Friday, February 1, 2013

The Breaking Point

I thought it might be a good idea for me to explain what finally caused 9 nights of stitching, unstitching, & restitching to go from a little bit beyond this,
to this.
If you have read my posts chronicling my stitching of this design,

then you know I was standing at a crossroads when I discovered that I had missed stitching an entire row of stitches making up the snowman's body.  Because this error caused the reindeer's antlers to be out of place, I decided to unstitch the snowman & restitch him.  This occurred the evening of January 30.  Here's what happened last night ... the evening of January 31.

1.   Feeling proud of myself for not giving up on this design, I next stitched the reindeer's antlers after which I noticed that I did not quite get the stitches to meet in one area. How that happened is beyond me, but it happened, & I dutifully picked out all the antler stitches & stitched the antlers once again, this time with success.  

2.   The reindeer needed a colonial knot eye. I made the eye but I really wasn't thrilled with it.  However, I decided to leave it as it was as I moved forward with the design.  My thoughts were that I would continue with all the other stitching & if the eye still did not look good to me when that was finished, I would simply redo it.

3.   I next stitched the railings alongside the house.  This was accomplished relatively easily with just one restitch when I discovered upon making the first vertical rail on the left side that I had positioned one of the horizontal rails incorrectly.  An easy fix, & I thought the finished stitching of both rails looked quite nice.

4.   There was a particular reason that caused me to purchase this chart.  It was not the snowman, nor was it the general look of the design itself.  What prompted me to purchase this chart was the inclusion of the 2 cows in front of the house.  In the past I had a love affair with cows.  I had cow things everywhere.  I still have a soft spot for cows & I thought how wonderful it was to have these 2 little cows in this design! Imagine my disappointment when I discovered they were sheep ... & not simple cross stitched sheep, mind you.  No, they were sheep made with upteen colonial knots ... that hellish contribution to the stitching world from satan himself.  However, by this time I felt rather feisty & decided to give them a go.  I made several attempts knotting the sheep on the right until I got the knots to look sort of nice all bunched together. (There must be a secret to bunching up knots but I don't give a care what it might be because I am never going to try to bunch them again.) I actually completed knotting that first sheep & it sort of looked okay, but I wasn't sure.  Also, I made a knot or two before the last one which looked rather wonky.  I wasn't happy with this but was it worth cutting out all the other knots & starting again?  I tried to fix it by sort of pulling it down into the mass of other knots & it looked a little better, but not much.  Like the reindeer's eye, I decided that I would decide what to do about it if it was still bothering me after I completed the rest of the stitching.  I then moved on to knotting sheep #2.

5.  The knotting of sheep #2 was not going well at all.  Sometimes the knots looked okay, sometimes not, but no matter how many times I tried knotting that sheep, it looked bad.  It was at this point that I decided it was time to give up on having knotted sheep. I cut out the knots made on sheep #2 & then went back to sheep #1 & cut out those knots as well.  I decided I would just stitch the sheep with cross stitches & try to get them to look more like cows which, as already stated above, I thought they were in the first place.

6.  I cross stitched the cow on the left, added the legs & then the ears.  Now here's a pet peeve of mine.  Okay, one of my pet peeves.  Why do designers want you to make a half cross stitch on top of an already completed cross stitch?  It always splits the 2 threads of the top of the cross in two, & sometimes the bottom 2 threads as well, & it looks really sloppy & stupid.  This is how  the designer of this chart designed the placement of the sheeps' (now cows') ears. After trying a time or two to follow the designer's ear stitch placement, even though I knew what the outcome would be, I adjusted the placement of the ears but they still did not look good.  In fact, after completing the ears on the cow on the left, its head look more like the head of an elephant with a skinny ear pointing up at the top & a skinny trunk hanging down.  Once again I thought "maybe this will grow on me" & I decided to start stitching cow #2.  

