when stitches mess with your head (and what you can do about it)
I did my first stitching when I was very young, picked it up at various times through my life, and really started seriously stitching about seven years ago. That's a lot of embroidery and a lot of practice, but of course, I hope to have many, many years of stitching and practice ahead of me.
And I could use the practice, because no matter how much you work and try, I think there will always be stitches that mess with your head. For example, I know that French knots commonly plague people and I've had many discussions on why it's so difficult to remember how to start a blanket stitch. But for me, it's stem/outline stitch.
Stem stitch has always been the one I avoid, but recently I've spent more time practicing. The practice has gone so well that I felt confident in mentally outlining a post with tips on the stitch. But pride goeth before a fall, because when I went to stitch for the pictures, my work looked horrible.
The stitches were messing with my head.
It's not the first time this has happened to me, and I'm sure it won't be the last. So I've come up with some DOs and DON'Ts for if (or more likely, when) this happens to you (and me too).
Do practice. Choose a pattern to stitch "for fun" and use your trouble stitch as much as possible on the pattern.
Don't fret. As much as it may bug you that you aren't getting it, embrace the imperfections, knowing that this is a process.
Do evaluate. Look at the stitches closely to see what doesn't look right and compare it to work that you admire.
Don't frustrate yourself. When you reach that point where you are ready to throw your hoop, you've gone too far. Take a break and use your favorite stitch for a while.
Do ask for help. Finding someone to talk with in person can be a great help, but online stitchers are a good place to start. Trust me, there are so many folks who are happy to help!
And know that I'm one of those people who loves to help. Just don't ask me to help you with your stem stitch!