Many many years ago, I took up needlepoint as my handwork of choice. I found a book in the library entitled Mary Martin's Needlepoint and fell in love. Of course, most of her projects were designed by her and painted on canvas by her needlepoint shop. But they were lovely and I loved the stitches.
At that time most Department Stores had a needlepoint section. Most of those canvases were worked in the center (mostly flowers) and you filled in the background. I bought one and taught myself.
What I did learn was that background is boring. Mindless stitching actually but sometimes that is good for I had a project to keep me busy as I commuted to and fro on the bus.
I am not a fast needlepointer (which is a good thing for my output is not great) and after a couple of those Department Store canvases, I found printed canvases! Designs that I could work myself!
For years, I always had a needlepoint project and soon we had my lovely pillows on chairs.
I also found bargello and books which had patterns that you stitched on blank canvas (similar to counted cross stitch).
And I sewed.
But then Sarah came along and life got busy with motherhood, career, and housewifely chores. I put my needle and wool aside. And there it stayed for a long time.
When we went to England that Spring to live, we arrived on board a ship. I knew that there would be days and days at sea and one can only bring so many books so off to The Studio (my favorite KC needlepoint shop) I went and bought a canvas and yarn.
Needlepointing is like riding a bike! Everything came back and I finished that canvas while still in England. Of course, needlepoint is so English and so I found a needlepoint shop and bought another canvas (to see me for the rest of the stay and the trip home).
And I've had a piece of needlepoint every since!
I've just finished my last project --
A very colorful canvas -- Jacobean in design. Not picked by me, but picked by Husband Jim as a Christmas gift (shameful to say, Christmas 2012).
Now, I've not been working on it since Christmas 2012. I had to finish another canvas and then I had ordered another (before I received my gift) and had started on that one. What I start I finish, before I start on another.
This time, I did have a rule -- to only have on canvas at a time. When I am almost done, I order another! That way, I don't have a drawer full of needlepoint kits!
I started this one on our trip to Italy in the fall of 2013. And with needlepoint, I pick up and put down. It went with me last year to all of Jim's doctor's appointments and kept me company while he had procedures done. And then I'd put it down . . . and a month or so later, pick it up again.
But I've been working on it pretty steadily for the last few months. And today -- just today, I stitched the last stitch. Now to take it to Mary to be transformed into a pillow.
And my canvas in waiting?
Has been started on. I ordered it from England (there is just something about English needlepoint)
It's a hare. A companion to this . . .
The piece I bought the year we lived in England!
The hare may go quicker since it's similar to one I've done before. I hope so.
For I have another in the drawer. A gift from a dear friend.
Oh, and in the fall, I pause my pillow project to make a needlepoint ornament for the Grand girl -- a tradition! Now I'll have two to make!