In November 1986 I remember getting ready to check out at Busy Fingers, a craft store in Sanford. I had gone there to buy some yarn to make a baby blanket. At the register was a copy of "Leisure Arts" magazine featuring a fabulous picture of a Santa Claus in something called "cross stitch." I had seen this type of needlework before, but never really paid any attention to it. Well, this Santa so intrigued me that I just had to buy the magazine. I took it home and within the week was at the local dime store to buy fabric and the nearly 40 colors of floss needed to start this project. I followed the directions and within the next several months, I had completed and framed the project. Then it was on to the following year's Santa and a multitude of projects after that. I was totally hooked. Cross stitch had become a passion.
In 1988 a friend of mine introduced me to the local Embroiderers Guild group. From the moment I walked in I was warmly greeted and felt right at home. This only fed my passion and brought me many new very dear friends. As the years passed, I tried many more forms of embroidery. Not all of my efforts were successful but my enthusiasm never waned. I became very involved and then some in the Guild. I was chair of the local group, became president of the Maine chapter, was New England Region Director, and served on the national board. I took classes locally and at national seminars. I dreamed of owning a stitching shop or running needlework seminars on my own. I was always looking for more time or a place to put in one more stitch.
I could never get enough stitching in - either the actual act of it or reading about it. I went on a tear buying projects and books. My needlework library has well over 1,000 books and shelves of magazines. I have more projects both started and "in the box" than I would ever have time to finish - even if I stitched 24/7 for years and years.
Now, sadly enough, that passion has burned itself out. I really have no desire to stitch. I can't tell you when I last had a needle in my hand. My stitching bag gathers dust next to the couch. I agreed to be a pilot stitcher for a new EGA class earlier this year and had to bow out. I just couldn't make myself stitch. I did change careers a few years ago and am working just about full-time. That could have something to do with it, but I don't think so.
I still hope to get back to stitching at some point. Right now I fill my need to be creative with knitting. I have a gazillion knitting projects that I'm either working on or intend to do. I'm taking classes, sneaking in a few rows whenever I can, reading and buying knitting magazines and books on a regular basis. I'm definitely not as passionate about knitting as I was about embroidery, but I certainly am enjoying myself. I keep my memberships in EGA, the American Needpoint Guild, and Embroidery Canada as a life member of each group. I still keep up with what's going on with my state EGA chapter and EGA's online chapter. I think about my stitching friends and miss them. But for now, it's k1, yo, k2t, yo..............