Dec. 22 and Dec. 25 Coming Sooner than You Think

If you are the type to knit a baby blanket, cross stitch a pillow, crochet a shawl or embroider something clever for a holiday present, you might as well start now. Say you are doing a counted cross stitch present as a surprise. That means you have to work on it on the train or during lunch hour, or at night while you watch “television,” after your wife has gone to bed.

Hey, men do cross stitch too! And say you are doing more than one present.

We are here to help you find fun, interesting projects with flower themes for that someone in your life who loves flowers.

You came to Flower Power Daily, didn’t you? If you want cats, go somewhere else.

Moreover, if you, like me, procrastinate, there are a few projects here that can be done in a day or, hard to believe, in an hour. (There is even a cheat, which I will get to shortly.)

They say that embroidery is the new thing. (Remember when it was knitting?) Well. there are 87,000 stitchers on the Reddit r/embroidery page, and they now have their own wiki, to answer basic questions. When I checked on a Saturday afternoon there were more than 100 people on the page at the time. That’s traffic. And it’s Reddit. Expect some rude patterns but also some stunning work. And, oddly, a lot of avocados.

Embroidery

Long gone are the days when embroidery and piano were taught to increase digital dexterity. All so young men and ladies would have a beautiful “hand,” which is to say “handwriting.” Today, no one can even write script.

But the rediscovery of embroidery has been explosive. For some it was a way to stop smoking (or drinking). Something to do while they watch television. They can embroider while they chat, which they can’t do while they count cross stitch, a solitary occupation. (If you don’t know, don’t even ask.)

Besides, embroidery can be creative.

Sure you can use a pattern, like this beauty from and other adventures, which comes as a complete kit including materials, for $38. (They sell an entire Bloom series of bouquets, including one in black, beige and white, and rank their projects by skill level.)

Or, if you prefer, there is this from the always interesting Etsy, a downloadable pattern for advanced embroiderers: a stained glass window with a flower theme, $7.

Dang pretty. That would make a nice holiday present, if you could force yourself to give it up.

And then there is this stunner, from T. Burr. You can see that this is a step upward in subtlety and sophistication. The gradation of colors is painterly. This is art. But it’s not crewel embroidery, folks. Because it’s not using wool thread. You know that, right?

T. Burr is Trish B embroidery , a place where you can order patterns like the above, kits, needles, thread, books. She is based in South Africa, but knows how to send things to you. You can also watch videos, which can be repetitive, like this one on shading a silk pansy petal, part of embroidering flowers. (Turn off the music, which is annoying.) She calls what she does “painting,” and I’d go along with that. Patterns like this are for experienced embroiderers. If you have one of those on your holiday gift list, he or she would be knocked out to get a pattern from her. She is closed for inventory until October 18.

But you can also make up your own pattern. Use silk thread and it will shimmer. Make tiny stitches, and in a certain location, add a personal message: the embroidery becomes like a tattoo. Something personal, for only the person for whom it is intended to see.

Embroidery, you see, is fun. It’s not like knitting, which is tiresome. (Hold on, knitters. I’m getting to you.) It’s dainty.  And there are lots of things for beginners. Kits are available on Amazon, often from Asia, that offer inexpensive beginner’s kits. Something like the one up top will come with four patterns, a hoop to hold the cloth taut, needles and thread. And, of course instructions. $11.

Then there is this newfangled kind of embroidery called “ribbon” embroidery. This is that wall-hanging, gimmicky, kind of kitschy embroidery.  I know, I know. It’s kind of crafty. Some people would not even call it embroidery. And the ability to do it depends on a lot of practice. (It’s like those ads that say “results may vary and and may not reflect the typical purchaser’s experience, and are not intended to represent or guarantee that anyone will achieve the same or similar results.”) Now listen to me. Do not order a kit on Amazon.

These kits come from Asia. The instructions will be in Chinese. You will not be able to do ribbon embroidery. The ribbon will not be silk. No way. Some ribbons will be missing. If you like a challenge, go right ahead.

Instead, listen to Linda here. First, watch a good video like this one. I think flowers 6 and 9 are works of art, and I wonder how much she had to practice to get all ten, perfectly spaced, as she went around that little hoop. Also, such steady hands, and a great manicure.

Then order a kit like this one. It’s from England, so you know the instructions are going to be in,  you know, English. And it is pretty. It’s not, ahem, stumpwork. The above is from Laurelin, a site that says that ribbon embroidery was popular in Victorian times. The Laurelin “Christmas Wreath” silk ribbon embroidery kit, $38, includes silk dupioni fabric, embroidery thread, silk ribbons, needles, the design and full instructions. It fits a 6 to 8 inch hoop., which you need to supply.

Onward to

Knitting