I’ve been thinking about comedy and humor recently. Remember way back when in my Welcome post, when I said I wasn’t a needlework humorist? I’ve been trying to figure out why. Some of my current thoughts on the subject make me think that while embroidery is inherently healing, friendly, and beautiful, it doesn’t lend itself to humor like knitting or sewing… Why? I asked.
I’ve come to the conclusion that the only way to really write humor well may be from a position of pain. Pain is where we find the truths about ourselves, and that kind of truth is whence humor really stems. Even the Yarn Harlot’s humor stems from the mistakes that happen with gauge or with working through a misunderstood pattern. Maybe that’s why it’s hard for embroiderer’s to move to humor about their work — when I don’t get gauge on a sweater I can end up with a finished project that would alternately fit André the Giant or a Barbie doll. When I mis-stitch a flower petal in a piece of embroidery, I end up with… a misshapen flower petal. Or, when the sampler threads bleed all over the bottom of the fabric and it never comes out… is that funny or just sad?
Yet I can see many opportunities for humor in my sewing – the T-Rex T-tunic for example (always remember to put eas in the arm measurements or you will have T-Rex arms when you put it on!) Turning something flat into something 3-D is ripe for humor. Whereas flat work, like the misshapen flower petal, choosing the wrong color in a needle painting, or my struggle to get the eye in the right place on a profile figure doesn’t have quite the hilarity factor (for the record, I just now realized that my problem is always putting it too far back on the facial profile — drawings will now improve, probably dramatically. Funny though? Probably more pathetic.)
So I’m still trying to find humor in my stitching. Anybody know any funny stitching stories you want to share?