This piece was meant to be a Christmas gift for my sister. I let Mónika choose a design she likes best from an online catalogue. Also, at the time we were so low on funds that she had to pay for it and I let her know that the time and effort I put into it will be her present. Of course, at that time none of us knew just how much effort this piece is going to take of me.
Anyway, we ordered the kit. The design was available with three different brands of floss: DMC, Venus and Puppets. The latter one was the cheepest - this was a fair warning, but we failed to notice it - so Mónika chose that one. I felt a slight suspence when I received the kit. The picture on the package wasn't a photo of the stitched piece. It was clearly a computer generated pattern. Also, as there is a car standing in the snow, I suspect it is a modern postcard scanned and shoved into a XS converter software.
As I discovered while stitching, the "designer" didn't bother doing anything else to the picture. I realized this, when I stitched the sky with a deep brown colour and found one or two random dots with another deep brown, barely distinguishable from the surrounding colours. Actually, I could not find any logic in the use of the several brown shades, so it must have been a software. I can surely say that the only thing a human hand had to do with this chart was hitting the Print button and then folding the sheets. And there were several more things I hated about it. For example, two colours - shades of blue - that are EVERYWHERE next to each other (resembling the snow) are marked by two very similar symbols: a circle with one half shaded. For one colour the left side, for the other, the right one. And these symbols are mixed together ALL OVER the chart! My eyes were flowing with tears! I had to extra go through the sheets and mark these kind of matching symbols with colour pencil.
I have always had mood swings and was treated with major depression for years, but my condition is pretty fine since Tamara is here with me. In fact, I haven't had such deep gloomy moment in years as I had while stitching this piece. It is quite logical if you think about it: greys and dark and dull colours, all scattered in random fashion, forming nothing but a confetti. Who wouldn't be down after spending hours looking at this thing?
I must be thankful for my online stitching friends. They taught me to take pictures of my stitching from time to time. Without this habit I would have felt I am making no progress at all! They also made me feel that having several WIPs is allright, and that I don't have to work on something I don't enjoy looking at. They constantly reminded me that stitching is fun, it should be a joyful hobby and not a pain in the neck. I am eternally thankful to you ladies! Thanks to you, I was able to put this horrid thing aside and work on more colourful designs, and I even had a few small finishes.
So, after taking a long break, during which I collected more and more stash, during one stash organizing session I came accross this piece again. Looking at it I couldn't believe how complicated this chart was and I wondered how on Earth was I able to work so much on it. I gathered the fabric, chart and floss once again and set out to work on it. This was about two weeks ago. All the bad memories came back at once. The stupid chart on thin, easily tearing paper, the interchangeable symbols, the cheap floss that almost melts as I stitch with it and keeps fraying and tearing... I hated it, but I could see that I am too close to the finish to give up. I worked on it whenever I could. I finished two small model stitching pieces in the meantime, but carried on stitching.
Sometimes, when I realized that I will have to thread my needle again, just to do a single cross, I was tempted by a little devil that told me "those shades of brown look all the same, so why not use a long piece of thread and do every brown shade with that single colour? Who would ever know the difference?" I have thought about it, and realized that I would, and that is all that matters. So with deep sighs I have threaded my needle again and again, and: ta-daaa! I did it! It's finished! I have already washed it and now it's drying. Tonight it takes off to the framer and I will not want to see it again in a while! I have gathered the floss and the chart in a plastic bag and sealed it to keep their wicked pleasure-sucking demons locked inside. Later I plan to ritually burn them on a bonfire so they could do no more harm.
And now presenting: