There Are No Knitting Police

Welcome Sisters and Brethren! I am sitting down to my knitting circle again today with more that just knitting, won’t you join me?

I wrote last time about knitting anxiety and the pressures that I put on myself (as all of us do) to be as productive as possible. I’m still not sure what drives me to make lists of the crafty things I “need to get done,” and I have yet to master reminding myself that it is for joy that I engage in crafts. However, I did recently give myself some breathing room to work on some things that were not part of my silly list. Because, as a number of knitters have said to me before, “There are no knitting police.”

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I do love a good hand embroidered tea towel!

Bearing in mind that no knitting authorities are coming to check up on my progress, critique my technique or point out my mistakes, I got out an entirely different craft: embroidery. I do love embroidery, cross stitch and needle point crafts. When I sit with my cup of coffee and serenely stitch a cute little adornment onto a tea towel, a magical thing happens: I become my Grandma.

My inner child drifts out of my body and watches me. She remembers the smell of early morning coffee at Grandma’s farmhouse; the crisp cool of the large, drafty living room; the table full of thread, needles, beads and all manner of crafting tools; the enormous picture window looking out onto a frosty field where Grandpa’s horses are grazing. In these private, sentimental moments I remember the joy that I am meant to feel when I engage in making. I reconnect to a simpler, happier me.

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I didn’t have Grandma’s ribbon candies, so mints will have to do. 

There are no knitting police, we only police ourselves. Making lists of To Do’s in my crafts is not a bad thing necessarily, but we all need to find that balance between practicality and bliss. My stash of supplies and tools may seem a mountain and my list of planned projects endless, but the end results (useful tho they are) cannot be the only reason I push myself to craft. I need to enjoy the process. Allow myself to recall how what I make today is not just useful tomorrow, but brings me closer to yesterdays that I cherish and should not overlook.

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Dog Mom’s coffee never quite smells like Grandma’s coffee somehow. 

So yes, I have lost track of where I “should be” in my list of things to craft and make. Yes, I am hopping between crafts. Yes, I have cast on socks before I have finished other projects – and, yes, with yarn I had intended to use for other things! But there are no knitting police, and today I am going to allow myself to be OFF DUTY. My knitting and crafting is a mental vacation. A brief stay in a place of peace, with a few sentimental day dreams of memories past. I will not arrest myself for low productivity and I will not sit in a prison of my own making. Not today, anyway.

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The dogs pulled this yarn off the shelf, so I cast it on. 

I am wishing you all a happy, chaotic and blissful Sunday! I love and appreciate all of you who are joining my little crafty coven!

Until next time, Sisters and Brethren, I am with you.

Tea Towels: Not Just for Grandma Anymore

I count myself lucky to have had a crafty grandma. I may not have had an opportunity to learn her many skills growing up, but I do remember watching her use yarn, thread, beads, and even eggs and cardboard to create amazing things. I like to think that this early exposure to creativity spurred my own crafty lifestyle.

One of the many and various crafts that I still have from grandma are her embroidered dish and tea towels. I will admit, they are well used. My grandma was a practical crafter, and I know she would have appreciated her gifts being well loved and used. And I do still think of her often when I use one of her hand embroidered dish towels in my own kitchen.

I am at a point, however, where the towels are becoming a bit too well loved; the edges are beginning to tear and fray, a few holes have developed. So I decided to go ahead and retire and store my old embroidered towels from grandma, and go ahead and hand embroider my own.

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One of my new dish towels done with an Aunt Martha’s iron on transfer.

I have plenty of embroidery supplies at home already, all I needed were some new towels to decorate. I headed over to my trusty Amazon Prime account and did some shopping. I didn’t necessarily need new iron on transfers as I have many, but I bought a few new sets anyway!

You can find flour sack towels and the Aunt Martha’s iron on transfer sets I’ve chosen for myself on Amazon at these affliate links (I make a small commission if you purchase through these links):

Royal 12-Pack Flour Sack Towels – 31″ x 31″ Kitchen Towels – Absorbent White Dish Towels – 100% Ring-Spun Cotton Bar Towels

Aunt Martha’s Iron On Transfer Patterns for Stitching, Embroidery or Fabric Painting, Days of the Week Patterns, Set of 5

Aunt Martha’s European Delights Embroidery Transfer Pattern Book, Over 25 Iron On Patterns

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I have quite enjoyed the change of pace from my usual knitting. I have quite a bit of knitting for others to do, and it feels good to make something that’s for me. Side projects like this hand embroidery are great for those moments when you feel like your knitting mojo is in slump. Of course, I also love the thought that I’m doing the sort of kitchen DIY that grandma would have done.

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If you have the time and the crafty inclination, I do recommend embroidering some tea towels for your own home. It may not make dishes and clean up fun, necessarily. But it does give you a bit of a happy tingly feeling to know you prettied them up yourself.

If you need some supplies for general embroidery, you can certainly pick those up at your local craft stores. Or, if you are already going the Amazon Prime route, I have some other links here to hoops and embroidery floss that I myself have used (also affiliate links).

Caydo 4 Pieces Embroidery Hoop Set Bamboo Circle Cross Stitch Hoop Ring

DMC 117F25-HDC Embroidery Home Decor Floss Pack, Assorted Color, 8.7-Yard, 36/Pack

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I hope you have enjoyed this entry into the HalesBee Handmade diary! And if you make a purchase through my affiliate links, that means you are supporting my content, and for that I thank you!

Love from HalesBee!

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