I recently read a story about a lady who was taking embroidery lessons, to the third lesson she brought a linen table cloth decorated with pulled stitches. She said to her teacher:
"A friend sent me this years ago. Of course I liked it but after the last lesson I got it out and looked at it again and now I value it. I wrote to my friend and told her about my lessons and that I could now see how much work had gone into its making and how lovely I thought the cloth was".
Beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder. Just a little training in needlework helped the "beholder" to appreciate the skill needed in its execution and therefore perceive much more beauty in the gift.
I am sure that many of us will have given needlework gifts that have either been dismissed as "just" homemade or greatly valued as the time and workmanship were recognised. After learning the hard way I now only give needlework gifts to other needleworkers.
Whilst "musing" on this my thoughts began to meander and I started to think about the various different ways in which we learn and can pass knowledge on.
We are very fortunate to live in an age where we have almost instant access to countless books and Google which makes it possible to "self teach". It is very easy to ping a message around the world to a stitching friend for help or advice. There are numerous "web"classes, workshops, and groups in the real and virtual world. Youtube is a wonderful source of all sorts of tutorials.
Needlework has traditionally been passed down through the generations by female family members. I have some lovely memories of my "Nana" who always had some type of needle in her hand more often than not for necessity rather than leisure. She was very skilled at plain and fancy work.
Can you think back to who helped you thread your first needle, taught you to sew on a button, cast on your first stitches and picked up your dropped ones ?
For most it will have been a mother or grandmother.
Even in today's high tec and material world needlework is a skill, that whilst not vital to our survial as in centuries past, is still well worth learning and passing on to younger generations.
A pleasure shared is a pleasure doubled.
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