Stitching for sanity

Hello there

I hope you have all been having a lovely week. I am back into the swing of things at work and have had a very nice week, weather is pretty dreadful and have a slightly leaky conservatory roof and a very broken garden trellis to deal with but hey ho – such is Winter in Yorkshire!

I often joke to people that stitching and knitting is my therapy, the stuff that keeps me sane and I know that there are lots of others of you out there who feel the same. It doesn’t matter how bad the day has been, or what has been hurtful or difficult to deal with when I light my candles and get out my stitching, sitting on my sofa with a glass of wine I am the happiest bunny in the world. It is lovely as well to create something that also gives pleasure to other people when they receive so it is a double bonus.

Reading my free Metro newspaper on the bus to work today I came across an article about a prisoner of war who had stitched to save his sanity but also within his stitching had used hidden Morse code to include subversive messages. His name was Alexis Casdagli and his work, along with that of his son who he also taught to stitch, has been included in a recent exhibition at the V and A Museum.

There is a really good article about the piece at the following website and here is a pic of the piece from the Metro newspaper site held by his son Tony, there is a clearer view of the Morse code on the web site.

Prisoner of War stitching 2

I know there are many other examples of how people have used crafting to while away the hours. I have seen a cross stitch done entirely in human hair from a prison exhibition in Nottingham , a quilt made from uniform jackets by soldiers on campaign and last year at the Birmingham Quilt Show we were shown a wonderful whitework piece done by sailors during their long voyages.I love the fact that I am part of this long history of people who create as therapy – I think it is a wonderful way of calming the soul!

I do not have much to show you this week in the way of stitching progress. I have just completed the stitching on my Winter Exchange piece but cannot show you that yet, however since I had lots of stitching time in Spain I am also part way through a piece for me.

As you know I love snowflakes (but not too much real snow!) and came across this poem a while ago and have finally got around to stitching it so thought I would show you my progress. It is called Snow Poem by Erynne Chard from Red House Crafts. I have just checked on the web site and can’t find it so it must have been an old design.

Snow poem stitching

It is stitched on sparkly Aida (to give my poor old eyes a rest from the small count evenweave I have been using for the exchange piece!) and done with my favourite Silk Mill thread again.

 The Silk Mill  are having another sale giving 30% off so I have treated myself to a set of green silks this time which will arrive soon! The sale is still on so if you fancy stocking up head on over there. I do love a bargain. Wendy who runs the Silk Mill very kindly sent me a little note on my last order saying she liked the blog and I was really touched – thanks Wendy, I really love your silks!

I have a number of different themed seasonal stitched ornies thanks to my exchanges but am very short on Winter ones so am going to spend a couple of months stitching just stuff for me on a Winter theme so that I can have another lovely seasonal display.

I do hope that you have had time for some therapy this week and thank you very much for visiting.Stay warm!

4 thoughts on “Stitching for sanity

  1. Alison, I too read this article in the Telegraph last week – Alexis Casdagli a POW who stitched a wonderful cross stitch embroidery, which helped to save his sanity and included in the design were coded messages, which I found very interesting.

    I find stitching very, very relaxing and have just started my new online embroidery class this week. Will email you with the link so you can have a look see.


  2. Aha! You’re short on Christmas ornaments for yourself ’cause you always give them away!

    How very interesting about the soldiers. In This Life just posted the other day about some prisoners in the UK who do a lot of stitching and they sell it. I’ve always thought, if I were ever imprisoned, I would hope they’d let me have some sewing tools! ;-D

  3. I know I do – got to stop giving stuff away and do more for me but I do love doing exchanges and giveaways – just have to stitch faster and spend more time on it (if only!).

    In the UK we have a project who works with prisons called Fine Cell work and they teach embroidery. It is something I would love to volunteer for if I ever got the chance. I visit prisons quite often as part of my work – we have trainee teachers on placement and I really think that stitching could be really good for sanity there. It also gives them chance to earn extra money and get useful skills.


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