Over the last few weeks, every time I’ve told someone that I write about needlepoint on my blog they’ve expressed interest in giving it a try. I love hearing that and always give people the starter spiel - start small to see if you like it and then dive into bigger projects.
As much as I love needlepoint, it isn’t for everyone. So, if you’re thinking of picking it up as a hobby, ask yourself these three questions.
Are you patient?
Big or small, needlepoint projects take time. While the rhythmic and often repetitive motion of stitching calms me, I recognize that isn’t the case for everyone. I can’t tell you the amount of times that people have confided in me that they’ve started a project and can’t bring themselves to finish it. To really enjoy needlepoint, you need to have the attention span to keep yourself interested in the project and the motivation to keep stitching. It isn’t meant to be a tedious hobby but it is definitely time consuming. For context, the last christmas ornament I stitched took about 14 hours.
Can you see the big picture?
When you start a new project, you start with either a blank or painted canvas. While in some cases needlepoint can seem like a more intricate stitch-by-number, especially with painted canvases, you still need to pick thread type and color as well as what stitches to use. In bigger projects, this can seem daunting because if you don’t see the big picture and imagine how it will look when finished, you will struggle to find direction. Honestly, this is still my biggest challenge with needlepoint and one of the mail reasons my giant chicken canvas is still only one third of the way stitched.
Are you creative?
Buying pre painted canvases can be pricey, which is why I’m such an advocate of designing your own canvases. I never considered myself an overly artsy person but the grid that needlepoint canvases are laid on makes even my designs look pretty. When I first started to needlepoint, I quickly realized that just because I was stitching a painted canvas did not mean it would turn out like anyone else's. In fact, when it comes to painted canvases, six people could do the same one and each could turn out differently because there is so much room to be creative.
At the end of the day, these questions aren’t binding rules so even if you answered ‘no’ to all of them, you might still benefit from trying out a hobby like needlepoint.
If you’ve decided after reading this post that you want to give needlepoint a try (and I sure hope you do), I suggest picking up a kit to practice the basic stitches and get the feel for following a painted canvas. Your local needlepoint store likely sells some eyeglass cases for under $25 and can be a great sounding board for future projects. Waste Knot Needlepoint, my local store here in Virginia, has been my favorite place to draw inspiration and bounce ideas around with other needlepoint enthusiasts.