Embroider Yourself Calm

jenny blair embroidery kit

How are you staying calm in lockdown? If you’re struggling, I recommend a spot of embroidery.

easy embroidery

This is my first attempt at embroidery and I’m happy! I bought my kit from Jenny Blair and can’t recommend her kits enough, if you’re also in the mood to learn a new skill.

Embroidery is fun! It’s also calming.

Even though I’d never embroidered before, I purposefully chose a kit that was challenging. I knew that a basic kit would leave me feeling quickly bored.

I had six new-to-me stitches to learn:

  • Padded Stitch (my favourite)
  • Split Stitch (my least favourite)
  • French Knot (my second least favourite)
  • Satin Stitch
  • Back Stitch Straight Stitch
  • Straight Stitch

I say new to me, because these stitches have been existence since – goodness – time immemorial. I liked this aspect of embroidery; sensing a connection to my forebears.

My favourite detail is the little, winking silver French Knots in the owl’s eyes.

is embroidery hard

So, embroidery aside, how are you? Are you coping or feeling glum? Or both?

I’ve been extremely grateful for both my pet and my self-reliance. I’ve always had an independent spirit, and that has paid dividends in isolated times.

That being said, I ache for skin-on-skin contact.

I have felt lucky – and more than a touch guilty – to have been the happy recipient of some wonderful professional opportunities during these times.

And yet, and yet…

A recent family video call showed that everyone was glum. I recently hit peak boredom. I’ve seen family and friends impacted, both economically and in terms of health.

And yet, and yet…

My neighbours have left me food gifts and invited me out onto the front path for safe-distance drinks. I have many friends checking in with me. It gives me great joy to see Ella still spreading her love. We managed a virtual Pass The Parcel for my boyfriend’s 50th.

And yet…

So. Much. Uncertainty.

I have cried watching sewing business friends struggle on social media. I have cried at images of food bank queues in New York. I sleep more than ever, yet have vivid stress dreams.

There is little way to compute any of this, is there?

But, at least, we have our hands and needles, our community and friends.

I thank goodness for the child’s painting in a neighbour’s window. Every time I walk by it, I bless the head of a child who wrote in clumsy letters…

This too shall pass.

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11 Responses to Embroider Yourself Calm

  1. I love owls. Thanks for sharing. I haven’t done embroidery for a long time. I mostly crochet and sew.

  2. Cherie Cz says:

    Such a thoughtful comment on these times, it is very fun to read your fine writing! Best to you from Phoenix, Arizona, USA.

  3. Jenny says:

    What a beautiful post… Made me smile and sigh at the same time. Feels an honour really that one of my kits got to play a small part in your lock down experience.
    Ps. Padded satin stitch is my fave too!:)

  4. I see myself in much of what you write here. I’m feeling bored, at times angry, and I miss my family dearly. I’m thankful for sewing and crafts, they keep me occupied. I decided to learn a new skill so I’m doing beaded embroidery. It keeps me focused and I’m not bored doing it. Stay safe and thank you for your posts. And I totally agree that our pets are lifesavers during these times.

  5. Victoria says:

    That looks gorgeous!

    I’m still working full time (from home) and didn’t think I would manage anything else. And that made me feel useless because the internet seems to show only 2 types of people: sick and worried and useless, or fabulously changing and achieving and learning French in 5 days.

    I have chronic illnesses but thankfully we haven’t had any c19 in the family and I’m so grateful for that. I’ve moved forward on some crafty jobs though with our wicker sofa painted and half the cushions done, and one of the dining chairs stripped, waxed and reupholstered. I’m trying to relax but I do feel like I have to use this time to get stuff done! I think I’ve only managed some of that recently with the help of my counsellor as depression and anxiety are hard to battle through.

  6. Anne-Marie says:

    Here in New Zealand we are in the 6th week of lockdown and for me it’s not been too bad. Our dog however doesn’t understand why he has to walk on the street on a lead instead of off-lead in a park or along the river, and why he isn’t allowed to play with or be near other dogs. We are lucky in that our population is small and that because of early lockdown the virus could be contained in cluster groups and isn’t in the wider community. I feel for all the people who are so affected by this pandemic, health-wise, mentally and economically. I like your embroidery; I have done a lot of gardening and landscaping these weeks. Take care, Karen. Thank you for your words.

  7. Mrs Anne Daniel says:

    Such a beautiful blog post. Thank you Karen. I love the latest photo, in today’s email, of you and Ellie during lockdown. Your embroidery is very beautiful, a momento of achievement during this time. I made some scrubs but found the competitive edge to the WhatsApp group I was in, too stressful. I’m now venturing into the peace of sewing baby clothes, as a grandchild is expected. I have chronic illness so will be in lockdown until a treatment or a vaccine is available. Zoom is my new family communication tool. Stay safe and well, Ellie too. With love….

  8. Lovely project! I can relate to this post. I’ve started a cross stitch while in lockdown and find it really relaxing to work on. I also have vivid stress dreams. Nothing could have psychologically prepared us for this. Stay well 😊

  9. Yes all of this resonates with me so much! I was saying to someone the other day that we are living in a time where “both/and” is so strong. I am thankful to be healthy AND sad about staying in. I’m happy to have a roommate and cat AND am really missing friends and physical connection. Thanks for sharing <3

    Your embroidery also looks amazing! Hard to believe it was a first project – I’m sure mine would not look that good! I like the idea of learning new skills but am also really aware at this point that I don’t have a lot of brain power left over for learning new things.

  10. An Chi says:

    oh nice beginner piece of embroidery, Im also looking around on youtube, IG etc. for more embroidery inspiration too and soon will get a basic set 🙂

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