7.   As I began stitching cow #2, I thought maybe these 2 critters would look more cow like if I stitched a tail on them.  At this point I had stitched the top row of cross stitches on this cow & I decided to stitch her ears right away rather than waiting to add them when I was done stitching her body as I had done with cow #1.  However, I could not for the life of me get this cow's bottom ear to lay nicely.  

It was at this point that an immense loathing of this design sprang up in me.  Initially I thought it was a nice design, even when I discovered the cows were sheep & even when I discovered the designer had included well over 70 colonial knots.  But at this point in time ... after 9 nights of stitching, unstitching, & restitching ... I knew I would never want to look at this design again, even if I were to complete it to my satisfaction.  I sat there in my recliner, stitching in hand, grabbed my scissors, & did this.
However, it wasn't enough ... it wasn't enough at all ... &, well, you know the rest.  
I think I may have stitching PTSD after this experience.  I have a file full of HE designs but I fear I may never be able to stitch any of them.  The joy of stitching anything has actually escaped me for the moment.  I'm sure I'll stitch again.  However, I will take a very careful look at any charts I have, & if this, or any other designer, includes these stupid half cross stitches on top of already completed cross stitches, or more than a few colonial knots, that chart will immediately go in my sale/trade pile.  


Vickie said...

Holy Smokes Shirlee!! Wow! Well, no goin' back now sister!

You know what? Take a break. What about your tatting?

I am still praying for you.♥

Mrs. GraceWorks said...

I must admit that I was horrified when I saw that you'd burned it, but then I remembered a certain January crazy start from two years ago that I finished stitching and promptly threw in the trash - it was SO ugly!!! I remember the relief I felt that I wouldn't have to look at it anymore, and you probably feel the same way. I would recommend a nice easy stitch like an LHN sheep or a primitive LOVE design to get over the trauma! And if you'd like to get rid of the HE chart, I'd love to try it!
: )


Laura said...

I am happy that you cut it and lit it on fire!!! Get rid of it!! Get rid of all of those charts and then go find something simple, easy and delightful and get right back on the horse again. Start a new fun and easy project this weekend! Bring the joy of stitching back to your life! Go find a Prairie Schooler or Little House Needleworks and get to it. If you don't have one and you need me; I will be glad to send one to you.

We will not be defeated by fussy stitches and difficult designs!!!

Sending all good thoughts your way!

By the way, this past week I threw out 2 little completed projects that had bad memories for me. I decided that I did not want them around the house with their reminder of bad times. It felt good to take control of my environment!

Mii Stitch said...

Awww I don't blame you for burning it! You have been extremely patient with this design & really tried to fix everything... I hope it has not put you off stitching :) I must admit one of my project ended in the bin a few years ago... my excuse was the stitching was too small & too slow & I felt I was going nowhere with it! Have a lovely relaxing weekend, Mii x

Joyce Mayer said...

Miss Shirlee, what did you do? You lost it....(I know the feeling living with LuLu & Flora).

If I was there with you I would have suggested marshmallows. Giggle. (Mom is saying "leave it alone, Prudence"), more giggles - and she is giggling too.

Happy Friday.

Prudence ♥

cucki said...

i am with you deary..dont worry about it..just forget it and move on..there are so many other pretty charts waiting for you to be stitched..
big hugs x

frontporchprims said...

Is it bad to admit that I laughed through your entire post admist all the agony you were displaying? I think this is so funny because you sound so much like myself. I could have been writing this!!! What a zoo, you have reindeer pig, sheep, cows, and snowmen. Well, they are all dead now. I so would have taken the scissors and stabbed it to death and set it on fire. I know I would have. Did you cry too? Oh, I hope you feel better now. -Steph-

geeky Heather said...

Oh, gracious, Shirlee, you sure do know how to put the drama in stitching!!! =) You really need to learn to do Moss knots instead of those evil colonial knots! I'm on the tablet or I'd Google and give you a how-to link!

Paula said...

I'm still laughing out loud. Thank you.
I have felt that level of frustration when stitching, but have never actually set fire to it.
Did you feel better afterwards?
Good riddance!
Have a peace filled stitching day!
Stitching should be fun.

butterfly said...

