About a year ago I was having quite a hard time – work was feeling very stressful and to be perfectly honest, I was feeling quite sorry for myself.
I felt an urge to do some cross stitch. I hadn’t done any for years, so I wasn’t quite sure where this was coming from, but I’m glad that I listened to my intuition. I dug out a bookmark kit that I’d left part done for years and had it finished within a week! There was something about the repetitive stitch motions that I found very soothing. And the process of creating something, taking pleasure in watching it grow, felt like a much more fulfilling way to spend my time than simply vegging in front of the latest box set.
I was vaguely aware of the Royal School of Needlework (RSN) so I looked them up. I was amazed and inspired by the great range of techniques and classes that they offered. I thought it was best to start out by signing up for a one day introduction to embroidery class. Even though I’ve done lots of stitching in the past, this was meant to be enjoyable so I didn’t want to throw myself in too deep!
There are a few different intro classes to choose from, each using a different design. I am more drawn to animal designs than flowers so picked a class teaching this lovely stork design. The class was great, our tutor was very welcoming and supportive and I was pleasantly surprised at how much we managed to cover in the day. I didn’t get my piece finished (you aren’t expected to) but a good chunk was done and I enjoyed having it to finish off at home.
By this time I could tell that I was getting hooked! I noticed that if I was feeling stressed or low, doing a bit of stitching would get me into a calmer state and I felt much more able to tackle the world again. I probably got a bit obsessive too! Devouring all that I could and sampling some of the techniques I was particularly drawn to.
I’d say that within a month or two I was in a much better frame of mind. I think there were a couple of key reasons for this. Firstly, getting myself immersed in something that excited me and where there was plenty for me to learn – I’ve always found learning to be good for my state of mind. And secondly, by having something that I could quickly and easily pick up which helped distract and channel my thoughts constructively when needed.
So rediscovering embroidery had been an incredibly positive experience for me. As I gained in confidence and curiosity I felt ready to try some more challenging classes, which I’ll tell you about next time!
Have you noticed that embroidery positively impacts your well being?
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