I am so enjoying working this Ukrainian mini-sampler within my larger Whitework sampler. It is really reinforcing my love of counted embroidery. I know there are those that say counted work stifles one’s creativity, but I do not agree with that. Certainly, you know exactly where each stitch has to go, but by doing work such as this, you gain a huge understanding of how stitches work together, how the play of light on different stitches affects the look of the work, and how patterns develop. I find that I can then make up my own patterns with much more confidence and, I hope, skill.
Another advantage that this sort of work has for me, is that I actually finish the piece. So often when I make up my own design in freehand or surface stitchery, I get disillusioned with it, and give up. But with counted embroidery, including the ones I make up myself, I am much more likely to finish it because you do not see the full effect of the pattern until it is pretty well completed. I always want to keep stitching to see the complete pattern.
That said, I must tell you that these Ukrainian sections are not made up by me. I am completely developing all the other sections in my sampler, but these Ukrainian bands are taken from Pam Eaton’s book “Ukrainian Whitework“. She has researched the work and if I was to make up the bands, it wouldn’t be very authentically Ukrainian, would it?
Old Age, and Becoming Frail
Last Sunday was my Dad’s birthday; he is now 82. He is so frail now; I feel such heartache to see him like this. He still has all his marbles, but his body is wearing out so very quickly.
He has been living in a rest-home since July, after living with us for about 10 years. Watching him deteriorate so fast makes me feel awful – is it worse because he now lives in a rest-home and not at home? Logically, I know that isn’t true; he moved to the rest-home because he was getting so frail, so the process started before his move. But knowing something logically doesn’t always help, does it?
He is happy enough, and for that I am very very grateful. But watching him like this makes me sad, and makes me think more about my Mum, who died 25 years ago this Christmas. She didn’t get a chance to grow old (massive heart attack, at age 57, with no obvious risk factors).
Oh dear, I had better stop now, before I get maudlin, hadn’t I. I think will do a bit of stitching – it’s the best therapy I know. And if I sing along to the radio, it’s even better, though anyone listening might not think so 🙂