Teaser: A is for Aro Pendant

Handdrawn illustration of a green meadow foreground with green pine trees growing against various green-hued mountain ridgelines. Scene is overlaid with the dark green/light green/white/grey/black stripes of the aromantic pride flag. The text Aro Worlds Crafts sits across the image in a black, antique handdrawn type, separated by two ornate Victorian-style black dividers.

I’m working on a few different projects at the moment, involving fiction and stitching alike. But, because I am really pleased with how one project is going, I thought I’d post a teaser photo of my forthcoming pendant/keychain-sized embroidery pattern:

A photo of a necklace formed by a miniature wooden oval-shaped embroidery hoop attached to a black nylon cord. Inside the hoop sits a piece of cream coloured fabric decorated with the letter "A" surrounded by roses, leaves and stems. The "A" has one side filled in with the green/light green/white/grey/black stripes of the aromantic pride flag; the rest of the letter is outlined in black. The stems are sewn in green, the leaves in light green, and the roses in grey and white. The cord is attached to a black breakaway clasp, and the necklace sits on a blue microfibre blanket.

This tester/experimental piece isn’t perfect: I used cheap thread from a kit, I don’t have gold jump hoops in my stash of findings, and I haven’t erased the heat-erasable pen I used to draw the pattern. (While the inked lines of the pattern are visible after sewing, they’re not horribly obvious in real life. Folks with non-erasable or washable pens and markers should still give this project a go!) It turned out much cuter than expected, though, so I’ll be keeping it.

The hoop is a pendant-sized hoop I bought from Spotlight, and I know folks may not have access to one of this specific size, making it problematic to offer up a pattern! But this piece also looks good set inside a 7.5 cm / 3 inch round hoop for wall art, and I’m working on making this design into a patch. If you can’t source mini oval embroidery hoops, you’ll still be able to sew this.

The best part about this piece? It’s so quick to stitch up!

Embroidery Kit Makeover: Allo-Aro Flowers

Handdrawn illustration of a green meadow foreground with green pine trees growing against various green-hued mountain ridgelines. Scene is overlaid with the dark green/light green/white/grey/black stripes of the aromantic pride flag. The text Aro Worlds Crafts sits across the image in a black, antique handdrawn type, separated by two ornate Victorian-style black dividers.

To everybody who doesn’t want another embroidery-themed post, I apologise. Another lockdown has taken my anxiety disorder to just short of “breakdown”. I’m in what I call the “spending my days desperately trying not to think” stage, in which anxiety or distress about one big thing leaves me unable to manage (read: “muddle through with”) my many normal anxieties. Since there’s no immediate release from the main trigger, I’m floundering.

(While Australia is having conversations about lockdowns and mental health, there isn’t enough acknowledgement of the way a pandemic–our health now more obviously impacted by other people’s actions–creates additional stresses for folks who already couldn’t trust family, friends, doctors and politicians to ensure our health and safety. This stress doubles when we’re still required to interact with those people who placed their privilege, convenience or pleasure above our health.)

Sewing provides me the distraction needed to steer my brain past the jagged rocks of crying panic. As I had one more K-Mart embroidery kit, well.

A bamboo embroidery hoop sitting on a blue microfibre blanket. The hoop is filled with cream cloth featuring a garland of assorted flowers and leaves around the centre-positioned text "be kind". The text is written in a loose, handdrawn type and backstitched in green. The leaves and stems are stitched in green, aqua or light blue, and feature a variety of black, chain, split, straight and satin stitches. The flowers are stitched in white, gold, yellow and dark pink, and feature a variety of chain, satin, straight, woven wheel and god's eye stitches. Small seed beads in pink, gold and aqua fill the centres of some flowers. All colours used in the piece are taken from @neopronouns's allosexual aromantic-spectrum flag.
Continue reading “Embroidery Kit Makeover: Allo-Aro Flowers”

Embroidery Kit Makeover: Idemro Best Self

Handdrawn illustration of a green meadow foreground with green pine trees growing against various green-hued mountain ridgelines. Scene is overlaid with the dark green/light green/white/grey/black stripes of the aromantic pride flag. The text Aro Worlds Crafts sits across the image in a black, antique handdrawn type, separated by two ornate Victorian-style black dividers.

I’ll admit it: I’m not a fan of generic positivity. Maybe I am a bitter, loveless aro … and maybe I’m a disabled person who’s tired of how the ableds implore me to “look on the bright side” and “be grateful it isn’t worse”. Either way, in my opinion, there’s a special place in hell reserved for whomever first uttered the words “live, laugh, love”!

Given that such phrases aren’t to my taste, I hadn’t planned on stitching this kit … until I saw them on clearance for $2 AUD. Why not practice my satin stitch by giving one an idemromantic makeover during Victoria’s fifth lockdown?

A bamboo embroidery hoop sitting on a blue microfibre blanket. The hoop is filled with cream cloth featuring the text "be your best self" with each word satin stitched in grey, mint, white and pink taken from the idemromantic pride flag. Each word is outlined by back stitch in a slightly darker or lighter shade of grey, mint, white and pink, and given a three-dimensional/shadow effect via more black satin stitch.
Continue reading “Embroidery Kit Makeover: Idemro Best Self”

Patreon Exclusive: Getting to Be

Cartoon-style illustration of shrubs, roses and grasses growing against a grey stone wall. Scene is overlaid with the mint/light mint/white/light pink/pink stripes of the abro pride flag. The text Marchverse sits across the image in a white, fantasy-style type.

