I should probably change the title here. I could call it, “Sucked into yet another crafting vortex.” The laws of physics probably do not allow a person to get sucked into more than one vortex at a time, but I am abnormal by nature, so I am now confessing to have been sucked into a fourth vortex. Since age 16 I have been floating about in the crochet vortex. Then, in my mid-twenties, the knitting vortex slurped me up. Ever since somebody gave me a vintage sewing machine I have been vacuumed into the sewing vortex. And now here we are, witnessing the cross stitching vortex just swirling me in with a big gulping noise.
I’ve just made this discovery while stitching my Thanksgiving cornucopia. I got all nervous about the fact that the cornucopia seems to have non-descriptive color blobs inside of it, and no actually discernible fruits or vegetables. I shall preface my thought with some info: I am getting my Thanksgiving designs from the book 2001 Cross Stitch Designs that Better Homes and Gardens has been printing for ages. It’s frickin’ awesome. My Thanksgiving turkey comes from the same chart that my cornucopia is on. Anyway, as I was saying, I was stitching away at my Horn of Plenty and got really annoyed because I felt like I was creating a purplyblueblob of sorts. So then, I had to do it, I accessed my brain for fall fruit that might be blue. Plums? Nope. Blueberries? No way, that’s a summer thing. So then I just asked José, who is always available, quietly reading a book right across from me in the living room: “Are grapes a fall harvest thing?” He looked at me like I was a total idiot. You see, we live in a region of Spain famous for its wine. In fact, grapes are a major aspect of the economy and we actually took an exclusive tour of a vineyard in the countryside a couple of years ago, in autumn no less! So, he finally did answer me. He said, “Sí.” And then I felt like a true ignoramus. However, I then realized something: I was stupefied by the cross stitching vortex, which inadvertently had managed to suck me in. Just stare at these “grapes,” and tell me if you see grapes or just a purplyblueblob.
I’m sorry I used my iPhone, but it is late and I just put my stitching away for the evening. The poor quality of the photo is not changing anything just in case you’re wondering if it looks like a blob because I took a crappy photo. It’s a bluepurplyblobbyblob. Now that I know it’s supposed to be a bunch of grapes, I am calm, despite the fact that this is evidence that the vortex has hoovered me in. Losing one’s serenity forgetting that grapes are an autumnal fruit is not cool.
More data to show that the x-stitching vortex has got me is the fact that I woke up this morning remembering something the Yarn Harlot wrote years back. I can’t remember the exact words, but she said something like: if you’re a knitter, you knit, otherwise, you just want to do cross stitch. It’s a joke. She can truly cross stitch and has done this in the past. As I meandered into the kitchen to make coffee, I recalled that Elizabeth Zimmerman had said something similar in another book, saying that if you try to knit and get frustrated to the point of abandoning it, you’re probably better off taking up cookery. I think I remembered these things I had read years ago because I have become so distracted from my knitting these days. I am by no means a knitting failure. I’m a knitting genius, if I do say so myself! I’ve just been distracted. My poor sweater in progress hasn’t even been looked at since Wednesday or so. Why? Cross stitching vortex overrode knitting vortex.
After I had my coffee this morning, I got dressed and where did I go when I hit the streets? The sewing and embroidery shop just about six blocks away. It’s called “Capricho,” which means “Caprice.” A lot of shops and bars around here are called “Capricho” for some reason. Anyway, I bought DMC floss and Aida cloth, enough to make a thousand samplers. The shopkeeper remembered me, since I had only been in the week before, and the week before that, and the week before that, etc. She complimented me on my Spanish and asked me what country I was from. After she took my money and handed me my bag of goodies, I headed home. When I got home, I noticed that the unusually friendly shopkeeper gave me a cute gift, which is exhibit B that proves I am sucked into the vortex:
If a shopkeeper in Valladolid, Spain gives you a free gift with your purchase, you know you go to their shop a little too often. This fair city is known for being borde, which means cold and unfriendly. If you get a complimentary item from a shop around here, it’s like you’ve been rewarded for your constant spending and loyalty. Looking back on this encounter in the shop, everything was just so obvious and I was too clueless to notice. This woman smiled at me for the first time ever, even though she’d seen me before. She told me my Spanish was beautiful. She asked me about all kinds of things, including my favorite colors. The writing was on the wall. The cross stitching vortex has sucked me in! When the vallisoletana shopkeeper is nice to you, it’s for your money, past, present, and future.
Needless to say, the sewing shop is now the yarn shop’s family. Oh yes, the local yarn shop also gives me freebies, every single time I go. In fact, the knitting store gives me stuff even if I don’t buy anything, so grateful for my years of loyalty and addiction to knitting and crochet. And so the vortexes converge! I suppose on my part it’s a bit of an accomplishment. If local shopkeepers are super nice to you in this tough city, you’re doing something right.
Further proof of my obsession with this craft is that I keep dreaming about future cross stitch projects, just like I dream about myself wearing future completed sweaters.
All in all, I’m a lost cause. I don’t even feel like going out most of the time. If I’m not knitting, I’m cross stitching. If I’m not cross stitching, I’m crocheting. If I’m not crocheting, I’m playing with the sewing machine. Multi-vortex sucking me in!