…gnomeo, oh gnomeo…
Despite failing my Christmas gnome challenge quite spectacularly, mainly due to my complete ineptitude with spatial awareness, my current love of gnome cuteness continues apace. Not only are they cute, but my cross-stitch group are all equally enamoured. We are always sharing our latest gnomeish find. Following the end of the Christmas cross-stitch marathon, I found myself at a loss for a small handwork project, and specifically looking for something cross-stitchy. I had enjoyed the Christmas gnomes, and my hands craved a return to that simple, neatly ordered rhythm. After almost 14 years of blogging in this space, one of the core tenets of my creative practise is it is cyclical in nature. Clearly, the cross-stitch cycle hasn’t yet closed, despite the other projects I have on the go that also catch my attention.
It was only a week or two later, that a link to a pair of cute little Valentines gnomes appeared in the cross stitch chat. Even better, it came in a set of two, AND was on sale. I’m not normally one for specific holiday decorating aside from Christmas, but I just couldn’t resist. At this point, it was three weeks until Valentine’s Day. I had hoped to have them both done by then, but also, I had nowhere to frame and display them in our current house, so I didn’t have the same time pressure as with the Christmas gnomes. If I could get even one done, I would be happy.
I didn’t quite make my goal of one by Valentine’s Day. I did, however, have gnome one finished and out of the hoop on the 15th. All that backstitch slowed me down more than I had expected. The half stitches in the background were also trickier than I expected – without the doubling back of the second half of the stitch, I couldn’t get a comfortable rhythm, and found myself doubling back and carrying my floss more than I normally like to. I’m quite fussy about the back of my cross-stitch, and like to keep my reverse stitches vertical as much as possible. The stitchy part of my brain was not coping well with the change!
With Valentines been and gone, I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to keep going on the second gnome. In the end I decided to start it. With most of my floss stash in storage, I simply pull out the floss for the current project I’m working on and keep it in a mini floss box. In the end, my craft-inertia won out, and gnome two is well underway.
It has taken a bit of a back seat this week, while I tune into the Australian Homeschool Summit, and my chosen project for those webinars is a crochet pattern testing project – lots of sl st blo back and forth, perfect for mindless crafting while listening and learning. We’ve been out for an art excursion today, with a spot of drawing in the park afterwards. This afternoon I want to cut some fabric, and then once the evening chores are done, I’m hoping to settle in for some stitching and make some serious progress on this gnome.