A friend of mine is trying to pare down her stash of craft supplies. My punishment for snickering at her pain (in sympathy, sheesh) was a bagful of gorgeous embroidery floss and a roll of 14-count Aida cloth* metaphorically let on my doorstep with a note saying, “You know you want to.”
I do and this was the perfect excuse to make time for a project I’ve been thinking about off and on for a while now: I wanted to make a framed cross stitch of one of my favorite poems.
The poet is a very-much alive friend (hi, John!), so I asked permission and he immediately granted it, because he’s a nice guy.
Last night, I sat down with a calculator, a ruler, the back of an official-looking envelope that I should probably look at more carefully once I finish this post, and this nifty little online program.
An hour (or two) later, I had a basic pattern and a problem. Because this other nifty little program told me I didn’t have enough Aida cloth, unless I skipped the border and the framing margins.
Luckily, it’s my day off today, so I had time to run out this morning and buy a bigger piece. Unfortunately, the only place that sells that stuff . . . is the craft store.
You don’t send an alcoholic to the liquor store. You don’t send a compulsive shopper to Rodeo Drive. You don’t allow Sunny near FAO Schwartz, Jane within visual distance of an Apple Store, or any member of my family by blood or marriage into Jo-Beth books without a plan, a cash-only budget, a megaphone, physical restraints, and possibly a trained therapist to provide aftercare.**
I know this.
But I still believe I can zip into the craft store—by which I mean any craft store—and buy the single item I need without trouble . . . and I still automatically pick up a cart at the door, like that isn’t a blatant, if subconscious, admission of defeat.
This morning, I spent a ridiculous amount of time debating whether one of the several other available items is better than the one I was determined to buy. One was, and I bought it*** and avoided the scroll frames, because my friend Grace gave me a perfectly good one before she moved last year.^
I could have left. I should have left.
But then I caught sight of the needles, and I couldn’t remember if I had the right kind or where I would have put them, if I did. But I did remember the trouble I had the last time I tried to thread a needle, while simultaneously ignoring the fact that I’d been trying to even shove the end of actual invisible thread through the eye of a tiny sharpie.
I’m talented that way.
Alarms were dimly ringing at this point, possibly from the direction of my credit card, but I remembered that Jane had asked if we had any fabric scraps so she could practice with the sewing machine. So I decided to swing past the quilting stuff to check the remnants, which was just past the bargain bins . . . which is when everything went a bit funny . . .
. . . I don’t know, the last thing I remember is a random thought about Christmas and scarves and the kids, who don’t like wearing scarves. Then next thing I knew, I was at home with a big bag of stuff and a receipt that was a lot longer than I’d anticipated.
At least I came home with the Aida cloth. It’s on the frame (thanks, Grace!), center-marked, and ready to go.
As soon as I can decide on the colors . . .
*The stuff that looks like rows of tiny squares, for cross-stitch. The count means how many squares there are in a linear inch.
**You’d think librarians would be immune to the lure of literary acquisition, but we really, really aren’t.
***The project isn’t this big, but stores don’t usually carry sizes between 15″ x 18″, which is what I had at hand, and this.
^Along with four garbage bags of her stash. I have a theory that craft supply stashes are a single, gestalt being that shuffles itself around from place to place as needed. My husband has a theory that I’m a sucker in need of professional help. I don’t see the conflict, here.