Tuesday 14 May 2013

Cross-Stitching for Leisure - Not Just a Past Time of the Elderly

I have a confession, I love cross-stitching. It could be called a guilty pleasure but it isn't I'm not ashamed, I love my hobby. Cross-stitching falls in to the type of hobbies you associate with the elderly, it hasn't been made 'cool' by celebrities like knitting but that isn't important, it's fun!

I started cross-stitching in January 2012. I'd been out of hospital for a while but still spent most of my time resting in bed. I didn't feel like doing much, I couldn't concentrate on reading, I didn't feel like watching films. I was spending most of my time listening to 6 music, the highlight of my day was either Radcliffe and Maconie or Stuart Maconie's Freak Zone on a Sunday/Freakier Zone late on Friday night. Lying around listening to the radio is okay for a while but doing nothing else is dull, I had my puzzle magazine and the odd mini jigsaw I could do in bed but I needed something else. Talking to a colleague prompted me to seek out cross-stitching kits, I'd enjoyed doing it as a child but hadn't bothered since my age hit double digits. I thought all of the kits would be of twee imagery but I was wrong.

So this is my cross- stitching world. I've always felt like I've never had a hobby, I used to love going to see bands and I collect records, I love film, I have a huge collection of DVDs and Blu-Rays, mainly old films so I don't frequent the cinema, when I'm in good health I exercise frequently, I play computer games, I also read a lot but I just don't see these as hobbies as they're the type of leisure activities everyone does. This is really what I consider my first true hobby. So far I've done a couple of items as presents for my Grandparents but I like to do items that I will eventually frame. I love doing them at Christmas, I think I buy more than I can work on considering I refuse to do anything Christmas related after the 25th December so the Christmas kits will only be worked on to that date from October.

One completed bird and a half finished cat which is now stored away until the evenings are shorter.

At Christmas my partner bought me a gorgeous Kate Garey soft vanity case which I intended to put to good use by turning it in to my cross stitch bag. I do all of my cross-stitching in bed and many a time have I had to call James in to inform him I have lost the needle in the bed much to his dismay. As this bag is soft I can use it to keep my needles safe. The pockets inside also safely hold spare needles and leftover thread.

I do have a few cute kits, I would like to have children and although I know it won't be any time soon I am aware that my biological clock is ticking. Although the bookmark is for myself, the other kits I plan to use to decorate a future nursery. I figure these are the type of things that can be done in advance.

The pig is my next projects, its a bit of a silly project for my partner. He's an animal lover, he loves pigs. I don't know exactly what he'll do with it but when I saw it I did think it would be a cute thing to do for him, I'm rubbish at writing romantic letters and cards, he puts me to shame, so can be considered a word free love note.

Now among the traditional cutesy kits there are also some modern kits, I picked up these two late last year. In most cases I look for kits that look enjoyable to do and I can find a use for the finished product, these were slightly different, I really wanted the finished product, I would want it even if it was an already completed product, I love the pictures.

In the future I would like to do bigger projects. Most long time cross stitches don't need these kits with the threads sorted for them, they just get a pattern and work it out themselves. I'd like to get to that stage eventually although I'm giving myself a decade to get to that level the next step will just be to do larger kits. I've had my eye on a Battersea Power Station cross stitch kit along with a BT Tower one, now if they aren't quirky then I don't know what is.

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