University of Canterbury marketing professor Ekant Veer is widely known for his quick wit, creativity and energy.
Lesser known is the fact he’s a big fan of cross-stitching.
Every night, Ekant pulls out his needle and thread and begins work on a project. His latest work of art is of baby Yoda. A clever quote usually accompanies a floral border and the finished products are mostly gifted to friends.
“I really needed an excuse to be off my phone and not focussed on technology,” says Ekant.
He purchased 250 colours just the other day and has great plans to recreate Lazer Kiwi.
For Ekant, it is all muscle memory as it is a skill he learned from his grandmother when he was 10. After picking it back up for the first time almost two months ago, his 16-year-old daughter decided she too would like to give it a go.
“She is much better than me though,” says Ekant.
“I’m going a lot slower and just enjoying it when I get the chance.”
Ekant says while it began as a mindful way to switch off from social media in the evenings it has become a really interactive activity.
He intends to keep the cross stitching buzz alive, unlike his lockdown sourdough starters.
“I tried all the lockdown fads but this one has truly stuck.”
Ekant says if he can do it, anyone can.
“It’s like paint by numbers and I am truly unartistic.”
He also loves how it challenges traditional stereotypes.
“Cross stitching is cool and I am no less of a person or man for doing it. It’s manly as!”
Ekant has even inspired some of his students to get into cross-stitching. One student reported that not only does he find it meditative, but he’s no longer automatically turning on the TV and grabbing chips and a drink when he gets home.
“His snacking is down 90%, proof that cross-stitching is saving men's lives!”
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