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What is the Slow Movement?

I am aware that in our “info” blurb I talk about us being inspired by the Slow Movement, and I thought it would be good to write a bit of something about this as it is an idea.

I found this short film called Music & Life, produced by Trey Parker & Matt Stone (perhaps best known for their South Park animated TV series). It animates a short recording by philosopher Alan Watts. I think the punchline really sums it up for me (but with added needlepoint!).

Originally focused around the issues of food and food production, the Slow movement has gradually come to represent a whole way of living which is a reaction to the fast-paced, disconnected world we live in. Its core values are a respect for tradition and an understanding of the value of where and how an object is made.

“The Slow Movement is a cultural revolution against the notion that faster is always better. The Slow philosophy is not about doing everything at a snail’s pace. It’s about seeking to do everything at the right speed. Savouring the hours and minutes rather than just counting them. Doing everything as well as possible, instead of as fast as possible. It’s about quality over quantity in everything from work to food to parenting.”

Carl Honoré, author of “In Praise of Slow”

The Slow Movement started with the Slow Food organization in Italy in 1986. Slow Food began as a resistance movement against  fast food chains, fighting for the resurgence of national foods and cultural cuisines. Supporters of the Slow Movement do not stress a jump to the past, but a slowing down of life in a modern world. They argue for an increase of quality, in food, work, retail, and life, by a decrease in speed. The Slow Movement philosophy calls for a more enjoyable life through improvements in every apect of daily life and through appreciating and enjoying the experience of life’s journey.

I think our needlepoint kits follow this idea. A needlepoint project is a slow project and by its nature the journey is the key.  In our designs we aim to use a balance and variety of colours and shapes which make each aspect of the stitching project slightly different, keeping the project both varied and challenging as you stitch. Of course the finished product is also beautiful and long lasting, and so it has a function long after you have finished stitching.

Needlepoint is both contemplative,  engaging and sociable. We design our kits so that you can concentrate on them totally, or you can think and dream, you can listen to music, the radio, audio books, and you can chat with friends and loved ones as you stitch. You can enter the state of stitching relaxation and creativity for as long or as short a time as you have/wish. You can stitch on the train, the bus, in the garden or park, on the sofa, in bed, in your lunch break, in the evenings or during weekends and holidays. I think I have managed all of these at some time. I used to particularly like a few minutes stitching before teaching my university art class. There was great pleasure in taking a few moments for some quiet relaxation and personal creativity before the demands of the day took over…