Sometime last year I discovered a channel on You Tube call Flosstube. Flosstube videos all feature people who cross stitch. They share their completed projects, works in progress, and plans for future projects or goals for the next month. They also share their recent purchases and what they already have in their stash. Some show their stitching spots and organization methods. It's great. You find stitchers who have been at it for decades as well as people who have only recently discovered this craft. A lot of tips and information is shared. I like watching Flosstube while stitching.
It is just very interesting to me to watch and recall how the cross stitching community has changed over the years. I still vividly remember the elation I felt the first time I typed cross stitch in a search engine about 20-25 years ago. I had no idea how popular my hobby was and I was thrilled at how much information was available and for ways to connect with other likeminded stitchers. Back then AOL chat was all the rage and there was a rec.crafts. message board. Then there were Yahoo groups. Then we had forums on EZboard (later named Yuku). I was so sad when the forums died down, seemingly overnight. Where did everybody go? Even a lot of the bloggers just stopped. Bit by bit Facebook groups formed. Enter in also Instagram and Youtube. You used to hear stitchers say the craft was dying down. This no doubt in reaction to so many local needlework shops closing doors. In their place came more and more websites we could order from. Now many buy their charts from Etsy, sometimes direct from the designer.
Watching these Flosstube channel videos I would often hear of Stitch Maynia. Eventually, I was curious enough to find and join the group once I knew how it was spelled. It is Stitch Maynia, not mania. Why? The name grew out of an event that took place that year with the guidelines being to start a new cross stitch project every day for the first fifteen days in May. The idea was not completely new, as pretty much every year there would be some sort of challenge that began January 1st. Stitch only from Stash, or stitch 12 ornaments, or start 10 new projects, or guilt free January, etc.
This is just a Facebook version. Part of the fun is that it the activity of a group that is very easy going. No long list of rules. No drama. No competition. The flavor is more like, "here's a thing we are going to do, join us if you want. Oh, and feel free to modify it to your liking and you can still join in with us." So, this year, there are people doing the original "start a new project each day for the first 15 days of May" but there are probably more people doing their own custom plan so that they can also participate in the fun.
I am doing it! All those various incarnations of other challenges in the past always piqued my interest but I knew I probably could not see them through so I never did enter in. This one for some reason enticed me. It does sound like a pretty crazy thing to do. Most people say having that much going at once would be overwhelming and probably never get anything done. That is a very valid point. Here's the thing for me. I have such a huge stash of so many kits, charts, projects that I love. Tons. More than I can stitch in my life. I decided it is just as crazy (maybe more) to own all these things and never even start them. You can't have a finish if you never start. So that justifying part was easy. Now to choose 15. Uhm. Impossible. I have way more than 15 that I love and want to start. Some gals are doing 31 starts, one for each day of May. I have even more than 31 projects that I love and want to do. So, I came up with a little system whereby I have made an initial group that I choose a project from each day using random number generator to make the choice... because I can't. Oh, of course I could, but it was just too much work and taking too long to prep. So on with the show! I am a Mayniac. Goal: 31 new starts in May.
Sorry for the long-winded post here. I will follow with another post to show you my starts from the first week.