I did something last night I haven’t done in months.
Most of my new followers probably don’t know this, but I am an avid cross-stitcher. I started in medical school, wanting to have a hobby of sorts. I was staying at my girlfriend’s house for a week one summer and she is quite crafty. She and her mom took me to a local craft store and showed me around. I saw a picture of a cat asleep on a chair and was immediately drawn to it. It was a beginner’s cross-stitch kit. My friend’s mom thought it was something I could learn pretty quickly, so I bought it and I’ve been stitching ever since.
That first cross stitch design was this:
It has several mistakes, the most glaring of which is the “w” and “r” in “where” and the spacing between that and “the”. Still, not too bad for a first try. It was the beginning of a beautiful relationship between me and cat-themed cross stitch kits.
I’ve completed eight or so kits since I started stitching back in 2002. I currently have three works-in-progress. I stopped stitching sometime in July, mostly because my belly was getting far too big to hold the fabric for any length of time, not to mention sitting for hours at a time was just impossible. And of course, since the baby was born my hands have been full of him and so it’s been next to impossible to find any decent chunk of time to work on my projects.
That is, until last night.
For the past few weeks, the baby is starting to get into a more predictable sleep pattern. I put him in his crib around 5-6pm for the night. He will usually sleep 3 hours and wake for a feed, after which I put him right back to bed. When I go up to bed, I take him out of his room and he sleeps in the bassinet next to my bedside. So, for a few hours every night, I am now baby-free and can cross stitch. Yay! I started a kit for him a few months after I found out I was pregnant. All the kids have a birth record framed cross stitch in their rooms, which I had completed by their first birthday. For baby J, it’s no different.
Last night, I pulled out the kit for his birth record and went to work. I lasted about an hour. I hold the fabric in my left hand and after about 15 minutes, my thumb, index finger and the thenar eminence all started to go numb. My hands are clearly out of shape! I’m not kidding! Some nights I’m holding the fabric for several hours with no issues whatsoever. Not last night though. My eyes also got tired pretty quickly too.
I felt the calmness come over me, which I only get with stitching. I am so glad I worked on it, even if it was for a short period of time. My mind turned off and all I thought about was which cross I was going to do next. It calms me after a stressful day at work and it centers me when I’m in doubt.
It’s what I love to do.