Friday, November 9, 2012

Hope for the needlepoint world

Yesterday, Jane of Chilly Hollow ( had an entry from a reader who is concerned about the survival of needlepoint.  It was such an apt topic for Needle Nicely.  In the afternoon, I was visited by a family from Roanoke, Virginia.  This time last year they came into the shop.  They had seen the needlepoint done by a friend of theirs in Roanoke who also has a winter home in Vero Beach.  The children were intrigued and wanted to know more.  The father decided that he would also learn so he could help his children.  I gave all 4 family members a "learner" kit (a 5x6 square of 10mesh canvas, 2 or 3 strands of Paternayan yarn, a #18 needle, and diagrams of both the continental and basketweave stitches).  They came back in a few days to find a "real" project.  The parents were wise.  They insisted the children select their project from my $5 sale basket and then choose their fibers from some of the sale fibers I had.  The father promised that if they finished the project, then this year when they came down they could select their next project and fibers from full-priced merchandise.  

Yesterday was their first visit for this year.  It was wonderful to see how proud they were of the progress they were making on their first projects.  (Though dad didn't show his--he wasn't happy with his lack of progress).  They took some time to select the next thing to work on.  I helped with the fiber selection and they left with promises to see me again next week.

Today dad came in to check on his progress--his basketweave was beautiful, but he needed one more ply of yarn.

I also had a woman in today who had purchased a Kaffe Fassett kit advertised in the New York Times.  After she opened it, she realized she couldn't remember how to start a strand and several other small details.  She called before she came in to be sure I would help her.  I know some shops won't help unless you purchase the item from them.  I feel that causes too much ill will.  The job of a lns is to encourage all stitchers, not alienate them.  I would rather teach the continental and basketweave stitches informally in the shop and encourage people to sign up for my pattern-stitch classes.  In these tough economic times, there is only so much money for extras like classes. 


  1. HUGS! You are such a good person, MA. I hope your customers appreciate you.

  2. You bring up a great point & one not addressed in the guest post on Jane's blog, many, if not most, needlepoint shops do exactly as you do, teach Continental and Basketweave informally, encouraging and helping folks with their first projects.

    It's wonderful but not something shops advertise. That's help for beginners, but it isn't (and probably shouldn't be) a class.

    Bravo to you!

    Keep stitching,