Starting sashiko

I've been interested in embroidery for a while, both sisters Laura and Abby do all kinds of hand stitching, and while I love the results of Laura's Alabama Stitch stuff or Abby's original designs, I've never felt the urge to do handwork of my own. When I read about Sashiko on the purl bee a while ago (tutorial, lovely project) I was drawn to its simplicity and strong graphic statement. When we visited Purl Patchwork I bought a Japanese how-to book as well as the thread I needed. Here's their Sashiko supplies page.

I like embroidery because it's a similar alchemy to knitting. You don't need tons of supplies or fancy stuff, just time and careful stitches can make a lovely thing. I am working on a super-simple potholder and have found that my hammock makes a great place to stitch. 

I was watching both my boys and Laura's boys earlier in the week, stitching peacefully and watching the sky as they scrambled around a climbing tree in the backyard.

I think they realized things were TOO peaceful and three of them joined me in the hammock with Isaac looking on-

I guess that's another nice thing about stitching like this- it's easy to put down and pick back up again when those few quiet moments of the day arrive.