Time for a comeback

Needlepoint has to be due for a comeback. With knitting and crochet having such a renaissance, surely this wonder of woolly stitches will be back in the limelight soon.

This is one of my treasures, a rather large picture created by my grandmother. It’s huge and every tiny stitch is done by hand. It was completed long before I came along but I know it took literally years of work. She wouldn’t be all that pleased if she knew that I actually love it most for its imperfections. There’s something so endearing about the slightly wonky expression on the little figurine’s face and the fact that the background colour of wool changes slightly part way down the picture. My grandmother obviously didn’t buy enough supplies all in one go and had to make do with another batch number at a later stage.

The picture sits rather badly in its frame but I could never bring myself to redo it as that’s just the way it is and I like the slight wrinkles where it hasn’t been stretched properly (though it does make me a little sad that she probably couldn’t afford to have her work professionally stretched and framed, and just did her best with it.) It’s on display in the hallway of my home, just as it always hung in her hall too. There’s something rather comforting about the family continuity of this. I also have a large floral picture embroidered by her sister, which I intend to put nearby. I like having the two of them represented in a way I’ll see every day. They were quite competitive, so I do wonder what they’d make of having their work side by side.

I’ve never tackled a needlepoint (or ‘tapestry’) project as big as this, and knowing how long it takes to complete a front for a regular-sized cushion, I’m not sure I’ll ever have the nerve. It’s a shame as there is something quite lovely about working with small stitches in wool. Once a small area of the canvas is complete,  I can never resist the urge to keep running my fingers over the stitches. It’s almost as if I’ve created my own firm cloth. I wonder if this is how it feels to weave something? (No room for a loom in my small flat, so I’m not likely to find out.)

I still have one needlepoint project on the go. It’s come to a bit of a standstill. I wasn’t quite in the mood to do the right thing and finish it off but I have given in to the needlepoint urge with something rather smaller. I bought a this little kit for a ‘Tiny Red House Scissor Keeper’ some time ago and never got round to doing anything with it. As you can see, it’s still not quite made it to the project finish line but each side of the tiny house is complete, I’m just having a few construction issues as my brain is refusing to get into the rhythm of the long-legged cross stitch required to bind the shapes together. I’ll have another go tonight. I can’t wait to see if this scissor keeper is the solution to losing my scissors between the sofa cushions.

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2 Comments

Filed under Sewing

2 responses to “Time for a comeback

  1. jencarrollva

    I learned to needlepoint two years ago and I love it. I completed one project and am three-quarters of my way through another one but am lagging a bit on it. While it takes a long time to complete a project (for me at least!) It is such a soothing hobby – the repition of it, like knitting, is so calming – which I definitely need in my hectic life 🙂 I have a dear friend who is a needlepoint expert and I am constantly dazzled by the numerous works in her home. Your post inspires me to pull out my canvas and give it another go! Thanks Jenny!!

  2. Rosie

    What a treasure! I think your grandmother would be delighted that you’re still enjoying her work.

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