A full year ago, I tried my hand at a seemingly mystical skill: hand embroidery.
It was The Thing I obsessed over on Instagram but never took the time to research on my own. When a Vancouver embroidery artist, Jackie of El Patcha, started offering patch-making workshops, I took the leap and signed up. It was a great way to learn the basics, and I've had an active embroidery project on the docket ever since.
Above are a couple of the first finished projects I ever worked on/posted online. You can clearly see the hesitant but determined obsession starting to unfold...
I honestly thought I'd stray from letters/words, because all I wanted to do was trace simple designs with thread. The whole point of this was for me to pursue a hobby that was separate from the daily calligrapher grind! Alas, my world continues to revolve around these wonderful forms.
I picked up a traditional embroidery tool called a hook needle, which had its own learning curves, but made it a tad easier to punch out consistent monoline chain-stitched pieces, like the one above.
It's been an amazing way to explore my relationship with lettering through a different medium. The tangibility of thread and the occasional pain of a needle prick adds a totally different dimension to the words. The repeated act of poking, pulling, and pushing the needle puts me in a meditative state.
Even though it's put my wrists out of commission a few times, I'm thankful to have found an activity I enjoy where I can still incorporate lettering, without having to worry too much about clients or briefs. Perhaps one day it will become a part of my professional practice, but for now I quite like learning about the rich world of embroidery stitch by stitch.