50 Before 50 #49: Finish that damn cross-stitch piece

Way back during doctoral coursework, at the end of the fall 2005 semester, I started this rather large cross-stitch kit out of desperation to make something with my hands. I stitched on it all during the Christmas break and then wandered off for other things. It nagged me that it was half done, and so when I wrote this list in 2008, I made a line for it. I didn’t come back to it until November 2013, nearing-but-not-quite-at-the-bottom of my tenure-track depression. I stitched on it a bit every night and it started to save me. Eventually, I got it to this stage:

Cross-stitch progress:  zombie kitty will eat your face

And then I realized that it was way, way too off-kilter and messed up to really justify finishing, and so it has forever remained in Zombie Kitty stage. But in the process of getting it there, I learned that doing cross-stitch at night was a really important tool for calming anxiety. So I went to the needlework store down the street and bought the stuff to do this:

What does the faceless raccoon say?

and finished it while watching historical farming shows on the BBC. I felt a little better. And then I went to the closing of a local craft store and bought the zillion colors of floss required for this Morris print, big swaths of which were done while watching all of The Sopranos and New Who:

Floss for the next big needlepoint project.

Morris Bullerswood #2

Finishing that took me 14 months, with a few little projects interspersed, like this:

Tiny robot, done as a break from the never-ending Morris project.

At that point, I felt like I’d sufficiently fulfilled the “finish that damn needlepoint” dictum, but I’ve kept going:

Halloween cats, finished.


Red work done.  Starting white work.

And I have no plans to stop soon. If I don’t stitch for a couple of weeks, I get antsy and itchy and don’t sleep well. Plus, it’s important to make things. And so I do.

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