Those of you who have been around as long as I have will
remember that the early 70s were a needlepoint wasteland, especially as far as
materials were concerned. We had
tapestry yarn, crewel wool, floss, and maybe Persian yarn. Most canvas was 10-count mono or 10/20
penelope. Metallics? Not so much.
Overdyes? Unheard of. Silk?
I don’t think so. I discovered
smaller meshes fairly early on and began to use 22-count quite a bit, with
crewel wool and/or floss. I desired
metallics and would use anything I could find – usually in the “craft” section,
not the needlework section. I still have
some “unknown” metallic threads!
Approximately 1975 I discovered Elsa Williams tapestry yarn, crewel wools
and metallics (only gold & silver). The tapestry wool and metallic worked
beautifully on 13-14 mesh and on 18 for Bargello. The crewel wool for 22. Those were my go-to threads for awhile, along
One of my more ambitious projects covered 1971-1974. I saw an ad in a magazine for a kit for a
floor pillow. The design consisted of 4
squares, each one a different geometric design, all in the same colors, but a
different color predominated in each square.
I loved the designs, but did not want a huge floor pillow. Here goes the crazy part: I charted out the designs by counting the
stitches using a magnifying glass! It’s
not quite as bad as it sounds; the designs are 4-way symmetrical so I only had
to chart ¼ of each! These 4 designs
became the seats on 4 dining room chairs! All in tent stitches using wool tapestry yarn (I don’t remember the
brand, but it was not DMC) on 10-count mono.
I still have two of the chairs and they still look great, with just a
little wear at the corners. By the way,
those chairs are folding chairs too, which I got with Blue Chip Stamps. Remember those??
Here they are in order of stitching. I took the pix of the first 2 just now, the
other 2 were scanned from snapshots.
71 & 72
73 & 74
I was very adventuresome at that time. Mom got a pair of needlepoint slippers. My husband got a Bargello vest (he wore it
for many years). I tried jewelry – petit
point brooches. And then, I discovered Needlepoint News, ANG
(joined), and perforated paper, among
other adventures. More about that in the