the holes are correspondingly small) and I hated the big eye, which is supposed to be for ease of threading, but I've never had problems threading needles. I always used common garden variety darning needles when I did cross-stitch, short, sharply pointed, and with as tiny an eye as I could get away with using embroidery thread.
But these double-head needles are more like the tapestry needle than a regular sewing needle. So today I went back to my old favorite darning needle and the cross-stitch has proceeded more satisfactorily.