Take a break start some knitting and buy a new chart after a weeks rest Hugs.

Catherine said...

No need to explain! I am sure that you just did something that some of us have thought about doing!

Maggee said...

I didn't need any explanation at ALL! I avoid charts with other than straight cross stitch, and I think I do some pretty nice stuff! Email me, maybe I have something you like!! Big Hugs!

Judy said...

Oh Shirlee....I feel your pain. I am sure I would have given up long before you did. I have this chart--now I am having 2nd thoughts! Thanks for sharing your story...and hope you feel relief!

Judy heartland stitcher

books4me said...

Ok, I read so many of my fellow bloggers posts and rarely seem to have time to comment, but this post just struck a chord. I have to admit to laughing quite a bit as I read through the post - BUT this was purely due to the fact that I could completely and totally see myself doing the exact same thing. I hope you recover quickly! -- Lisa

Pam in IL said...

At one time or another, we all have one piece that gets to us the way this one did to you. I just had one like that a few months ago. I kept plugging away on it, hating every second of it and when hubby walked by and said it was ugly -- well, that was it!

Now you can forget it and move on.

Have a great weekend!

Anne said...

Ouch! Poor little snow man! Hope that you can find your stitching hands again soon! :)

Southpaw Stitcher said...

Oh my! I laughed so hard that tears were rolling down my cheeks! You persevered with this piece a lot longer than I would have. I hope that the fire was cathartic for you, and that you find a nice design (preferably with cows) that you will enjoy stitching!

Shebafudge said...

Well full marks for perserverance Shirlee. I can't say I blame you for burning it after all the traumas you have had stitching it.

Come on though girly, get back on the stitching bike again. You cannot give up now. Like others have said find yourself a nice little design with no silly knots or half stitching or anything on it!!


Marsha said...

OMG, you poor soul! You need a sweet LHD or Prairie Schooler. Something, anything to get that bad taste out of your mouth. (That reindeer and snowman were weird looking anyway) and they most certainly look like cows to me - I collected cows too BTW. I had a by-the-bay design that called for millions of knots as a grassy lawn - fie on that, I cross stitched that lawn lickety split. I never! Anyway, WOW! You cut and burned it up! What a riot!

Teresa S. said...

I just got home from a short trip out of town and finished reading your recent chronicles of "the ornament from hell".

Well, congratulations on a persevering character! I would never have lasted as long as you did!

But I really loved the photo of the burning piece! :)
You are really a kindred spirit (and I laughed out loud again, no snorting this time :)

Stitchy Mc Floss said...

Sounds like you've had quite an adventure. I

I am with you on the knots being from the depths of h-e- double hockey sticks! I believe this to be true of French knots as well.

Hang in there...a new project will come along and turn your head....until then, can I send you some of my UFO's to burn, too?

Blessings always

Mindi said...

I think I would have given up and burned it a few steps prior to where you gave in. Thanks for documenting the moment, it was refreshing!

Kaisievic said...

Love your story. Way to go girl! If you don't like it anymore-get rid of it, I say! I, too, am having lots of frogging problems. I am getting worried that I have Alzheimer's! Lol!

Anne said...

Holy Crap Shirlee!!! Lol! Take that stupid cross stitch!! That's the best post I've read in awhile! So many times I've thought about doing this to a particularly irritating design but I never had the gutso to do it. Just looked at your fire photos! I truly hope though that your desire to stitch will come back. Give it time and it will :D


Karen said...

Good for you! Take that bull by the horns and toss it out! Life is too short to work on things we don't enjoy.

Marie said...

What a riot! I should tell you I am proficient at Colonial Knots and really enjoy making them. :D

I can't post much here since I can 't see through my tears of laughter.

Stitching PTSD...Do they have psychologist available to treat this? LOL

Angela P said...

I've never actually set my stitching ablaze but I have thrown it around the room on more than one occassion to see how far it could fly :0)

Taking a break is probably a good thing.

Take care :)