This is a more somber post than most of what I’ll post here. For that, I apologize.
I should probably preface this by stating the obvious. I love The Wizard of Oz. It’s awesome. When I first started cross-stitching, most of you know, I did a chart of The Emerald City. Well, when I finished it, I posted in my Oz Facebook group about it. None of this should be too surprising.
Shortly after, I was asked by someone in the group if I would stitch an Oz kit they had purchased. The person in question is possibly somewhere on the special needs spectrum, but the extent I am unsure of, and I know the coordination required for cross stitching is probably out of their reach, so I was more than willing to.
This was a mistake.
The kit in question was from Designer Stitches, and was from around 1999 or so when the film turned 60. It arrived, complete with Aida, floss and needle, just like all kits. However, the final image itself was ugly as hell. Still, I was determined to do it. So, a few weeks went by and I got caught up on what I’d had to do, and decided to start on it.
The first thing I discovered was the floss itself was in bad shape. The black wanted to bleed into everything, several colors wanted to snap, break or knot, and in general…it was not the greatest. I tried to find what kind of floss it was online…with little to no luck. It seems that Designer Stitches went under in the early 2000s. This doesn’t shock me.
So, after three days and getting almost nowhere, I decided to frog it all and start over with new floss in as close a color approximation I could get. And the fabric tore. Not just a little, but a massive amount.
So, undeterred yet, I went to Michael’s and got new Aida and new floss. And I started up again. I got part of Dorothy completed and was bored. It was mostly all one color with no shading, no changes, etc. So I put it away until I could figure out what to do.
I then decided to restart it again with different colors and had figured out shading and other things to make it look really pretty and more natural. And got the same part of Dorothy done.
Then the holidays hit. Then life and other projects took over. Things I wanted to work on, or gifts for other people. It kind of fell to the back.
I kept promising the person that I would get it done, but in the back of my head, I had some doubts. However, being the stubborn person I am, I kept insisting I would do it.
Tonight, I threw in the towel. The design itself is boring as hell, and I just can’t bring myself to work on it. It physically kills all desire to stitch in me…and that is most definitely not ok.
So, I messaged them and told them that the chart was getting the better of me. I explained that it wasn’t a lack of ability on my part, it was a lack of enjoyment. That the chart was dull and that the final image wouldn’t be nice enough to have hanging around. I offered to stitch another Oz chart. I have the Brooke’s Books that I can make ornaments of, or the Little Stitcher’s chart which I think is beautiful and unique.
Instead, I was told to throw it away (first), then keep it (second), then send it back (third) and then finally asked to show what I had accomplished of it. Which, I happily did. I have no idea what the response will be.
I’m not quite sure how I feel about the situation. On the one hand, I am disappointed in myself for not finishing it and letting them down. On the other hand, I feel like I did try my hardest and I did offer to both send it back (with the chart, new fabric and a color list so that if they wanted to have someone else try it they could) and stitch something else instead, so it wasn’t like I didn’t try to rectify it. At this point, I’ve put close to $30 into it (and I can’t imagine the original kit cost more than that) and started it so many times, that I feel like I did give it a legitimate chance…but I still feel bad.
Regardless, I will never stitch something at someone’s request ever again. If I finish something and think it would be enjoyed by someone, I’ll happily gift it to them. But it seems like once I decide to do it as a gift, it becomes a job and not a hobby…and that ruins all pleasure I could get from it.
Thoughts? Am I wrong? Am I a bad person?