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Part of the reason for the screwed-up sleep is that I was up until all hours this week trying to finish Mom's birthday present.  Years back, I bought a waffle-weave thermal shirt in sky blue, with the idea that I would cross-stitch a selection of birds from this pattern.  The religious phrasing is neither here nor there for me, but that wasn't the part I was interested in:  the individual birds can be used anywhere.

I like cross stitch; it's very pointillist.  The idea of making something elaborate using (mostly) just one stitch intrigues me.

I started, and almost immediately made a mistake.  Waffle-weave fabric, I found, is nowhere near as regular as cross stitch fabric, and the pattern involves lots of half stitches - a problem when the squares in the fabric have no proper center.  Re-thinking the entire endeavor, I set it aside.  Every year, I considered finishing it for Mom's birthday, then found something else instead (she's pretty easy to buy for).

This year, I decided it was now or never.  Mom was diagnosed - about 15 months ago - with stage 4 cancer.  This is a non-trivial part of my life and my worldview right now; I've been waffling about whether or not to post about it.  I probably will post more about it in the future, now that Mom's no longer keeping it from general knowledge, and now that all the friends who might read this are aware of it.  Not that I intend to post about the details of her illness - that's her business, and not really mine to distribute - but it's been...a weird sort of emotional/psychological/philosophical/cultural learning experience so far, and I'd like to work my way through some of that in the manner that works best for me (text).

Anyway, I finished the shirt.  It looks nothing like what I'd originally pictured, and it only has four birds, and I must have undone two birds' worth of errors.  But, Mom likes it, and that's the main thing. 

Photos behind the cut.

One bird on the sleeve (that was a pain, because on each stitch I had to switch which hand was shoved up the sleeve),
and two on the front (vireo and wallcreeper - they were the only two smaller-sized birds that didn't include that irritating gray that vanished into the fabric when I tried to stitch with it, and made everything take twice as long to complete).

And one tiny Anna's hummingbird on the back. 

Friending welcome, but lurking is fine too.

Constructive criticism is also welcome - whatever it is, trust me, I've heard worse.



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