I can see why everyone doesn’t do this. Patterns are difficult to construct but not in the way you think. The design is the easy part. Mixing it up with different sizes and materials, however, makes it a whole new ballgame.
Jeanie at Cobwebs and Cubbyholes, (I call her Jeanie the Genius) helped me with the universal punch needle problem of stabilizing the fabric for larger projects. She suggested using a stretcher for canvas which can be bought in various lengths allowing latitude in the size of the frame. Two by fours nailed together also provide the strength some designs require. Just stretch the fabric and adhere with thumb tacks. This goes to show that you don’t need to buy plastic “this and thats” for punch needle, unless you want your projects pretty before you finish them. Jury-rigged works just fine for me.
But yesterday was one of those days where everything possible that could go wrong, did. I had converted back to regular six-strand DMC for more color options on my new piece, but the sheen of the thread, as well of the shear number of threads per loop, seemed a bit much. So I got an idea.
I have a closet (actually a couple of them) where I keep my needlework materials, and since embroidery and needlepoint have not been on my radar lately, I’d forgotten what was back there. I knew I had some Paternayan Persian Wool yarn, but I did not know how much. I have three large boxes, each of which has over 130 bags containing 6 8-yard, three-strand skeins of this superior wool (along with several boxes of 40-yard and 200-yard hanks of white, off white, beige, sand, and black.) One strand is perfect for punching with the “large” bore needle. Calculating the 8-yard skeins at 8 yds x 3 strands x 6 skeins per bag x 130 bags per box x 3 boxes, I’ve got over 56,000 yards of wool perfect for punch needle. That’s not counting the background colors, which I’ll approximate at 10,000 yards.
But just to clarify, this is wool that was left over from decades of previous projects. I can’t imagine how many yards I managed to needlepoint into pillows, purses, belts, coasters, pictures, headbands, etc. I am happy to find a new use for this wool and can see myself mixing it with cottons, ribbons, and beads for dramatically different and unique punch needle projects.