Subway Stitchers

Check out 2012 Ridership Data!

I take the subway around once a week.  I marvel how individuals waste/spend their time waiting and riding.  Some daydream, others sleep.  Students cram and study.  I’ve seen a woman file her nails, and at least one lady in each compartment is reapplying her lipstick. Men read various newspapers and magazines; women are buried in novels.  But 95% of the riders look bored and uncomfortable.  Reading while in motion isn’t for everyone; some feel nauseous while others can’t concentrate.

I love doing needlepoint on trips via the subway.  I pack a small preschool style scissors (nothing too sharp), a small sized canvas, and 5-6 skeins of thread.  I place them all into a large Ziploc bag and am on my way.  At the station, I grab a seat and needlepoint.  I continue on the train and needlepoint till my destination.  In fact, I’ve noticed that I prefer the train rather than driving myself since I get to complete various projects this way. Hey, this is even a good way to promote using mass transit and public transportation!

People constantly comment on my needlepoint canvas.  They ask where I purchased the canvas, exclaim what a great idea it is to stitch on the train, is it easy, hard, etc.  I recommend commuters to take along needlepoint supplies; the whole experience will change for the better.

Tip:  Write your name and telephone number on the edge of the canvas with permanent marker.  This way if your project gets lost somehow, it has a better chance of finding its way home.  Also, have a special subway canvas that is inexpensive and easy to replace in case it does get misplaced.  The smaller the canvas, the better.  Don’t bring along your whole stash of thread; choose only a few strands of colors you definitely need.

Happy Stitching!

New Header Images

I added a whole boat load of new header images to my blog. They are selected at random and displayed on top of the page. Refresh the page to see different photos of Pepita finished works of art! There are eleven images in all.

I retired the old images, which were just lifted from Flickr and were not Pepita projects. I think it should be obvious that a Pepita Needlepoint blog should be graced by its own designs. Can’t imagine why it took me so long. Well that’s another to-do item I can cross off my endless list. Have a nice weekend!

Needlepoint Quickies

New stuff from all over the  web:

Have a great weekend everybody!

Pepita Needlepoint Featured in Needlepoint Now Magazine

Just in time for Passover, our Regal Matzo Cover and Afikoman Bag canvas set was written up in the March/April issue of Needlepoint Now. These were finished expertly and photographed for the article, which presents various stitching techniques for completing the project.

These pieces require a greater investment of time but are very worthwhile; the resulting matching set will be a treasured feature of the annual Passover Seder – for generations.

By the way, this is the second time an Afikoman Bag of ours has been featured in Needlepoint Now magazine. The first time was way back in the 2010 January/February Issue and represented our first appearance in print. The Afikoman bag of that issue continues to be a best seller.

Needlepoint Apps

Barbara Bergsten recently blogged about ideas for needlepoint apps. I linked (above) to an app available on the Apple App store, which offers stitch diagrams, indexed by shape, name and thread count.

I had a few ideas for a needlepoint app, and instead of stuffing it all into a bloated comment I decided to do a full blog post here. A needlepoint app which could do the following things would be awesome:

  • Text Charter. This app would accept a string of text, such as “Happy Birthday Mom,” and would create a chart that shows how to stitch it. You would have a choice of fonts, text effects (like drop shadow or outline), spacing, and you would also specify the dimensions of the area in which it needs to fit. This would save a stitcher loads of time (anyone who ever needed to do this knows how time-consuming and error-prone it can be).
  • Thread Matcher. You snap a picture of a canvas using your phone with the onboard camera. The software would instantly inventory the colors used (up to a limit of, say 40), and then make suggestions of thread you can use to stitch it. You can control choices by fiber type, budget, and it would keep track of your previous projects so it matches thread from your stash. This app could make money by offering to purchase an entire thread ensemble on the spot.
  • Stitch Charter. Building on the previous item, you would use this app to select areas of the canvas, and designate which stitch you will use. You would choose from a little window of stitch choices, and drag the right one over to the canvas photo. Then the app would create a chart based on your selections, and it would also estimate how long it would take, based on your stitching habits and history.

I have some other ideas, but let’s get an enterprising developer started on these. The stitching world is waiting!

Joyce O’Brien Stitches City Scenes

Two articles in the Des Moines Register this week featured the same needlework artist, Joyce O’Brien. Apparently a very patient and gifted stitcher, she created a depiction of city hall, complete with shiny gold rooftops. Follow the link to see it and read more about it.

In a separate article, the writer describes how it took Joyce over 600 hours to create this needlepoint landscape of the Des Moines skyline:

“It’s a very tedious process,” she said of the 3-by-2-foot picture, made from fine wool yarn. “It takes a long time, but I love to see the picture develop.”

O’Brien is currently showing off her work in a show at the Ankeny Art Center. If you’re in the area, definitely stop in for a look.

Needlepoint Chairs at Blair House in Washington D.C.

The national president of the American Needlepoint Guild, Pat Rogers, is pitching in to help restore faded needlepoint chair upholstery at the Blair House, the president’s guest house.

Among the home’s extensive furnishings is a wingback chair with needlepoint upholstery that originally was made by Teddy Roosevelt’s daughter-in-law. In time, the threads faded and became worn by use, and house conservators approached the American Needlepoint Guild in August 2010 about recreating the upholstery.