I love to crochet. Really, really love it. I love the feel of the yarn between my fingers (assuming I’ve made a good choice in my yarn purchase), I love pulling the yarn into stitches using my crochet hook, and I love having a finished product within just a few hours. I’ve always been happiest with “instant gratification” projects. This is why I hated crochet when I first learned. I was terrible at it, and it took me an entire pregnancy – twice – to make a baby blanket. But something clicked in my brain during a 5-year break from the craft, and now I’m fairly quick at it.
Sometimes, though, a slower project is nice, too. Especially one that has the illusion of instant gratification. This is why I recently started a cross-stitch project. I haven’t done one of them in about 4 years, but it’s another craft that I just adore doing. Cross-stitches can get expensive pretty fast (between the price of the fabric – about $3 – and 20-50 skeins of thread at 40 cents each, plus the price of the pattern if you buy one… you can see how the costs add up), so I don’t do intense ones very often. But I enjoy it.
The last one I did required a very specific interest to appreciate (it was a close up of a movie character). Because I “outgrew” my interest in that particular subject, I have since mailed it to a friend as a gift, and she really appreciated it. My new one, which is the main point of what I’m talking about today, has a bit of a broader appeal. I am cross-stitching a view of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Since we’re studying French and saving up to spend a month in Paris, it seemed like an appropriate choice.
I got the pattern for free, which is great. Very often, cross-stitch patterns can run $15 or more, so finding this one available for nothing was a blessing. I just had to pay the cost of having it printed out, which in black and white was only 50 cents. (The pattern was designed in color, but it works just fine in b/w.)
I’ve been working on my Eiffel Tower for about four weeks now, and am about one-eighth of the way done with it. It’s a great project to work on while we’re driving in the car (while Will’s driving and the rest of us are riding, I mean). It’s a great project to work on during movie night – so long as my family is okay with leaving the lights on while we watch (they usually are). And it’s a great project to just allow myself to slow down and keep working at a steady pace for a long-term goal. Not only is having a slower project relaxing for me, but I think it teaches the boys that not everything is that “instant gratification” that we all crave. It’s okay to have things that take a long time to complete.
What’s your favorite handicraft to work on?