&Stitches Swap

My first blog post on Existitchialism was to show off the hoop I made for my &Stitches swap partner Liz (a.k.a. The Stitchsmith) in New Zealand. Today I’d like to share the lovely hoop I received from her.

swap hoop

She included a letter explaining the background of the piece, and this hoop is full of symbolism: “Aotearoa” was the name the Maori people gave to New Zealand, as its three islands resembled a long white cloud in the sea. She has stitched up the map of her country using a wool yarn produced there from their famous merino sheep. Isn’t that a beautiful chain stitch?

swap hoop 2

The curly lines are meant to suggest the koru fern, New Zealand flora that symbolizes new life and new beginnings. (In a strange coincidence, both Liz and I were busy moving during the swap, so the koru fern was indicative of her chosen “place”–her home of New Zealand, and also of both our current situations. How cool is that?

She has put so much thought into every part of the design, the materials used, including the colors of the piece, as black and white are New Zealand’s national colors.

I love the way Liz finished the back of the hoop as well. I’ve tried many different ways of finishing the backs of my hoops, and still haven’t found a method that suits me.  This is quite cute, though, and I like how the label can be seen in the center of the gathered fabric.

swap hoop 4

swap hoop 3
Needless to say, this hoop is getting a place of honor on the wall of my new home. Big thanks to the &Stitches blog for coordinating a great swap! 🙂