personalizing a purchased embroidery pattern

So this FO is basically one big inside joke—forgive me! But it’s a great example of how you can take a pattern and personalize it for your intended recipient. I’ve actually done so twice with this lion by Penguin & Fish, who normally only says “ROAR.”

lion embroidery

One of my favorite coworkers, Emily (who I used to be in the same knitting group as!), is prone to some, shall we say, theatrics. If frustrations are reaching a tipping point, she will relatively calmly say “ROAR!” to express her anger. Sometimes she is so annoyed about a person she’ll call them “a dumb dummy.” And for some inexplicable reason, she’s always saying “honk” or “hello honk” when answering the phone. And sometimes she gets this urge to spill water on the floor. Perhaps I have painted a picture of a mentally unstable person? No, it’s just Emily, one of the funniest, kindest people I know. For her last day at the office, Beth and I cooked up a customized lion embroidery. He’s saying all her favorite phrases—and even he couldn’t resist tipping that glass of water out. But look, he’s just as sweet and calm as you’d expect.

I stitched it onto Kona Snow and used a cheap embroidery hoop and found various flosses in my stash, so this guy came together really quickly and easily.¬†When I made this pattern once before, from the kit, it was for a friend I met in yoga class. We eventually joined a studio together, then started seeing Iyengar senior instructor Joan White together. So when she was expecting, I embroidered this little guy with a modification: I stuck out his tongue and wrote “simhasana” below; that’s the Sanskrit for Lion Pose. I have only a photo I took with my phone of this and I can’t even find it now! (I did this years ago.)

Who will get a little lion next?

5 Responses to personalizing a purchased embroidery pattern

  1. Emily says:

    Heeeeeyyyyyy! (that’s an inside joke)

    When I opened this perfectly personalized present, I called Erin and Beth dumb dummies (also a term of affection). I “spilled” a bit of my rhubarb spritzer on the floor of the restaurant and I roared with enthusiasm! I haven’t stopped honking about it since.

    Seriously, this is one of my favorite gifts ever. I just love how thoughtful it is from the planning to the stitching. I can’t wait to laugh about the story behind it forever. It will be so fun to unpack this some day at a new job or new home and be overtaken with nostalgia and laughter of the good old days back in 2014.

    Sometimes, as a maker of things, you forget-or never know-how special your efforts can be to a recipient. This was a perfect reminder of how great GETTING a handmade gift can make you feel. I just love it.


    • Mintyfresh says:

      It was such fun to make it for you—debating the exact perfect phrases—and I’m so glad you love it too! You’re the best. Now let’s plan a “working day” together soon.

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