Even though it's been near to twenty years and I've since passed elementary school, highschool and a fair part of college, I'm still in contact with one of my kindergarden teachers - mostly in the form of birthday or christmas cards. She also lives nearby, so we run into each other every so often.
So when I heard she had an accident last week, I was a little shock for me, although it was nothing severe - she tripped and fell and some stitches had to be applied inside her mouth, which is sure to feel nasty, but will probably heal without leaving a trace. Maybe it's even a good thing in a way, because she's always really stressed out and tired since she's involved so much with church and charitiy work, and now she is forced to stay at home for a while, to recover and - as she said - catch up with her reading.
So, since it was also her birthday on Saturday, I decided that I wanted to stitch a bookmark for her - something nice and bright and colorful to cheer her up. I didn't have any kits left though, and rummaging through my (very limited) stash of patterns didn't produce anything nice either. Since TW's knotwork bookmarks requite materials I know I didn't have, I went pattern-hunting on the internet. I found quite a few free patterns online, but lots of them had very few images and instead lots of text in them (which wasn't an option, since those texts were in English and as far as I know she doesn't understand that and I didn't have the time to play around and translate everything in a way that would still fit the pattern). Other I just didn't like, and the ones I DID like were mostly from some Russian site and in my eyes the looked much to clean for free patterns, more like scans from some magazine or something, and the decription was all Russion so I didn't understand I word and decided on not risking it.
Than I stumbled upon some rather nice patterns on Kincavel Krosses, including a cute Bird & Florals bookmark I could settle for. I then went through my stash to get out the supplies I needed (and oh, the things I have seen - I'll have to do a lot of sorting out eventually) and found some leftover aida, but I soon discovered that the design would turn out way to big to be properly used as a bookmark on this - the same was true for some ribbons I got some time ago. So I did some more rumaging and finally found some rather coarse evenweave (maybe 20 or 18 ct, I guess) on which I could over-one it.
Picking out the floss went much more smoothly, as the pattern only required four different colors and I have quite a collection (though it's mostly a mixture of Anchor, some no-name brands and leftovers from kits, and most of them unlabeld, which is one of the reasons why I didn't want to do a pattern with more...delicate shading), and although it was almost time for bed on wednesday evening, I set to stitching right away.
And that is where things started to go wrong. I don't get it - it's flowers and a cute birdie and bright and colorful and I love all of these things, it should have been a fun little project - instead, it got to be one of the most brutal experiences I've ever made while stitching. I just couldn't get into it. It would be too harsh to say I suffered through it, but I didn't enjoy it either - an than it was more than 1300 stitches in only little more than two days, and the fabric was driving me nuts because it was so soft and my thread would slip right through to the next hole (don't ask me how it managed to, but it was annoying). All the time I was working on it (and I did little less this two days) all I could think was how much I wanted to get back to Peacock Tapestry.
So despite this not being the most pleasant cross stitch experience ever (I might even have to revise my answer in Carla's interview concerning my mos brutal project yet, hehe) I'm still happy I made it - and if I have learned one thing it is I should really start a binder or folder of such emergency projects so I won't have to panic and search all over like I did this time. So should anyone of you now some free or cheap patterns for small projects like this, I'd be much obliged if you pointed me at them :)