Concentration and precision

It’s been an interesting weekend of stitching. Half of the time I was concentrating on placing my needle in e-x-a-c-t-l-y the right place and the other half I was chanting mantras that went like this: “up 2, over left, over right, up 2, over left, over right”.

While working on the Winter Linen pillow, the texture of the satin stitch or the split stitch was the most important consideration. Placing the needle in the perfect place can make or break the smooth texture of satin stitch.

When I use the magnifying lamp I can see so clearly that it’s not difficult to know where to put the tip of the needle…but sometimes it just doesn’t go there on the first, second or even third try! However, concentration and perseverance paid off. I am really pleased with the satin stitch circle and tiny hearts. This design just gets better and better as I stitch more. It’s so romantic!

The blackwork hearts and flowers design requires a different kind of perseverance and concentration. The stitch itself (back stitch) isn’t difficult to do correctly. Counting and placing the needle in the correct place is critical in order to construct the pattern correctly. This is where I say (inside my head) a mantra to help me keep track; something like “up 2, over left, over right…”  The magnifying lamp makes it much easier to see which hole the needle should go into. The difficult part here is to be sure I understand the pattern and have counted correctly. Stitching the patterns for the first few minutes is always a bit unclear and then, as if by some sort of brain magic, the pattern is obvious and perfectly clear.

Each pattern has it’s own rhythm. Each pattern reveals it’s structure differently as I stitch. In all the patterns, precision is absolutely necessary. One wrong stitch will destroy the whole pattern very quickly.

The one above wasn’t nearly as difficult as the one below for me to stitch. Some of the patterns ‘come naturally’ to me and others seem to flummox me completely for a long time.

Some patterns reveal themselves as I stitch.  I’m finding the one below to be quite easy to remember and work out how it all fits. And as I stitch, the chain design magically appears. I love it!

Both kinds of stitching require concentration and precision, but different kinds for different results. One to ensure perfect texture, the other to ensure perfect pattern. It’s two different ways of thinking about my stitching and it’s been an interesting day observing how my brain copes with the differences.

How about you: do you notice that you think about your stitching differently depending on what kind of stitching you’re doing? Do you chant or count or say something in your head when doing counted work? When texture is critical, do you find yourself being more particular about where the needle is placed?

6 thoughts on “Concentration and precision

  1. Yes, but I’ve also discovered that by and large once I know what I want to do, my brain deals with it at a much deeper level. I’ve been astonished by the progress I’ve made with long and short stitch over the past year!

  2. You are back again.

    Have missed you – I haven’t received anything for a number of weeks, so this latest designed looks nice, but have only today’s to see.

    Thank you. Peggy

    • Hi Peggy,
      I’m sorry you haven’t received any emails for a while. 🙁 They’ve been going out every other day but I have a sneaking suspicion that some end up being blocked by spam filters. If any of my readers haven’t been receiving regular updates, please let me know via the contact form.
      Thanks!
      Liebe Grusse,
      Kathy

  3. What beautiful satin stitch and blackwork.

    I often feel that some times the mathamatical stitching fits more naturally than others into the way our brain is built and works.

    Lovely work – thank you for sharing it with us

  4. I really like the Red hearts! I do blackwork and I too have to do the mental mantra “up 2 over2” to keep myself on track. I can understand why you had problems with the diagonal stitch> It seems to be my nemisis also! I have ripped and ripped, double counted and often rip again. Its good to know I am not alone!!!!!!!!!!!!

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