Guess it’s time to update the old blog. Please don’t die of boredom from what I’m about to tell you, but I have been completely absorbed in a cross stitch project these past few months. Remember when adult coloring books were all the rage for soothing anxiety? Cross stitch has the same effect only magnified. I can almost feel the cross stitchness – the incremental advance of the picture, the micro adjustments to the pattern of white and stitched squares – binding to anxiety receptors, or whatever, in my brain. It’s a kind of self care and I’m grateful for small pleasures like this.

It started innocently when I browsed through a book of cross stitch patterns at the library. It had a simplified pattern of the Mona Lisa, which I copied out onto graph paper so I could stitch it without worrying about the book return date. That was a fun little project and when it was finished, I stapled it to a telephone poll in a nearby “art park.” It’s still there!

2nd Street, in the Ix Art Park. Charlottesville, Virginia

I wanted more, and flipped through the cross stitch magazines at the grocery store but the patterns were ugly or Jesus-focused (usually both). Anyway, the Mona Lisa left me hungering for Art. I googled “cross stitch patterns of fine art” and found the MOTHER LOAD of amazing patterns at Scarlet Quince. I chose what appeared to be one of their simpler patterns: a reproduction of a fragment of the medieval Cluny Tapestry, Lady and the Unicorn.

Image of the original tapestry. My bunny is in the lower right foreground.

Cluny Tapestry rabbit

I’ve been working on it all winter and honestly, the thought of being able to climb into bed at night, with a book and my cross stitch was all the kept me going some days. I have no idea what I will do with the bunny once he is finished. Too much work went into it to just staple it to a telephone pole, but I’m also not really into framed cross stitch as home decor. There’s a companion rabbit with a red background that I want to do. Maybe I’ll display them together in the small bedroom. This bunny has almost become a friend. I have a terrible habit of anthropomorphizing inanimate objects, although if Marie Kondo can do it and gain a Netflix series out of it, maybe I’m not such a weirdo. Anyway, I jumped ahead and stitched his eye first thing so he could supervise the progress. 🙂

Also feeding my obsession is the “app” that comes with the pattern. It allows you to load the chart onto a device and then click in each square on the chart as you progress. The app tracks your progress and allows you to see all the nearby stitches of the same color. Much easier and more fun to use than a paper chart.

Screenshot of the “app” (It’s not technically an app)
Blue squares = completed stitches
White squares = uncompleted stitches
Green square = most recently completed stitch
Purple = all uncompleted stitches of the save color as the most recently completed. The purple fades away after a few seconds and repopulates every time you click on another completed stitch.
Detail
A few day’s progress from the picture above. 17,894 stitches completed out of a total of 19,278