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Posted On 11/23/2017 23:10:09 by yourchoice

Stitches... different forms that I learned to do. Some I mastered, some were terrible, and some I only experienced.

Embroidery stitches were common when I was a child. My mother taught me the running stitch, the chain stitch, the French knot (to name a few), and she would iron a stencil design of flowers on a pillow case or a flour sack tea towel to give a personal touch. They were a good place for me to practice what I was learning.

My mother also tried to teach me how to knit, the European style. I later learned the reason the knitting books were hard to follow was because I learned to hold the yarn in my left hand which was easy to pick up with the right needle. The common method was to hold the yarn in the right hand, and throw the yarn over the left needle. Of course, it didn't work for me because it felt backwards. I didn't stick to knitting for very long. It was more fun to do spool knitting, to make “cords” of yarn. The tool used was a wooden thread spool, with small nails inserted by my Dad, and a darning needle to handle the stitches. 

I experienced surgical stitches several times as I was growing up, and learned to apply simple stitches in my nursing career, particularly when my first job was in a 19-bed hospital, where we didn't always have an available doctor. Some stitches were done with nylon thread, and later surgical stitches that dissolved.

My favorite shift in that country hospital was the night shift, and we often didn't have a “full house”, which gave us time between rounds to find things to do that would keep us awake, and avoid boredom. An older staff nurse was happy to help another nurse and myself to get back to knitting. She gave us a pattern (all knit stitches) of a baby shawl, and suggested that it was a big project for us, but we could have a very special shawl finished when we welcomed our first baby. Neither of us even had a boyfriend, but we took up the challenge. Two years later, we brought our son home, wrapped in the beautiful shawl that I made. We also used it when we brought our daughter home. I kept it in a memory box for many years, but because it was created with wool yarn (no polyester yet), it had faded, and shrank because of a mistake in washing it in hot water. I enjoyed that shawl so much, that I made a new washable shawl, in time for the arrival of our first grandchild in our two families.

My adult stitch hobby was petite-point. With a silk mesh in a frame, and the instructions in the form of a graph with each color coded, the project was started in the center of the mesh. The squares of mesh were meticulously counted, and the change of colors were followed and marked on the graph.

A similar stitch project was called needlepoint, and was done with wool. I never attempted cross-stitch, but it was very popular at the time. I finally had to give up petit-point because my eyes didn't work as well.

Not willing to stop hand activities... I played the piano or organ, and being proficient on a typewriter, I hooked several rugs, made raggedy-Anne dolls, and learned to crochet. When my grandkids had enough sweaters, scarves, mitts, and socks, I donated hats and scarves to drop-in centers.

I no longer do any of these projects, since a severe fracture of my dominant hand. The boxes of yarn in my storage space have been donated to a senior group who donate their projects. However, I can still use my eight fingers and two thumbs on my computer.

Here is a link to see some of my projects...


Tags: Stitches Hobbies Crafts


Viewing 1 - 1 out of 1 Comments

11/29/2017 23:58:03

You have brought back so many memories of my days of embroidery and the stitches that were used.  Because of my impaired vision I could never see to work the fine X stitch patterns and Needlepoint but one of my favouite projects was 'Long Stitch' . That was much easier for me to see. I especially enjoyed working on Country/rural scenes and animals.  It was just over a year ago when I joined a 'Knitting/Crochet Group' that I learnt how to knit the European Style.  I found that using this method made my fingers ache!!. Obviously I just was not doing it very well so went back to the traditional method.  I envied the women who could Crochet so quickly and beautifully. I tried to learn and made a few items but was so slow that It was something I didn't pursue. Like you my main interest/Hobby now is my Computer..

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