“A Portrait of Santa” by Donna Vermillion Giampa
Like Frankenstein’s monster, this project has been an albatross around my neck for about twelve years.* I’m not kidding — twelve years. The copyright on the pattern says “1992” and I think it was bought shortly thereafter. A friend of mine, a lover of old-fashioned Santas, bought it thinking she was going to stitch it. I “borrowed” the pattern from her and she’s never seen it since.
A friend of mine, Anna of Stitch Bitch, had a UFO once of a rooster that she was making for her mother to match, if I recall correctly, a recently redecorated kitchen. That was about ten years ago and I believe the “Frickin’ Chicken,” as it came to be known, is still unfinished. Likewise, I am dubbing this project “A Portrait of Satan.” This nickname is, of course, no reflection on the quality of the pattern itself, which is excellent.
This pattern is a perfect example of bad stitching timing. I was initially attracted to this design because of all the intricate details of Santa’s face and the holly and mistletoe. I, too, love the look of old-fashioned Santas. I’m not religious, so when Christmas season comes around (as it is relentlessly does) Santa is a traditional cultural figure I can relate to. This Santa reminds me of the Kris Kringle figures from when I was a child and we lived in Germany for a few years while my father was in the Army.
Also, at the time I started “A Portrait of Santa,” I was really into stitching naturalistic-looking, complicated patterns with a lot of floss changes. For example, I was also stitching the Teresa Wentzler “Fruit Bellpull” at the same time (see right). I finished “Fruit Bellpull” in 1996 and it’s now hanging in the entrance to my place, but, alas, poor Santa sat in a drawer for years, forgotten except for the occasional discovery by accident and subsequent guilt trip.
My tastes changed. My patience for frequent floss changes dwindled. My love of simpler graphics and variegated floss flourished. And poor Santa languished in a drawer.
But no more! I am hereby resolving to have this project finished by Christmas 2007 to present as a gift to my poor friend who lent me the pattern those many years ago (whose birthday is today, by the way). It’s time to stitch or cut floss!
*Pardon me for mixing my Victorian metaphors, gentle readers. You’ll have to forgive me on the grounds of extreme emotional disturbance brought on by prolonged exposure to the same pattern.