Needlepoint is synonymous with the Catskill Mountains in the summer. While some associate the summer with barbecues and others think of swimming and hiking, needlepoint comes to my mind. As a youngster, I recall the fondest memories of spending summers in a run down rented bungalow in Fallsburg on Route 42. The best days were when Rita, of Rita’s Needlecraft, drove up to the parking lot in her station wagon. “The needlecraft car, the needlecraft car,” was heard on the loudspeaker. Mothers and daughters ran with their wallets. All of us kids stitched hook rugs. Needlepoint was our moms’ job. But everyone had some sort of project.
Today my family vacations in the Catskill Mountains too. The bungalows haven’t changed much in the past thirty years. And my favorite part, needlepoint, hasn’t changed either. Susan Gross of Knit One Needlepoint Too, in ShopritePlaza in Monticello, NY, carries the Pepita Needlepoint line. Doris Katz of Needlepoint Gallery in Woodridge, NY, has our trunk show too. But my favorite is Rita since she remembers me as a little girl. Whenever I meet, her first words are, “So how’s your mom doing?” When I phone my mother in Brooklyn, she asks about Rita. In fact, the canvases she stitched from Rita are still on display on her dining room walls! Needlepoint was special then, and it’s just as special today.