Old Hobby Made New Again

I’ve needlepointed since my early teen years, learning from a childhood neighbor whose mother designed and sold needlepoint canvases. We used to shop at a store on Philadelphia’s Main Line, I can’t honestly remember which hamlet, but it was a huge shop full of painted and blank canvases and rows and rows of yarns.

I’ve made dozens upon dozens of needlepoint pillows, for myself and for gifts, I made eyeglass cases, monogrammed tennis racquet covers – you name it, I stitched it. With the death of my mother, many of those gifted works are back in my possession, even one pillow I made in the likeness of my grandmother! It was an early effort and didn’t look a whole lot like my grandmother but she bravely kept it on a sofa til her death, when my mother took it. Now I have it! It was dated 1967.

For years I shopped exclusively at The Silver Needle in Chappaqua, a store owned by the mother of an old Vineyard friend of mine. The Silver Needle had a branch in Edgartown open in the summertime. It doesn’t exist anymore. Such gorgeous designs. I made Christmas stockings for everyone. I was a lean mean stitching machine!

For the move, I packed up the few old unfinished works with yarn, put away a stack of great needlepoint how-to books, alphabet designs especially, then got here and had a hankering to needlepoint again.

I couldn’t find a store nearby but I did find a great online shop, in Vero Beach, Seaside Needlepoint.

Here’s what I think I’ll order. The disadvantage to ordering online is I can’t see or touch the yarns, and the canvas pricing is exclusive of yarns because it’s a very individual choice to pick colors and weight of the fibers.

I’m finding I need a distraction from the anxiety of the move and renovation, something effortless. I think this should help soothe my ruffled feathers!!

Anyone else needlepoint? I suspect it’s an art lost to anyone under age 75. My girls don’t needlepoint, never interested in learning either.

10 thoughts on “Old Hobby Made New Again

    1. Bug Day is my favorite too but it’s a fairly big canvas to complete. I may start back up with something as simple as the lobster brick cover door stop.
      Like anything, needlepoint becomes easier the more ability you acquire. I didn’t inherit the patience gene and I can needlepoint stress free.

  1. I, too, love to needlepoint. Same as you – pillows, Christmas stockings, whatever I thought was pretty. But I’ve run out of people who need or want another pillow or Christmas stocking and my ashes will be scattered to the 4 winds before I have great grandchildren who do. So now I donate the completed canvases of whatever project I’ve finished to a local charity shop which raises money for a nonprofit hospice. They sell like hot cakes (especially the stockings). The buyers (get them finished to their liking. It’s an expensive hobby but it’s relaxing & fills the downtime with something I enjoy.

    When I lived in Old Greenwich I bought my canvases & yarn at The Village Ewe. It’s been there for at least 50 yrs. and always had a good supply of whatever I needed.

    1. What a fabulous idea to donate finished projects!!! Love that!!! At one time I was doing so many canvases at once I looked for needlepoint friends who would help me finish something that had a date deadline to finish.

      I’ll look for the Village Ewe. Thanks for the heads up.

      And yes, it’s an expensive hobby, especially getting the canvas finished into whatever it was intended to be. Christmas stockings were always bigly costly!!

      1. My youngest grandchild was born 10 yrs. ago. All in, I think that stocking came in at around $350.

  2. Not a lost art. I can’t do it, but my 25 year old niece is a really talented needlepointer.
    This past Christmas she gave me a pillow with my dog’s face on it – an amazing likeness she’d drawn herself. My dog passed a month later so it’s such an especially meaningful treasure now.

    And national bug day is so whimsical! Love it.

  3. There is a company called needlepaint.com that will turn a photo of your favorite pet or whatever you want to commemorate into a needlepoint pattern. They provide the pattern and the yarn and the directions. If I could figure out how to attach a picture of a finished project, I would. All you so is send the a digital copy of your picture and they can turn it into many things: belt buckles, wall hanging, pillow covering, etc. And not too expensive. Very cool.

    1. Very cool indeed!! Especially to commemorate or memorialize a beloved pet that died. Thanks for the tip!!

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