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 with floss.
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 next installment!