How Needlepoint Floats my Boat

Today we are supposed to tell our favorite craft and explain why it floats our boats.

It should come as no surprise that needlepoint floats my boat. I loved it from the moment I took my first stitch.

The bigger question is why. Needlepoint is so many things to me as it is to other stitchers: a meditation, a comfort, a distraction, and a hobby.

But I want to talk about something else that’s important to me. Needlepoint is a never-ending springboard to creativity.

People who dismiss needlepoint often say it’s just like painting with numbers because, often, the design is already on the canvas. But it isn’t it’s more like a conversation between you and the artist.

Think of the canvas as the equivalent of a book. How many times when you read a book do you find yourself arguing with the author, or agreeing with the book? How often do you read a second book and find it having a conversation with a book you’ve already read.

At my college, St John’s we read the Great Books. Implicit in all that we read and discussed was the idea of conversation. The books talked to each other, we talked about the books, and we talked to each other. A giant conversation.

Even if you don’t think about it, you are having a conversation with the designer every time you stitch a canvas. The designer has said something in putting the design on canvas.

YOu take the canvas and start up your part of the conversation. You decide about threads, exact colors, and stitches. even if you stitch something in all Tent in wool, you have made choices, and added to the conversation.

You have exercised your creativity. And it that every needlepoint piece you stitch is at the same time a conversation, an expression of creativity, and a work of art.


  1. says

    what a lovely way to describe needlework. I never thought of it before like a book but your right. I will look at needlework differently now

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