Wednesday, March 14, 2018

My Needlepoint Journey, Part 2

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!

1 comment:

Sara Leigh said...

Those chairs look great! The colors are still so vibrant! We had S&H Green Stamps in my neck of the woods, though the Blue Chip could have been available but we just didn't shop there.