Some people just like to needle. Often men of a certain age. It seems to be their amusement to see whether the can get a reaction.
I grew up with lots of them around, so it rarely works, but it does churn up interesting conversations.
Over the weekend I had such a conversation - it started out about freehand embroidery "don't you think there is a lot of it about?"
I explained that I felt that it was a medium that allowed creativity but avoided the need for a lot of hand finishing or embellishing. Therefore it was great for people who want to make hand crafted products which can retail at an affordable price.
Then he let on that he was a friend of a friend of another freehand embroiderer, based in England, and that they had just got a great contract. "Doesn't that make you feel bad? Doesn't that make you ask why them, why not you?"
It made me feel - "wow thats great", "handmade being appreciated", "expanding the market", "chance for us all".
Perhaps it is because I use twitter a lot - its a great way to dip in and out of people's lives in a water cooler way. Many of the people I chose to follow are other makers - and what you get are a string of triumphs and failures, good news and set backs. If I read it and felt bad every time I heard that someone had got a great stockist or felt smug when I heard that their sewing machine broke . . . well . . . it would be getting entertainment in a very warped way. Aside from that, it would be very exhausting.
So dear needling chap at the weekend, if you happen to read this blog, may I just stress I was sincere in my hope that you pass on my congratulations, and in my hope that together we continue to expand the market for beautifully handmade in the UK items - you can never have enough.