My current punch needle project has been a test of my resolve. I won’t bore you (pun intended) with the details, but believe me when I say that what might have gone wrong, has. And the latest of these annoyances has been the wool I am using for a big part of it has already been cut into one-yard lengths. Perfect then for needlepoint, but now not so much for punch needle. The best advantage to punch needle is using thread or yarn continuously, cutting only when you decide to change colors. Rethreading the needle is time consuming and tedious, though you can get a rhythm going after a couple of hundred reloads.
So in a fit of frustration, I went looking for, and found, a better system. It’s a configuration where the needle and the handle have a slit so you just lay the yarn, thread, fabric strip, or whatever you’re working with, into the groove, thread only the small hole in the needle, and flip it into position so that the groove is on the bottom keeping the textile you are looping in place. The company is located in Vermont, naturally, because there is very little I don’t like about Vermont. I bought the set.
These needles will dramatically cut my loading time, by more than half if all goes well. And I love the idea of having punch needles that will better accommodate cut strips and ribbons for the mixed textile projects I have in mind.
I’ve already broken my most important “regular” sized needle, not because the needle itself broke, but rather the plastic hinge on the end of it broke while I was exchanging needles. So I see real wisdom in not exchanging the needles, but rather having a holder for each one. These are theoretically ergonomic and will cause less stress and fatigue in my hand, which has not really been an issue for me. I’ll review them in a future blog, but I’m already encouraged by some anecdotal remarks on her website.
Given the sheer volume of wool yarn in this house, (is that an audible pun?) I can see progressing to larger projects; even to rugs. I inherited my mother’s rug hoop, and recall her punching several throw rugs on it, whereabouts unknown.
The photo on the left is my latest completed project that wows me with color, but I’m not much of a flower person. I like growing them and putting them in vases, but I rarely paint or needlework them into something. I’ll probably stick with little scenes, bugs, animals, and oddities. What I do like about this is that it is on a pure wool roving long-handled shoulder bag from Hobby Lobby. Under $10, ($6 if you use a coupon) this is a great vehicle for a punch-needle project.
I’m going to be running to the mailbox daily starting tomorrow. Hopefully the punch needles will arrive before the weekend.