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Week One of Trying to Better Myself Creatively in Lockdown

By Sophie Fennelly

While it is impossible to deny that these are challenging times for us all, I am trying my best to view them in a way positive light. It would be easy, when facing the prospect of the spending weeks cooped up inside, to go a little stir crazy. So, I tasked myself with trying to take each week as an opportunity to better myself in different ways.

I am the first to admit that while I’d describe myself as a creative, art is far from my strong point, but I was hoping to use this is an opportunity to change that. A few months ago, I saw on a friend’s Instagram story that she had started to learn to embroider, which got me wondering whether this was something I could do. Although art is completely out of my comfort zone, I have dabbled in needlework before, as being a rather petite woman, hemming my clothes is a regular burden. So, I decided that this seemed like as good a place to start as any and ordered a starter kit online.

My journey started quite easily as I started by learning the Outline Stitch and the Straight Stitch, both of which were quite simple and straightforward. I took to embroidering in the evenings, after a day of remote working, and my second time involved practising these stitches.

My third day was categorised by contrast: the first new stitch I learned was the Lazy Daisy Stitch, which is still probably my favourite. However, the French Knot Stitch proved a lot more challenging, and my first attempts were honestly quite tragic. I tried it again the next day and improved a little, but I still had a long way to go. The other stitches I learned included the Long Short Stitch and the Full Straight Stitch until I finished my first embroidery hoop.

As someone who has never been good at art or sports, I found creating something with my bare hands an extremely satisfying and new experience. I was surprised by how therapeutic it was to really let go and just focus on the thread, even if I am covered in pinpricks and little bits of thread.

So, if you’re starting to lose your marbles and want a way to disconnect from your screens, reconnect with yourself and do something productive during this quarantine, I would recommend learning to embroider.

You can follow my embroidery journey through my Instagram stories: @sophie_lauraxo