Wednesday, January 2, 2013

P is for (Needle) Point

Today's Arts-and-Crafts experiment was needlepoint, but the experience was full of letter P words.  I have a whole new respect for my mother and grandmother, who taught me the craft.  The first extra P word is "patience."  I found myself really struggling to explain the mechanics to Jude -- it's something I've done since I was his age, so it just comes naturally to me by now. As he put it..."You do's 'easy peasy lemon squeezy for you.'"  I promised him with practice, it would be the same for him.  It just takes time.

We took the kit apart, and read the directions.  I helped him measure a length of yarn - holding one end in one hand, and stretching it across my outstretched arms for the right length, the same as my grandmother taught me.  He cut the yarn, and then I attempted threading the needle. 

Oh boy.  So much for a nice, calm morning.

The first thing to learn...embroidery needles aren't the same as doctor needles.  Jude (understandably after so many lab draws and IVs) despises needles. I never considered this when I picked this kit up. While the needle does have a slight point, it is fairly blunt.  Attempting to stab yourself in the hand (mom took one for the team) wasn't fun, but it didn't hurt and didn't draw blood.  He let me (gently) poke at his hand, and he agreed it didn't hurt.  Onward!

I showed him the first few stitches, and then handed it over.  Watching him was so comical...and I laugh because I still get my thread caught up in what I'm working on.

Here he has the yarn caught first on an edge...

Now it's wrapped around his fingers.

Slowly we're getting somewhere...still a bit tangled up.

He tried leaning against the table, but found it was tricky to see where the holes in the scrim were.

Finding his groove...up so the light shines through and extra yarn tucked.

I love the half smirk on his face here.  He's still not convinced this would get any easier.  I was impressed though - by the end of the row he was having three and four stitch runs where he didn't need any help.  When he was focused, he did great. When he started just poking the needle around, he struggled.

But here he's finished his first row and is learning how to work his way back.  This was really hard for him -- he just got used to the "in the top, out the empty bottom," of left-to-right rows, and despite turning the piece upside down to keep the "bottom left/top right" direction of the stitch, he was struggling with coming back up a hole where a stitch already was.  That just seemed to break all the rules!

And...monkey see, monkey do, right?

Little brother Damien worked a little on a lacing card.  After all, needlepoint is just lacing cards with a needle and smaller holes.


I promised Jude we'd do a little bit each day until it's done.  I certainly didn't expect to do it all in one day, but he got pretty far with his piece of yarn -- he has some long arms!  We'll keep you updated on our progress.

We're joining Marcy at Ben and Me for the weekly Blogging Through the Alphabet link-up.  Please come join the fun!

Blogging Through the Alphabet

Other link ups:


  1. Fellow crew member and new follower stopping by. I think Alyssa would love this craft, but I have a feeling she would be teaching me instead of the other way around. They both look very focused on the project. Please stop by blog if you get a chance. Have a blessed day!

  2. so good for them - great motor skill work going on!

  3. That looks like a perfect project for Lauren. She tried a little cross-stitch kit about a month ago, but it was a bit too complex and the stitches were far too little. Guess who picked the kit and didn't want Mom's opinion that it was too hard?

    1. I forget where I picked it up -- I want to say Michael's, but I'm sure any Arts & Crafts store would have something similar.


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