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Celebrating Guys Who Stitch

Le 16 February 2017
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    Celebrating Guys Who Stitch

      What do you think about when you hear the term ‘Man Cave?’ Usually things like pool tables, recliners, a big screen television, and a mini fridge come to mind, right? You don’t typically think about the space being strewn with embroidery needles or crochet hooks, thread or yarn, patterns and embroidery hoops, but why not? There are plenty of guys out there who are immersed in the needle arts. That’s why we thought we might take a moment (and a blog post) to celebrate them and their stitching talents.   We brought together a few of our favorite dudes who stitch and asked them to talk about their ideas about needlework and the importance of it. These three artists had incredibly thoughtful things to say about pursuing the needle arts and we're thrilled we get to share it all.   Jamie Chalmers, aka Mr. X Stitch [caption id="attachment_6172" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Jamie Chalmers aka Mr. X Stitch Jamie Chalmers aka Mr. X Stitch[/caption] In recent times, the thing that got me hooked about cross stitch is the way that it makes you feel in your soul. It’s hard to define, but you know it when it happens. The combination of creativity with the meditative process of stitching, taps into the great expanse of calm that underpins the concept of mindfulness. That and the fact that you end up with a nice gift for a friend or loved one—well, what’s not to love? I’ve been fortunate to teach cross stitch to hundreds of people over the years and it remains a constant pleasure. I’ve taught people from the age of eight to eighty and while it doesn’t always stick with everyone, it’s amazing to see people connect with that inner peace, and get into their own groove with stitching. Everyone has their own pace and while some people fight against it, if they let themselves tap into their own rhythms, it’s a really profound thing. Now I realize I’m just talking about cross stitch, but although on the face of it, it’s only a needlecraft, it goes much deeper than that. [caption id="attachment_6173" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Jamie Chalmers aka Mr. X Stitch Jamie Chalmers aka Mr. X Stitch[/caption] I genuinely believe that if everyone did a bit of stitching, the world would be a better place. If you’re reading these words and you know how to stitch, you should know how good it is, and I would encourage you to do what you can to share that experience with other people. It’s an honor to teach stitching, and it’ll teach you more about the craft than you’ll realize. So go out there and teach some people, why dontcha?   Dashielle De Leon [caption id="attachment_6176" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Dashielle De Leon Dashielle De Leon[/caption] I started doing crochet in 2012. My sister was expecting my niece and I wanted to give her a delicate handmade present. I thought it would have more meaning if it was something I created. That’s when I started watching videos online to learn how to do it. One day, after having done a couple of baby boots and an owl-shaped hat, I saw a gorgeous crocheted stuffed animal and I instantly fell in love with the Amigurumis. Since the beginning, crochet has meant love to me. It was my love for my niece that motivated me to teach myself the technique from the internet. When you embark on something with determination and passion, love is the engine that converts your enthusiasm into the strength to pursue your goals—love for the challenge, love for learning something new, love for creating. [caption id="attachment_6177" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Dashielle De Leon Dashielle De Leon[/caption] Following a crochet pattern is a good mental exercise. In order to focus on your craft, you have to disconnect from everything else while also organizing your inner thoughts. Doing that is a kind of meditation for me with multiple benefits: brain work, introspection, silence, and contemplation. Crocheting has taught me to be patient—to understand that good results need time and dedication. But especially, as a creative activity, crocheting is a way to express and challenge myself with every new project.   Stewart Easton [caption id="attachment_6174" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Stewart Easton Stewart Easton[/caption] I started stitching whilst studying for my MA Illustration course. One of the modules on the course was an experimental module where I was required to conduct a series of experiments using an unfamiliar medium and process. As long as my choice sat alongside the research I was conducting I was pretty much free to work anyway I wanted. 
I chose embroidery—I was researching folk art and outsider art, so cross stitch sat very well with this. Embroidery and stitch is such an important medium for me as it allows a softness of line, which I have not yet been able to achieve with pen or pencil. 
 [caption id="attachment_6175" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Stewart Easton Stewart Easton[/caption] My advice to a new stitcher would be to have an idea beforehand as to what you wish to create, and then to learn basic stitches until working with a needle becomes as natural as holding a pencil. Also, stick with it—as with all new processes, results look pretty lame to start with, but with perseverance things begin to change and your skills will grow.   We hope this has inspired you to start or continue your stitch work. It's a worthy hobby/living/art and will bring so much joy and creativity into your life. Choose from our Designer Collection of free patterns and get your stitch on!       Love and Threads, The DMC Team

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