A Stitchy Path

In the late 80’s/early 90’s (yes, I am dating myself a wee bit here) I made woven/knotted friendship bracelets out of embroidery floss. One day my mother’s co-worker asked if I did anything else with the floss and if I’d ever done cross-stitching, I hadn’t. The next day she brought in a project she was working on and a small counted cross stitch Christmas ornament for me to try. That weekend my mother drove me to her house for a stitchy lesson and that afternoon, with that angel ornament, my love for cross stitching, and stitching in general, began.

I eventually got “too busy” to stitch but I hung on to all my patterns and floss. In December 2018 I stumbled upon a cross stitch group on Facebook with a Harry Potter theme. The idea was to stitch what every you wanted but each week had a challenge. I joined and started to stitch again. I remembered how centering it was making x after x after x. The challenges ended up being more than I could keep up with but I kept stitching on my own.

Then, late last fall (November 2019) the inspiration fairy visited again when I saw a post in one of the Facebook embroidery groups. The text to the post said “Worker Bees by Peppermint Purple”. Now, I know you don’t know this about me yet, dear reader, but I ADORE bees. I seriously cannot wait to have my own. Until then, I will just keep stitching all the bee related projects! Back to this inspiration though…. there was something different about this pattern. There weren’t really any cross stitches/x’s but there was definitely a pattern. That pattern I learned is called Blackwork. (More on what this is in another post.)

A few days later Peppermint Purple announced she would be doing a SAL (stitch-a-long) called “A Year of Blackwork” over the next year, one section a week for 52 weeks via her e-newsletter. I thought this would be a great opportunity to learn a little more of this style of stitching so I downloaded one of her free patterns, Tanagram, to give it a try before the SAL started in January. Blackwork is right up my alley! It is so utterly relaxing, very much like knitting is for me.

It didn’t take me long to work my way through Tanagram, as only took a break from it to do the weekly section of the SAL. I was both excited and disappointed to see it completed which of course meant I needed to get excited again so bought a pattern (or two) to work on as I eagerly await every Wednesday for the new SAL section to drop!

When I signed up for the SALthere were a couple hundred people but it didn’t take long before so many had joined that it crashed Peppermint Purples’s website! As a work around for the overload, she ended up creating a Peppermint Purple SAL Group on Facebook for everyone. As of this posting it now has over 15,000 members! It’s fantastic! And came at such a great time when many of us crafters are at home for an extended time due to, well, the planet and 2020 who is drunk and needs to go home.

The SAL was designed to have a different color for every week. Some folks are following the intended color scheme, some are using their own color combinations, some are using a variegated thread, and then some of us chose one color for the whole project. I guess mine is technically two colors – a dark gray and a deep burgundy for the section borders. I love how it’s coming out and am still deciding on what I want to do for the outer border. I am narrowing it down and will stitch up some test squares to see what I like best. Don’t worry, I’ll share. 😉

There are new people joining every day and just stitching when they can to catch up. Come on over and join in! It’s seriously a lot of fun if you like stitching.

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