I decided that before one of this week's finished pieces goes to its forever home, it needs a little extra love. Pride in your finishing isn't everything, but it's almost everything.
I brought it with me here, to the coffee shop where I do so much work that we call it my field office. Between bouts of pattern writing I ripped out the imperfect seam and started sewing a new one.
A nice little girl, maybe six years old, came in with her mother for a hot chocolate. I liked her immediately, as you often do take to a person whose drink of choice is also yours.
As they sipped and chatted, it was pretty obvious the girl was curious about my work. The mother quietly told her to stop staring, but I asked if she'd like a closer look.
She stood at my shoulder and I showed her what I was doing with the needle. I chanted a little bit for her, the way I always do in my head when I sew by hand. Up, around, down, through. Up, around, down, through.
"Oh!" she said, after about six stitches. "I get it. You have to do it the same way, in the same places, all the way to the end. And that's how you win."
Kid, you're hired.