Everyone has a specialty… a niche, if you will… Each of us has something that we’re good at, that others may not be quite as good at. or in my case, at ALL! I’ve been watching my wife doing cross-stitch recently and I was distinctly reminded that I don’t have the skill, patience or ability to do what she does. I mean, she takes a piece of cloth and uses needle and fine thread to turn it into a piece of art. I’d have set that thing on fire, fifty ways from Sunday by now! But I digress…
I took the liberty of looking up the history behind cross-stitching, and I came to realize that it’s been a practice for most ancient civilizations, dating back as far as 500 BC. Basically, for as long as there’s been cloth to work with, cross-stitching has been a thing. In ancient China, a woman’s worth was measured by her ability to stitch, especially since she had to stitch clothing and materials for the entire family. In medieval Europe, tapestries and embroideries were all the rage and involved the same stitching skills as modern cross-stitch.
Cross-stitching as we know it today was introduced in the late 1890’s and is far more popular than many other mainstream hobbies. In fact, when I grew up, I remember my parents had a framed cross-stitched image of giant mushrooms, which was made using thick yarn. This is a different technique, despite the most popular method being the use of linen and fine threads. It takes an amazing amount of time, patience and precision and fucking up just one stitch can mess up the entire project. Like I said earlier… I’d have destroyed the whole thing with fire long before this point.
Art is still very much alive in the world, even though the average person doesn’t recognize it on a daily basis. I’ve been gifted with an affinity for the martial arts but I know some people that would injure themselves far worse than their opponent if they tried to train. I’m in this very boat with cross-stitching. I’ve never even been able to stitch my own crests or patches on my gis or sweaters. My hat’s off to my wife. If she ever believes that she has no patience, I just have to show her the photo above to prove that she does. ☯️