It Took All Year

Behold! The Posie alphabet sampler! It took all year, but I loved working on it. Of course, mine is not nearly as neatly pressed and framed as hers, and though I first attempted it with crewel yarn, I quickly reverted to my old standby, DMC embroidery floss. I will one day write a blog post about how much I love everything Alicia makes and even more than that, how her writing makes me pretty much bow down in awe.

I started this last January, and worked on it in a total of nine countries. I began work on it in Hong Kong, in the teensy-tiniest hostel room I’ve ever seen, with a miniscule bathroom that had clear glass walls, so that every time one of us needed to, ahem, use the facilities, we would make the other person promise to bury their faces in a book, facing the wall. I carried it with me through Japan, Vietnam, and the UK. I worked on it in the sweetest little apartment we rented in Montmartre, half a block down the street from the greengrocer in my beloved Amélie. I took it to Belgium, and then to Germany, where I had the roughest two weeks of the year in Berlin, so desperate to go home but terrified to bail on this trip we had planned for years. I was so miserable and homesick. I don’t know if I ever want to go back to Berlin because of that. I remember wanting so badly to do something reminded me of home, so I googled endlessly until I found a tiny fabric store near Alexanderplatz. They had a small selection of needlework notions and I was so happy I felt like crying. I bought some Aida 14-count fabric and a few skeins of floss and I felt like I had found some small piece of myself in that miniscule shop. I know this sounds so melodramatic and overexaggerated, but that’s the only way I can describe it.

I think this ‘G’ was my favourite letter to embroider, despite the fact that it’s all just french knots. I really like french knots, though I know that a lot of people find them finnicky. I like that I couldn’t figure out how to do them at all until my 85-year-old grandmother taught me, in our old house closer to town. She’d come for a visit after the wedding, and we spent a lot of time sitting on the couch embroidering together.

I finished the sampler a few days before Christmas, on the couch in our new house, with the fire blazing and Mark sitting next to me. I finished it so far away from where I started it, and I really love that it will always remind of this year where so much happened and in which I learned so much about myself. It took a year of travelling to realize that I’m truly happy staying in one place. So much changed this year that it felt very reassuring to have a project to work on that was constant. I’m probably assigning way too much sentiment to this, but that’s just how I roll.

Miscellaneous scenes from Christmas/New Years, including a visit from my newly-engaged best friend (Luka fell in love with her), lots of sewing and knitting, and our traditional hermit-like New Year’s Eve. This year we made momos and drank sparkling sake at midnight. Then I went straight to bed, because it is absolutely RIDICULOUS to be up that late. I only did it for Mark.

Yeah, I own a Hogwarts wax seal. Doesn’t everyone?

I’ll be back soon with real actual business-y updates. We hiked Mount Work on New Year’s Day, and poor puppers was just so exhausted when we got home that he forgot he was a 75-pound dog and morphed into a cat.

Should I be jealous?