Photo-a-Day - December 2012 - Day 22: Something I Made
From my early years, I was attracted to needlepoint. It was something I wanted to do, but something I wanted to do well. Finally, in 1981, I discovered a shop just up the hill from where I lived.
I was between jobs and went in on a weekday only to find myself alone with the shop owner Diane. I had just started learning to stitch from a former co-worker but told Diane I was concerned as I wanted to learn the proper way and asked whether she needed any help in her shop. Serendipity was with me and I worked two Saturdays per month, and sometimes more, for the next four years.
Diane was amazing. She had been the president of the Embroiders' Guild several times, did restoration work, commissioned work and had previously done archival work. She had taken classes at the Victoria and Albert School of Needlework. Learning from her really was learning from an expert, yet she was wonderful. How often did I hear her say, when looking at an area I'd stitched, "You could leave it but, were it me, I'd take it out and re-do it." For a long time, I became as good at removing stitches as I was putting them in.
This is only one of numerous full-sized stockings I've stitched, along with countless small stockings, ornaments, etc.. It's actually one of a pair--the other still to be done. From the start, I knew I wanted the name to be in Greek.
Every year, the Greek Cathedral, within blocks of me, has their festival. I rolled both both canvas and went to visit. I asked one person, obviously a member of the church, if they spoke Green or could direct me to someone who did. Within minutes I had three ladies and the priest all working with me to find just the right word signifying Inner Peace (which really should have been written "ειρήνη" and pronounced "eirí̱ni̱", for this stocking, and Inner Fire/Passion (φωτιά - pro. fo̱tiá) for the other. Who knows but that someday, it, too, may be stitched.