Even in Ihrne, young men idle together about the street, but something so ordinary becomes even more complicated when Harper learns why Mama wishes him to befriend anyone but Nevolin ein Yinne.

He’s never understood why people treat attraction as so powerful, constant and all-encompassing that it must be indulged beyond rationality.

Setting: Marchverse, two years before the beginning of the war referenced in Their Courts of Crows. The Different in Other Ways stories introduce a brand-new set of characters and circumstances; readers don’t need any familiarity with my other works.

Getting to Be takes place some days after Men Bound by Blood but, due to change of narrator, can (probably) be read with no prior knowledge of the first three stories. Readers should note, however, that this piece isn’t a stand-alone. In other words: many questions are raised, few are answered.

Content Advisory: References to classism; references to misogyny, cissexism, and heterosexism; casual references to sex and sexual attraction; casual references to romance, kissing and dating; vague/veiled/non-specific references to self-harm; casual references to blood, death, necromancy and decomposition.

Links: Series Master Post | Patreon

Previous: Booksellers Who Know Things | Men Bound by Blood | Jeile

Length: 3, 101 words.

Continue for Story Excerpt

How to Ally: Advising for Sex-Negative Language

Handdrawn illustration of a yellow pasture against a background of hills and sparodic trees. Scene is overlaid with the dark green/light green/white/yellow/gold stripes of the allo-aro pride flag. The text Aro Worlds Discussion Post sits across the image in a black, antique handdrawn type, separated by two ornate Victorian-style black dividers.

Note: I consider this site’s content advisory page sufficient for non-fiction posts, but as I need asexuals to read this essay, I’ll begin by saying that I reference sexual attraction, sex acts, sex repulsion and sexualisation. And romance! I also cite common examples of sex negativity/sex-negative language, misogyny, ableism, cissexism, heterosexism, amatonormativity and allo-aro antagonism.

I now seldom participate in–and even actively avoid–online general aromantic and a-spec spaces.

This isn’t because I don’t wish to meet other aros. This isn’t because I’m uninterested in what other aros have to say. This also isn’t entirely because chronic pain limits my online interaction and I can’t afford the supports/technology needed for full access (although this is the reason why I fail in replying to comments and asks).

This is because any space predominantly occupied by asexuals results in my being exposed to posts that hurt like a punch to the gut.

Continue reading “How to Ally: Advising for Sex-Negative Language”

Book Edition: Love in the House of the Ravens

Cartoon-style illustration of shrubs, roses and grasses growing against a grey stone wall. Scene is overlaid with the dark green/light green/white/yellow/gold stripes of the allo-aro pride flag. The text Marchverse sits across the image in a white, fantasy-style type.
Cover image for Love in the House of the Ravens by K. A. Cook. Cover shows a wooden bed set against a stone wall, with filmy curtains draped over the wall and bed. A translucent room divider is set off to the side, with a chest and boxes visible through it. The subtitle "a marchverse short story" is written in white handdrawn type. Title and author text is written in brown handdrawn type.

After seven years in Rajad, Darius has fallen out of love with the unattainable and avoided falling in love with the companionate. If he lives at arm’s length from passion, isn’t that better than risking the abuse his fellow mercenaries so eagerly deliver to an autistic who can’t quite fit in? But when the right person suggests a romantic relationship, “yes” still won’t grace his tongue, and Darius hasn’t the least idea why. He likes Harlow. Shouldn’t he want to love her?

The only thing he can do is turn to his old friends and rescuers, the Ravens. They have an answer if he can stumble his way through asking the question … but it may upend every truth Darius thinks he knows about himself.

Love in the House of the Ravens is a story about what it means to be aromantic and autistic when the world isn’t accepting of either.

Continue reading “Book Edition: Love in the House of the Ravens”

Pride Month Patch Patterns: (Not Aro) Queer Text

Six digitally-created versions of cross stitch pride patches, arranged in two rows of three, against a background of a textured partially-translucent aromantic pride flag. Text between the two rows reads Aro Pride Patches in black type. Patches include a rectangular patch in aroflux zigzag stripes, an idemromantic heart, an aro flag text patch reading "aro", a square in quoiromantic stripes, an arrow design in allo-aro colours and a second arrow in nebularomantic colours.

I thought I’d continue the Pride Month theme by expanding my library of patterns to encompass non-aromantic identities. Alas, this isn’t a fully-inclusive collection! Many identities require letters not yet designed, as I’ve completed only one of my patch pattern alphabets. While today’s patterns do use some new or modified letters, time constraints meant that I chose identities with simpler-for-me names.

Four cross stitch patches sitting on top of a collection of various flag, arrow and heart pride patches. All feature the word "pride" sewn in the colours of the transgender (navy background with blue/white/pink border), rainbow (white background with white border), allo-aro (purple background with mottled pink/grey/mauve border) and nebularomantic (mint background with darker mint border) pride flags. Each letter is outlined in backstitch and every patch is finished with a buttonhole stitch edging.

Additional queer, polysexual, asexual and bisexual text patch patterns–along with a lower-case alphabet that can be adapted to any horizontal, five-striped pride flag–are available at my patch pattern gallery. Folks wishing “genderfluid” or “omnisexual” patches can use this alphabet to create their own patterns by following my tutorial. I also have several aromantic-spectrum text patterns, many of which can be adapted for asexual spectrum identities.

Folks who need help with materials, stitching, finishing or attaching patches should check out last week’s pride text tutorial and my tutorial master page.

Continue reading “Pride Month Patch Patterns: (Not Aro) Queer Text”