I have a new project to share today. Backing up a little bit first, I've given myself permission to stop worrying about crochet for as long as it takes to feel inspired again. I put a lot of pressure on myself in most areas of my life, even my crafty hobbies, and I'm really trying to change that. I like to get projects done, but it's important to savor, enjoy, stop and smell the roses, and all that.
The blanket I still hope to make will probably be my last one for a while, I've decided. I've made a lot of blankets over the past four-plus years since I really started crocheting in earnest - eight of them for our household alone! The new blanket will be a large one for our queen-sized bed, an extra layer at night in cold weather, and a colorful cover during the day. This blanket will be a good addition, but I think we've got plenty of them otherwise. I think my crochet future, at least for now, holds a lot of smaller projects like pillow covers, decorations and toys. Crochet has been a wonderful addition to my life these past few years, but there is no need to be a crochet machine. Whether I crochet a lot or a little, I believe that the benefits are here for good - they're part of who I am now.
I recently started this cross-stitch design, a colorful, whimsical pirate ship. The design is Voyage, from Satsuma Street, a modern cross-stitch pattern shop on Etsy. If you haven't seen Jody's shop yet, I strongly encourage you to take a look (I have no connection to the shop, I'm simply a huge fan of Jody's work). I love every design in her shop and have purchased a few over the past few years. This is the first one I've actually started making so far, but I have Big Plans, let me tell you.
Isn't this design fun? I love how colorful it is. The stitching itself is pretty straightforward - just basic whole crosses - but I really enjoy the intricacy of the design. It's a bit different from my last stitched piece, Retro Kitchen, in that the areas of color are smaller. I liked the big blocks of color in Retro Kitchen, but I like this too - it keeps me on my toes. I haven't stitched much yet, as you can see from the top photo, since I've been so busy with kids' stuff lately, but the bit I have done has been relaxing. I do so love my stitchy time.
Jody stitched the ship on black Aida but I've decided to use navy blue for mine. I was glad to find some at Hobby Lobby; they have a limited selection of colored Aida cloth there. I thought the blue would work better in the family room, where I plan to hang the finished piece. We have dark blue-upholstered furniture in that room. For flosses, I tried hard to match up similar colors from my own stash, as opposed to buying every color in the chart (there are quite a few colors in this design, as you can see). Luckily, I was able to find almost every one of these in my stash! Some are wound on bobbins, leftovers from previous projects, while others are still in skein form.
I took numerous skeins from my antique sewing basket full of old flosses, a gift from my in-laws (you can read more about this sewing basket here). I have some really interesting flosses in there, actually, and it's always fun to sort through them. I've never heard of a few of the brands anywhere else; I've got Rose brand, with Chinese on the label, Mez brand and Semco, in addition to Anchor and Coats & Clark. I only bought a few new skeins, plain white and a few blue and peach tones. I think the mix is great - there are bold, bright colors as well as soft, pale ones. Pirates, and their proud seagoing vessels, are nothing if not motley!
I'm planning to hang the finished piece in the space at the bottom left of our gallery wall in the family room (look! There's a little slice of Retro Kitchen in the yellow mirror). There should be plenty of room among these modern scrimshaw engravings of me buccaneers. I'm thinking about going slightly gaudy for the frame - something gilded and scrolly, maybe, pieces-of-eight style. Yo ho ho (and other piratical exhortations)!