I did something unthinkable this weekend — I threw away a cross-stitch project I had been working on.
This was not a decision I made lightly. Although I have plenty of UFOs that I may or may not ever finish, I have never thrown away a project before.
Mostly I didn’t want to get rid of it because of the perceived waste:
–throwing away good fabric
–throwing away used thread
–the time I had already invested in the project
Fortunately, the project was a small one. It was a single ornament — part of a set of 8 ornaments. I had already stitched 4 of the patterns in the set. So, I was only losing a 4-inch square piece of evenweave and a relatively small amount of thread.
So, why did I want to throw it away? I wanted to toss it because I had made several errors stitching it that affected the look of the piece. I had already ripped and resewn one section, and then I discovered additional mistakes, and it was too late to pick them out. Usually I just soldier on if a mistake is minor, but these were so bad (to my mind) that I no longer wanted to finish the piece. I was actively resisting working on it, and it was preventing me from wanting to stitch at all.
After it sat on my desk for over a week, untouched, I took a deep breath and gave myself permission to just toss it.
I thought I would feel a twinge of guilt over the waste, but you know what? I felt relieved. Throwing away this bungled project removed guilt rather than added to it. I felt a tiny, tiny weight lift from my shoulders because I no longer had to work on this project which I now hated.
Now I am free to work on something I will enjoy. But, I think I will take a break from this particular set of ornaments…