Stitch Journal

I was really really hoping that I would be writing my first post of 2022 and it would be about my sky blanket progress. Sadly, that was not to be. Although I am making progress, it’s slow. I may still only be in mid July, but I have carefully kept a note of the sky each day. In mid January I realised that I was missing making that note, ready to document in stitch form. It was then that I decided that I needed another stitchy way to document my year.

In the last few months I have been exploring embroidery. During the first lockdown, I rediscovered cross stitch after about thirty years. The next logical step was to try some embroidery, something that has always intimidated me. I signed myself up to some online embroidery workshops last summer (Nicky from Little Light Stitchery is a brilliant teacher) and I was hooked.

Over the last few years I have seen people posting pictures of their stitch journal on instagram. I have often thought I would like to do one, but never thought my stitching was good enough. Well, the only way to get better is to try, right? So this year I will be keeping my very own stitch journal and hopefully learning new stitches along the way.

I fell in love with the Phenology wheel designed by Oh Sew Bootiful. I’m a sucker for anything rainbow, and I knew that this would be my stitch journal fabric.

A rainbow phenology wheel to be used as a stitch journal. Each segment has a month of the year printed at the top. Rosie has laid emboroidery threads over each segment to match the colour of the segment.

Unlike my sky blanket, I do not intend to document each day. Instead, I will use my stitch journal to record key moments each month.

Rosie's stitch journal for January.

January’s stitches are:

  • Music notes: wind quintet rehearsal
  • Mircrophone: playing rock band over the new year with family
  • Rock guitar: playing rock band with friends
  • Car: we test drove some cars early in the month
  • Task Master: we played over zoom with family. It was hilarious and I can definitely recommend it.
  • Haggis: we celebrated Burns Night with friends
  • Sewing Machine: I definitely got my sew-jo back in January
  • Crochet hook: I think this is going to feature heavily throughout the year.

My stitching is far from perfect, but I am loving my stitch journal. So far I have learned how to do a French knot which a month ago seemed beyond baffling. I will definitely have to try and plan my spacing better in the coming months, especially if it’s a busy one with lots to fit in.

I haven’t quite decided what to do with the lines in between each segment, or the month names at the top. The cloud clearly needed to have a silver lining and I love how it looks in the middle. The silver thread was a nightmare to stitch with, but I really like the look. If I am feeling brave I may use the silver to do the lines, like rays of sunlight coming out from behind the cloud.

A close up of Rosie's stitch journal - a rainbow wheel. January is stitched in green. There is a magnetic Zippy holding a needle.

My stitch journal is giving me so much pleasure, and not just because my Zippy needle minder makes me smile. I don’t feel the pressure that I did (still do) feel to keep up with my sky blanket. It doesn’t have to be done every day, and even if I leave it for a while, it really doesn’t take long to stitch the small images. For me, the challenge is to get better at embroidery and to learn new stitches along the way.

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