Like most things domestic, my mother taught me the basics of embroidery when I was a kid, but it was all done in an applied way: She’d have me do some French knots on a set of napkins, or whipstitch the edge of a blanket. Some of my friends were into counted cross-stitch but I never took to it. And there’s really no chance you’ll find me sitting on my couch with a hoop and floss – I’ve got too much knitting to do. BUT, I’ve been collecting inspiring stitchery lately (which I’ll round up here at some point).
Anyway, blah blah blah. Embroidery. I’d never heard of Erica Wilson before I saw the New York Times obit flit by in my Twitter stream and feed reader back in mid-December. “The Julia Child of needlework.” Weeks later, the always charming Cathy of California posted a little tribute, noting that someone had posted a few episodes of “Erica” — Wilson’s 1970s PBS show — on YouTube. I starred the post and didn’t get back to it until now. And it happens that the one of three videos I clicked on has her doing oversized stitching, showing off a wall-hanging and a chair seat before demonstrating how to stitch a big ol’ owl out of heavy rug yarn. It’s ’70s week on Yarnover! Or maybe it’s always ’70s week. But seriously, watch her do this: