Originally uploaded by MarciNYC
On Saturday morning, I made the drive up to North Jersey to meet up with some of the MetroStitchers for their annual holiday party at a local needlework shop. The MetroStitchers are a group of needleworkers (loosely interpreted to include knitters, crocheters, cross-stitchers, beadweavers, etc.) living in and around the MetroNYC area.
I met many of these women and established friendships while I lived in Brooklyn. Since moving to Jersey, I've kept in touch via email/phone with many of them, but attending actual events has not been one of my strong points. Since this party was scheduled, I had been looking forward to it with great anticipation. So much that the threat of a winter storm on Friday into Saturday had me slightly bummed.
The storm didn't amount to much down in my area so I soldiered on and made the hour long trip up north to sit and stitch with this talented group. They had a lot more snow up there, but they have cleared it pretty well, so I'm glad I made the drive. I saw friends who I hadn't seen in 2+ years -- simply wonderful to sit down, chat and catch up with them. I know I really don't want to go that long without hanging out with them again.
For the better part of a 2-3 years, I've not been inspired to stitch much. But a few weeks ago I got an itch and the needle and thread have been flying. I've made a wedding sampler for one friend (and her husband who's pretty talented with needle and thread himself) as well as starting on Christmas piece for me and a secret piece for another friend. I've been spending the evenings on the sofa, dogs beside me, stitching away. Even my Sunday routine has been slightly altered -- instead of being a barfly all afternoon, I'm not spending part of the afternoon at home, watching football and stitching. (Maybe me and my needle was what was needed for the Bengals to start winning. ha ha.)
The shop we gathered at is a needleworker's idea of heaven - all the charts/designs, fabric, threads, embellishments that you could ever imagine is there. While my dry spell didn't stop me from shopping, my record spending sprees were never challenged during that period. I did do a little damage on Saturday - picking up two pieces that I really liked, one of which I started Saturday evening.
This is a series of Lizzie Kate designs that will be stitched on one long piece of fabric. The designs can be stitched individually, but I didn't much care for them that way. It was when I saw the entire series of designs stitched as one, I fell in love. I saw this several months ago (maybe last Thanksgiving at my mom's LNS) but balked at the cost of the charts. On Saturday, I snapped up all the charts, the fabric and necessary threads. My current progress can be found in my Flickr album, but the photo is what the finished piece will look like - although framed differently, I'm sure.
As with any needlework project, counting mistakes are bound to happen and I spend the second half of the Eagles game undoing the damage done by the frog. (Rip-it, Rip-it - for those not in-the-know about the frog.) By the time of the Sunday night game, I had corrected my error and re-stitched the portion of the design I had ripped out. I actually was able to start work on the second motif (Love) of the design.
I'm quite pleased that the weather held out and I was able to make it up north for this gathering. I missed some of the MetroStitchers who didn't attend (some people just don't want to leave Manhattan) and hope that I'll get to see them in the near future at another event. I loved being amongst people who share my love of needlework and I think this was what I needed to kick-start my creativity again. I'll have to look at the calendar and see when I can schedule a stitch-in at my house -- the infamous Stitching with Stanley event. (Stan proved to be a great host the first time I had the MetroStitchers over, so every any event at my house is now known as Stitching with Stanley.)