Monday, July 27, 2009

Scratching the Needlepoint Itch

It turns out that yarn is not the only thing I have stashed.
With the introduction of needlepoint at the Tangled Web, I took a trip in the way-back machine to the time when I used to wield a needlepoint needle instead of a knitting needle.
It was years ago and I think I was attracted by the colors of yarn and embroidery floss that needlepointers worked with (yes, I am easily distracted by bright colors). I had become an avid knitter and was not looking for yet another artistic craft. But the pull of the canvases was strong and before I knew it, I had put knitting aside for this new pleasure.
My joy didn’t last long; I never mastered the basketweave stitch. I could only do the tent stitch which tended to warp the canvas. But I tent stitched away and made several pillows including an adorable tooth fairy pillow for my niece.
And I developed the really bad habit of buying canvases that caught my eye. Therein lies my stash. I have several canvases that are totally untouched. They were stored away and truthfully I forgot about them almost as soon as I bought them.
But the Web has needlepoint and I am experiencing the old stirrings. Lovely canvases, brilliant fibers in a variety of textures. My fingers are itching to try it again.
I went to my stash and found one of my old, untouched pieces. It is the seat cushion and back for a child-sized director’s chair. It has letters and numbers and is hard enough to be challenging and challenging enough to be fun.
I bought it almost 12 years ago. This too was to be made for my niece who was then a year old. Of course, now she is nearly 13 and won’t fit in a child’s size chair.
But my new granddaughter ought to fit it just fine.
So here I am, a knitter with the needlepoint itch. What to do?
I have decided to scratch the itch. I am putting down my knitting needles and settling in to learn how to needlepoint -- seriously. This means I probably won’t knit my husband’s annual birthday sweater; I hope he doesn’t mind.
It means that my Christmas knitting list will be put off to 2010. It means that instead of teaching lessons at the Web, I will be the student as I once again tackle the basketweave stitch.
My plan is to make this a first birthday present for Jordan Marie, which means I have until May 26, 2010 to get this accomplished.
I promise this will not go back into the dusty stash.
But do me a favor: when you stop in the store, ask me how it’s going. That will keep me on point.
And stop in and see our luscious yarns and canvases; you’ll see the needlepoint bug can be contagious.
-- Lucia Herndon

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