Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Getting Back into Needlepoint

Thread shopping! Look at all those threads!
Recently I went to the needlepoint store to buy all the threads I will ever need to finish my needlepoint tuffet, which consists of eight canvases. It is a very intimidating project, and I have struggled with making much progress. Just even thinking of all the threads I needed to get for all of these canvases was giving me heart palpitations! We had to get all the thread now because I am moving out of the area and need the local thread brand.

Here is the full project. Ack!
Visiting the store actually gave me a great opportunity to consider what the barriers are that I have been experiencing on this project. What has stopped me from working on this project? A few things:

  1. Since we got our cat, I can't leave threads strewn everywhere. I need to lay out a lot of threads to get my colors straight. Having to pack all those up every night instead of being able to leave them out is a big hassle.
  2. I have a really hard time deciding what thread colors to use in a particular area. I worry for very long periods over which colors to use because I want it to be perfect.
  3. I never know which stitches to use! It's impossible to know what a stitch will really look like when you are just looking at a diagram, and it's also hard to tell how easy it will be to stitch in many colors.
So on my trip to the needlepoint store, I took steps to address all three of these issues. First, I don't have a good thread organization system right now. All the threads are in baggies, tossed together in a giant shopping bag. I dealt with that by getting this awesome storage bin, which is actually for hardware like nails.
64 drawers!
 Each drawer holds a different color family of threads. The threads are the perfect length for the drawers.

And here are two shots of it all filled up. Lovely! Now I can just pull drawers out when I need to work.

Now, my other challenges were colors and stitches. I decided to go ahead and ask for help. Betty, our intrepid needlepoint expert, helped me decide right there (under the great light!) which color families to use in which spots, and we actually wrote them down so I don't forget.

Betty also helped with picking out stitches. On the left you see an actual printout of the canvas photo. We are writing directly on the printout what stitch to do where, and what colors to use.

Does this take the creativity out of it? A bit. Does it take the stress out of it? A lot! I am excited to get moving again on this project and have decided it will likely be my main stitching work for the next few months since I have not really gotten organized to do EPP.

Anyways, the moral fo me was to know my limits and know when to ask for help.

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