Needlepoint is a fascinating hobby for many, both the absolute beginner and the skilled artist. As long as your work involves wool yarn, a needle and thread, you can be an artisan at heart. Needlepoint artwork is not only beautiful, it’s practical because the fibers from which your work is made can be used again: the result is a soft, colorful tapestry that will dry quickly and hold color beautifully through the years.
Needlepoint has been enjoyed and reinvented by many different artisans and professional pitchers throughout the years. Today, there are numerous organizations and people dedicated to teaching needlepoint enthusiasts how to stitch by hand. Here are some ideas on how to become an artisan in needlepoint, and what to consider when choosing your craft.
There is no one type of needlepoint purse but there are several common styles that needlepoint enthusiasts adore. In the north, the traditional cindy purse is a long, narrow bag with a zipper closure on one end. Some cindy bags are square, rectangular or round, depending on the region where you live. The size of the purse largely depends on the size of the wearer; as a general rule, a cindy should fit snugly but comfortably around the wrist and waist.
Needlepoint blankets and cushions come in a variety of colors, fabrics and patterns. Two of the most popular styles include hand-painted or stamped design and freehand-crafted designs. Both are terrific ways to bring color and texture to your home while showing off your signature hand-painted style. Many of today’s available designs can be found at your local needlepoint shop, while other styles can be purchased from online needlepoint stores or specialty outlets.
There are many great books on needlepoint available for purchase, or you may wish to invest in a good first book. A three-step guide to knitting or crocheting can introduce you to the basics of needlepoint while teaching you how to select fabrics, needles and other aspects of your new craft. If you want to know more about a particular stitch, look for a needlepoint book that describes it in greater detail. In particular, if you are making a cindy, look for information about working with different weights of yarn and different hook sizes.
Needlepoint is really more than just using a hook to weave a few strings of brightly colored thread. Even if you choose not to make a cindy with these methods, it can still be very rewarding to decorate a variety of surfaces with beautifully constructed needlepoint designs. Some of the most beautiful fabric creations have been made using this method of construction. And although there are no strict rules dictating how many threads or colors or textures should be used, there are plenty of opportunities to experiment. You might find that a bold quilt texture would suit your kitchen perfectly, while a delicate floral design will make an impressive accessory for a bedroom.
While a good needlepoint book will give you plenty of inspiration, the best projects are created using the needles that a stitch uses. Unfortunately, while there are hundreds of different types of needles, only a few of them are appropriate for every project. The two primary categories are wooden needles and metal needles. Wood needles are those that are curved and point in one direction; metal needles are those that are straight and point in the opposite direction. Each type of needle is suitable for different projects.
For example, there are a few differences between long and short stitches. The long stitch, usually called a blanket stitch, is ideal for making blankets and shawls, where the design will be bulky. Short stitches are usually used for clothing or smaller projects, such as patches. When you’re stitching with a tapestry or a lightweight canvas, you can experiment with the different ways in which your needlepoint canvas will look when it is finished.