Well, I wouldn't say it's been fun, but at least my blackwork piece is over 50% done. It might be 100% finished but I haven't decided yet. I'd like to do another border on the top and bottom, something with a little bit of color (green and blue are colors, granted, but they're dark and monocolored).
My usual confidence has deserted me though. This piece has been such a nightmare and I still haven't decided whether or not to fill those gaps at the end of two text lines. If I do fill them, what with? Something completely different? A motif from the green border? I have no idea. It seems like pressing forward is also pressing my luck.
In the end, I know that I will press on. I have a plan, I have a pattern and I want this present to be impressive. Depending on the person, handmade gifts can be viewed as a cop out, cheating at Christmas or something. The effort that goes into a pair of hand-knit gloves or mittens is often not understood by those who don't knit. However, it must be understood that my dad is the opposite. He would rather have something his children made than pretty much anything else on earth (possibly he would enjoy a case of fine single malt Scotch whiskey even more, but don't quote me). Baked goods, knit things, wood projects (my brother's arena), etc... He loves it. Watching his face when I tell him I baked him something is one of my favorite things on earth. It drives me to wear myself down to a lump of pain and exhaustion, no matter what, just to see him enjoy something I baked.
Stitching one of his favorite old rhymes with elaborate borders and framing it is something I know he'll adore. I know he'll love it as-is but I want it to be huge. For the past few years at Christmas I have focused on my parents. For the past five years my sister and I have done their stockings (since they did ours for so many years) and I've gotten my siblings just one or two things while trying to get four or five presents for my parents. This has been a problem since my income is extremely low but happily my parents love the hand-made.
99% sure that the final lower border will be the irises shown on the chart in some previous post. The same dark green for the stems and a lighter (but not super bright) blue for the flowers. Still sliightly unsure on the final top border. Happy to have it this far done though! I still love blackwork more than anything. The even, certitude of cross-stitch but with more flexibility, what's not to love?