At the beginning of December I bundled up on my lunch hour (I am from Winnipeg after all) and took the bus to one of my favourite wool shops to "squish some balls".  This always makes me happy, whether I actually buy any yarn or not.  The colours are vibrant and the textures enticing, and the variety of gadgets and books are always intriguing.  In fact, on this visit I was in search of some nice sock yarn to knit my husband's annual Christmas socks.  I can whip these up going to and from work on the bus – usually about one per week.  I love knitting on the bus  though I suspect those who sit beside me groan at the "busy-ness" of it.  I am a continental knitter which does minimize movement so I can be pretty compact.  Of course on the day it took me two hours to get home during one of our many storms this year (usually a half hour ride), I had to stand and hadn't yet cast on.  Such a waste. . .

This shopping trip got me thinking. . .
Most of us who stitch also enjoy other hobbies.  In addition to knitting which I know is popular among my stitching friends, many of us quilt, bead, sew, scrap book, bake, etc.  And some people embrace several of these hobbies and more!  I don't know about you but when I'm knitting I feel tugged to stitch, and when I'm stitching, I find delicious knitting patterns I'd love to try out.  How do we decide where to spend our precious leisure hours?

Because I still work full time at a busy (but fun!) job, by the time I get home and get through supper, all I want to do is sit on the couch in front of the TV with something occupying my hands.  Sometimes I actually catch myself thinking about this during the day and looking forward to it.  I am also the kind of person who likes to work on one project at a time, not several.  I can't have a few things on the go and just pick up the one for which I'm in the mood, though I do envy those who can do this; this stresses me out.  I do sometimes have something to work on at the office for lunch breaks, though I usually need this time to just sit quietly with a book or magazine and relax and recharge for the afternoon.

I think, for me, I kind of go in phases.  I'll stitch a few projects then happily exchange my thread and tapestry needle for yarn and knitting needles.  I finished stitching "Jo's Angel" (a WEG fundraiser) a couple of weeks ago and knew that I was going to be working on one of Carolyn Mitchell's new pieces with a group beginning in late January.  In the meantime I could not bear the thought of idle hands so I picked up and completed a small Hardanger ornament project.  I still had a bit of time before starting the new stitching project so I cast on some toe-up, two-at-a-time socks.

Now I have a dilemma.
It's the weekend and I have set aside a day to get the pre-work done on the canvas project, and get it framed up to begin stitching.  But what about those socks?  How will I decide what to work on?  In the end, I think I will go with the canvas project because there is a group involved and a deadline.  I think I will take my socks to work and beaver away at them there when I have the time and inclination.
In spite of these (relatively minor!) decisions about what to work on next, I am certainly thankful to have hobbies that I so enjoy.  I am also secretly grateful for our cold climate which gives me a perfect excuse to sit indoors for seven months a year, guilt free, doing what I love!  I can't imagine just sitting watching TV without producing something beautiful (though I do pay full attention – NO stitching OR knitting – during Downton Abbey!).  Whatever it is that commands my attention for now, I know that there is something fun and interesting waiting in the wings, no matter what technique it requires, and it just makes me eager to finish my current project so I can answer the call of something new.

Happy stitching, knitting, quilting. . . DECISION-MAKING, and bring on the inclement weather!

Patty Hawkins


  1. I love to knit too and it is a dilemma figuring out which project to work on. I decide on few projects at the beginning of the year and then rotate them weekly. Then the whole thing gets tossed out the window when a new project catches my eye. I'll be putting my ufos aside for a couple months so I can take one of the new online courses and then I'll go back to them when the course is over.

    I take a project to work every week for my break times. I use an extended coffee break for a walk and then another extended one in the day to work on my project.

  2. I really enjoyed reading the article
    Thanks for sharing


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The Embroiderers' Association of Canada (EAC) is a national non-profit educational organization whose purpose is to have a fellowship of persons who enjoy needlework and wish to learn and share their knowledge; and thereby to work towards maintaining higher standards of design, colour and workmanship.

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