Monday, 29 September 2014

Once, twice, three times...

I tell a story. It is true. Cross my heart. I told it at the dinner table to a pile of strangers and it was mentioned on a blog. Then I told it at a knitting group I attend and then I saw it on a blog again. Then I thought, why is that story not on my blog for my loyal followers to enjoy?

When I was young I did cross stitch. It is boring to me now but it was how I started out in craft like many of us. I did rather large projects but they were impressive on completion.

I decided to make an Autumn cushion, beautiful it was; with a mushroom in the centre and various autumn motifs of acorns, oak leaves, blackberries and bracken in concentric borders around the edge of the main fungi picture.

I put the cloth on a frame, and started at the top. I worked tirelessly on it building up the borders. One day it was exactly half complete, I twisted the wing nuts on the frame and wound up the cloth to complete the other half....dun, dun, dah.... There was not enough fabric to complete the project!

I cried, I looked at it a lot over the next few weeks trying to work out how I could solve the problem, I couldn't, I would have to live with it, shove it under the sofa or put it in a cupboard and hope that a miracle would happen.

It ate at me so much that I wanted to get rid of it and move on to something else but I could not bear to throw such workmanship in the bin so I had an idea...

I dug a hole in the garden and I buried it! It seemed the only decent way to say goodbye to it gracefully. I was aged 23. I was living with my first boyfriend. I was working out what to do in different real life emotional situations but do you know what? I would do the same today, some things just don't work out and it is sometimes best to have a little wallow and move on.

Which is all a great metaphor because back then, that boyfriend later chucked me out and I got together with my charming Bloke. We had two beautiful girls and I learnt to crochet them pretty baby cardigans. Moving on is good. I really felt that this weekend as we crocheted, played in the field and ate lunch at the cabin. Life felt Good.

Thanks to Louise at There She Sews and Karen at Did you make that? for reminding me that I told this crazy story out loud to real people and they laughed their heads off at me!

Did you laugh or cry?!
 Love Jo xxxxx


  1. I giggled, gently! Were you secretly hoping for some real mushrooms to grow in its place? Sometimes a bad thing turns into a good thing & a really good thing to boot! I met my lovely husband just after a disastrous period in my life & now I knit, crochet & sew too! I still like doing cross stitch though.

  2. I met my husband after a disaster and we have been married 33 years. I smiled and wished I had thought of digging a hole I have worked on a picture for years and it is now bleached by the sun and unworkable but it is still on the frame waiting to be finished.

  3. Love this story. I wonder what someone will think one day when it finally gets dug up?!? :-)

  4. I thought ...what a waste, chop it down and make a pin cushion then you could stick pins in him! Loved the happy ending. xx

  5. I smiled! So sad that you couldn't finish it, but it seems as though it was a good metaphor for change in your life and moving on to better things. I always look for the silver linings in things and it seems as though you found wonderful silver linings in this situation which is the best thing really isn't it!!! xx

  6. Sometimes we all have to let go and move on but I cant help thinking you might have been better keeping the cross stitch and sticking the horrible boyfriend in the hole you dug....!

  7. Hi Jo! Life is strange, isn't it? But looking back now, you can see it was an important milestone, and things progressed from there. I want to learn my whole life long, I don't want to stop! Making mistakes (and learning from them) is probably the only way to try harder to improve things.
    And just look at your achievements now! :)
    Have a good week!
    Ingrid xx

  8. And about time too!!! I love that it really sums up your philosophy on life :-) See you at knitting for another story!! xx

  9. No laughing here, I bet you were heartbroken about the stitching and your boyfriend. But no one ever said life was easy and that it didn't have trials to work through. And when you work through something it leads you to where you need to be. See I am way, way too deep I need to lighten up!
    Love the story,

  10. Aw, Jo. I understand. I'm glad you told this story. You're a strong and smart woman, and you have a wonderful outlook.

  11. Wow....I got a knot in my stomach when I read what happened and that you later decide to bury it. I'm not sure if I could do that. But, it makes sense. We do have to move on. Sometimes that's all you can do about a situation. And, there are always great things to look forward to. :-) Thought provoking post because I've moved on from some lousy stuff but have been slow to bury some of them.

  12. I love your outlook on life. Everything happens for a reason, for sure. I would've cried over the cross stitch too. x

  13. My goodness Jo! I tell you what...I get it. The thought of having to let a piece like that sit after all of your hard work would be hard to see and you could not just throw it out! Burring it makes sense! Glad you found your has a way of steering us in new directions doesn't it??? A wonderful week to you and thank you for sharing this one with us! Nicole xoxo

  14. It makes perfect sense to bury your work. Some things are best not seen ever again, or thought about much. Personally, I would have put it on the compost. Cx

  15. Jo I do love this story so much! Perfectly reasonable to bury the cross stitch I think. I would have cried for sure!
    Marianne x

  16. I didn't laugh Jo, so MANY hours of work. You must have been so sad.
    I used to do cross stitch I don't want to make something which is so restrictive to your creativity with no room for individuality and letting your project evolve.
    Jacquie x