Back in high school I worked as a dishwasher and cook at a local restaurant. One of my coworkers brought her needlework to do for a little while in the afternoon if business slowed enough for us to take a break. She did bargello, and I was fascinated. I got a copy of Dorothy Kaestner’s Four-Way Bargello and–with the help of my coworker initially–started what has turned out to be a lifelong hobby.
I still have some of the designs I did back then. They are all closely related to designs in the book, but even back then, I was altering the designs myself.